The Human League in Dubai

Sheffield's finest electronic new wave group are coming to The Irish Village

Interview

They are known for their classic 1981 hit, ‘Don’t You Want Me’ and they’re back in Dubai. Chanelle Tourish talks about moving on with Joanne Catherall.

How has your sound changed over the years?
We’ve actually gone back to using some of the older synthesizers in our music. Everything obviously became digital and we did change to that, but we took a step back with Credo [the band’s 2011 album] and used the older instruments because they have such a different sound to them.

Do you ever grow tired of performing your number one hit, ‘Don’t You Want Me?’
It’s something that we would never cut out of our set because it’s the song that most people associate us with. Even if people don’t know our music they usually recognise that. We love performing it because the audience loves hearing it, no matter where we go in the world. So it’s fun for us.

What can fans expect from your gig in Dubai?
We have been to Dubai many times before for gigs and we always try and do something from each of the band’s different eras. So it’s a mix of ’80s, ’90s and ’00s music. It’s a very fun, party atmosphere.

What has been your most memorable gig?
I think when we headlined the Hollywood Bowl in 2006, because we had been going so long and it’s such an iconic place to play. I don’t think we ever thought that we’d be asked to play there.

You’ve been together for more than 30 years. What’s the secret to a lasting band relationship?
We just all get on – it’s almost like we’re in a gang. We are a group of musicians that travel around together and have fun, and we’ve all got a similar sense of humour. We can be very sarcastic and we just know each other really well now. We don’t really have arguments, to be honest.

What is your greatest achievement as a group?

We would all say that it’s staying in the music industry for so many years – it’s quite a difficult industry. It’s great having the hits but the majority of bands break up because it’s hard being together all the time, and surviving the fall-outs over songwriting. We’ve had ups and downs but we are still really enjoying it.

Do you prefer making albums or touring?

It’s great having a live audience, because in the studio you hope that you are doing something that people like, but you never know until you get out on stage.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

We have a UK tour booked for November and December, along with a support band.

We love doing Christmas tours, it’s a great time to be out –people tend to be happier and it’s great travelling around the country at that time of year.
Dhs160. 9pm-3am. Thursday September 25. The Irish Village, next to Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud. www.timeouttickets.com

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