The Copper Rooms presents:
PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS: BLANCMANGE
Heaven 17 are an English new wave synthpop band originating from Sheffield in the early 1980s. Originally a trio, the band comprised Martyn Ware (keyboards), Ian Craig Marsh(keyboards) (both previously with The Human League) and Glenn Gregory (vocals).
Their album, "The Luxury Gap", was their pop masterpiece, the moment when everything just clicked into place to devastating effect. The bands favourite-ever song, Let Me Go, so nearly broke them into the UK Top 40. There would be no such disappointment with its follow up, "Temptation". A duet between Glenn Gregory and Carol Kenyon, this song of lust, brilliantly framed by a musical structure which just kept building and building, Escher-like to an electric orgasm that seems never to come, it reached Number 2 in the UK charts in May 1983.
Blancmange was formed in Harrow, Middlesex, in 1979 by singer Neil Arthur, instrumentalists Stephen Luscombe and Laurence Stevens. Stevens left shortly after the band was formed, and Arthur and Luscombe continued as a duo. The duo released their first EP, Irene and Mavis, the following year, but their first real exposure came via a track on the seminal Some Bizzare Album, alongside fellow acts Soft Cell and Depeche Mode. This led to them signing a recording contract with London Records.
The duo found minor success with their 1982 double A-sided single, "God's Kitchen"/"I've Seen the Word", which peaked at no. 65 in the UK. This was followed by "Feel Me", which peaked at no. 46. Later that year, they broke through with "Living on the Ceiling", which reached no. 7 on the UK Singles Chart. Their debut album, Happy Families (which featured a sleeve painting in the style of Louis Wain and of the cover artwork of Enid Blyton's books), also reached the top 30.
Further hits followed with "Waves" (no. 19), "Blind Vision" (no. 10), "That's Love That It Is" (no. 33) and "Don't Tell Me" (no. 8), while their second album Mange Tout (1984) also reached no. 8 in the UK Albums Chart. The album featured a cover version of ABBA's "The Day Before You Came", which reached no. 22 in the UK (slightly higher than Abba's original less than two years earlier).