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Arts FestivalThursday, 2 May 2019

Martyn Ware talks synthpop at the Trades

One of the founders of British synthpop Martyn Ware is coming to the Trades Club to talk about his trailblazing career in The Human League and Heaven 17

Martyn WareMartyn Ware's appearance on Friday 26 June as part of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival goes right back to 1978 when he gave up his job in the developing computer industry to buy a Korg 700 synthesiser and then formed The Human League.

Ware was influenced by the industrial wasteland in his home city Sheffield, and along with charismatic frontman Phil Oakey released the otherworldly ‘Being Boiled’ that set the template for off kilter British electronic pop.

After leaving the band due to artistic differences he teamed up with powerhouse vocalist Glenn Gregory to create Heaven 17 delivering their influential debut album Penthouse and Pavement. Ware has never disguised his politics, and the band’s first single ‘(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang’ was banned by the BBC.

In 1983, Heaven 17 released Temptation and its huge chorus took it to number 2 in the chart  remaining a daytime radio favourite to this very day. The band went on hiatus in 1988 reforming two years later, and since then they have toured regularly, including a sold out gig at the Trades Club where a massive version of Temptation nearly took the roof off.

As well as Heaven 17, Ware was an in demand producer revitalising Tina Turner’s career with her smash hit version of ‘Let’s Stay Together’, produced Terence Trent D’Arby’s multi-million selling debut album and was on the mixing desk for Erasure’s I Say I Say I Say album.

More recently in 2016 he created a 82 minute soundscape calls ‘Sounds of Our Shores’ using  clips of coastal sounds sent in by the public.

Ware’s interest in all things sonic led to the National Galley commissioning ‘Everything You Can Imagine Is Real’ to coincide with their Picasso Portraits exhibition.  His pioneering work has seen Ware become a BAFTA member, a gig as a visiting professor at Queen Mary University of London  and winning a prestigious Gold badge Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors.

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival Artistic Director Helen Meller said, “When the Festival invites In Conversation speakers we are always looking for people who have been genuine pioneers in their field, but also say what they think, and Martyn meets all our criteria for a lively discussion.

“The Heaven 17 gig at the Trades was a landmark night at the Club, and this time Martyn will be reflecting on his amazing career, and the state of the modern music industry is his usual forthright way.”

Trades Club Promotions Manager Mal Campbell will be In Conversation with Martyn Ware who will then do a DJ set. To book tickets for this event go to the festival website.

See also

HebWeb News: John Hegley’s Easter offer (13 April 2019)

HebWeb News: Calling all gardeners (9 April 2019)

HebWeb News: Arts Festival Open Meeting - a chance to shape the Festival (15 March 2019)

Arts Festival website

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