Sunday 31 March 2013

Heaven 17 to headline at Silicon Dreams

The Silicon Dreams festival in July is to be joined by one of the Godfathers of British synthesiser music.
Martyn Ware, co-founder of The Human League, Heaven 17 and British Electric Foundation will be hosting An Evening With… special event on Saturday 6th July. He will talk about his career as one of the pioneers of British electronic music who helped change the charts forever. Later in the evening he will be joined by special guests Northern Kind and Heaven 17 for some fantastic live performances.

It was in 1977 that Ware met Ian Craig Marsh during an arts project. They decided to form a band called The Future and recorded demos in a disused cutlery workshop in Sheffield. Philip Oakey was later recruited as vocalist, so with a new line-up and sound The Human League was born. Their first single, Being Boiled was released in 1978 to critical acclaim - live performances gained them credibility, supporting the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Iggy Pop.

Ware and Marsh left The Human League in late 1980 to form Heaven 17, taking their name from a fictional band in Anthony Burgess’ novel A Clockwork Orange. Glenn Gregory joined as their vocalist. Their debut album, Penthouse and Pavement, is regarded as something of a cult classic today. Meanwhile, Ware and Marsh also formed a production company called British Electric Foundation. As BEF they worked with artists such as Hank Marvin, Green Gartside (of Scritti Politti), Chaka Khan and Tina Turner. Turner’s career was revived with the resulting hit Let’s Stay Together.

Heaven 17’s first single, (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang just missed the Top 40 but attracted some attention due to the political nature of the lyrics. It was their second album The Luxury Gap which provided their biggest hit, when Temptation made no.2 in the charts in 1983. The song has evergreen popularity, having enjoyed various remixes and reissues over the years since.

In the late nineties, Ware created 3D sound technology for a museum project in Sheffield which later toured as an Arts Council project. He is a Visiting Professor at Queen Mary College (University of London) and has an Honorary Doctorate in Science from University of London. He is also a BAFTA member and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Matt Culpin and Sarah Heeley first met in Leicester in 2001, through indie pop project Minithin. The pair lost touch for three years, but were reunited by the power of SMS in 2003 when Matt found Sarah’s number in his phone book.

In less than a year they recorded their first album as Northern Kind. 53 Degrees North topped album and download charts across Europe, gained the band a passionate following in the UK and won them prestigious dates supporting Gary Numan and a string of gigs alongside 80s greats including Midge Ure, Boy George, Howard Jones, Paul Young and Kim Wilde.

In 2009 their second album, Wired, mastered by Simon Heyworth (Tubular Bells) was hailed as “one of the most important electronic albums of the year” by Gareth Jones (Producer, Depeche Mode) and this secured them a UK tour with pop legends Kajagoogoo.

The duo are now launching their third album - Credible Sexy Unit. There’s a good feel about the album and the duo feel that they are producing some of their favourite and most refined electronic music yet. Euphonic (song for Chloe) and Dreams are released on iTunes and the response so far is exciting to say the least. We look forward to the next stomping chapter of Northern Kind history…

The Silicon Dreams festival celebrates our silicon chip age. It is a new family event to be held at Snibston Discovery Museum including computing workshops, retro computing and vintage gaming. It doesn't stop there - there will also be film-related entertainment, arts activities and - of course - electronic music. On top of all this, there will be all the attractions of Snibston including science, engineering, fashion and toy galleries, a heritage railway and an area for under fives. There is also the country park. It will be the first of its kind and a very special weekend is promised.

Silicon Dreams : An Evening With Martyn Ware promises to be a very special evening for just two hundred lucky people. It will take place at the Century Theatre, Snibston Discovery Museum on Saturday 6th July 2013. Food will be provided as guests gather, before convening to the theatre where Martyn will provide a fascinating insight into his career. This will be followed by live music from Northern Kind with a preview of their new album. Finally, Heaven 17 will perform live and give us some of their best-known songs...

Ticket sales and information will be available from the beginning of May. See for further details, Silicon Dreams on Facebook or @SiliconDreamsGB on Twitter.

Photos courtesy of Heaven 17 and Northern Kind – © 2013. Reproduced with kind permission.

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