Bucket List Tour: Heaven 17 + DEVO | USA | 2014?


Heaven 17 & DEVO – Two Great Tastes That [would] Taste Great Together

The other day, reader Echorich alerted me to a new posting on Martyn Ware’s blog that consisted of a recent interview on the Huffington Post. Fairly ordinary stuff, mostly covering the excellent new B.E.F. album, “Dark,” as well as touching on other work Ware does with his company Illustrious. It’s a good interview. Very informative, especially near the end where Martyn slips in this zinger.

“Mike Ragogna: What does the future hold for Martyn Ware and various projects for you?
Martyn Ware: God, lots of stuff. Like I said, we’re writing a new Heaven 17 album, we’re going to be touring next year featuring some tracks from “How Men Are” –about half of  “How Men Are” –and some from our new writing and our greatest hits. We hope to, next year, go to America as well, and we’d like to do some touring with Devo, maybe combined or maybe not, who knows; it’s still in discussion.”


Gaaaah!!! I’d all but given up on the notion of ever seeing Heaven 17 play live. Back in the day when they were most active, of course they didn’t play out at all. Then, when they re-activated in 1996  to produce the excellent “Bigger Than America,” the technology had evolved to the point where it was much easier to tour on electronics and from that point on the band has been fairly active on the concert circuit. As long as one lived in the UK or Germany! Over the last few years, they’ve done classic album tours such as to make one weep. “Penthouse + Pavement,” “The Luxury Gap,” and even “Music Of Quality + Distinction” have all had deluxe, organ-auction concert events that I would have certainly attended if only a third party had advanced me the several thou necessary to do it right. Or had I several kidneys to spare.

So Ware is really wanting to hit these shores? That is great news! That’s half the struggle right there! He’s smart enough to realize that H17, alone in America is a bit too cult-like a commercial proposition, so he’s wisely considering teaming up with DEVO. That’s too perfect. DEVO would certainly add heft to the roster and H17 could possibly ride it successfully. Ware suggests a mutual friendship with the band. In the UK, they were label mates on Virgin and their US management was under the aegis of Elliot Roberts Lookout Management, so they have connections. If you listen to H17’s wonderful podcasts [and you should] they have mentioned DEVO more than once in a positive context, so according to Ware, this is being considered on both sides right now for 2014.

Exxxxcellent [Monk steeples fingers]! While I’d prefer H17 and DEVO solo tours of the Southeast, realistically, I know that it could never happen. Even as it is being considered, I suspect a trip to Washington D.C. and the 9:30 Club would be in order, but I’m fine with this twofer. It would strike off two bands from The List in one fell swoop, and realistically, I never imagined that I’d ever get the chance to enjoy H17 live in my country of birth under any circumstances, much less touring with the mighty DEVO! So you know what to do now. Log into Facebook and “like” the band or whatever the hell it is you kids do.

– 30 –

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10 Responses to Bucket List Tour: Heaven 17 + DEVO | USA | 2014?

  1. Echorich says:

    It would be a genius move in my mind Monk! DEVO and Human League Mk1, while certainly not sounding alike, approached Rock & Roll from a similar stance that everything must change.
    Vive Le Shit Stirrers has always been my rock & roll motto and why I have always been attracted to music outside the mainstream.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – I sure hope it comes to pass, since it seems like a win-win for all concerned. At the very least there will be another H17 album, which was also confirmed on Martyn and Glenn’s last podcast as well. For at least this I’m thankful.


  2. Taffy says:

    Never seen H17 live, and would certainly travel for the chance to do so. Weren’t they originally slated to play a Regeneration US Tour?? I’ve been to a few, and seem to recall the disappointment of their withdrawal, followed by the horror that somebody I hated (Cutting Crew? Wang Chung?) was the new act. Or is this all a false memory?


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Taffy – No! You’re so correct. I’d forgotten but you pulled the catgut out of the stitches there! The Regeneration tour was 2006-7 (?) and would have featured H17 and ABC at nearby Charlotte or Raleigh and I was considering going even though it was a (shudder) Regeneration Tour! When H17 bailed and was replaced with Cutting Crew (retch!) that killed it for me. Worse, I missed my only chance to see Martin Fry because of this! So thanks for mentioning this. And yes, Wang Chung were also involved. I saw them on their “Mosaic” tour and that was enough for me.


      • Taffy says:

        ABC were wonderful…the fine new stuff from Traffic mixed with tons of classics (btw – I think the tour was a bit later – maybe ’08). Cutting Crew were dreadful and I’ve always had an irrational dislike of Wang Chung (I’ll bet I hate “Dance Hall Days” far more than you do “Karma Chameleon!”).


        • postpunkmonk says:

          Taffy – Wow! You went? I think you’re right. It was a post “Traffic” show for ABC. No doubt 2008. Sorry to have missed Mr. Fry, but not seeing Cutting Crew and Culture Club was worth it! H17 would have tipped the scales. I’m fine with Wang Chung’s “Points On A Curve” album but can miss huge chunks of their canon. Their new one has some good stuff.


  3. Echorich says:

    Seeing Heaven 17 has been a 32 year ambition of mine. I thought about trying to get to London for the first Scala show back at the time of Bigger Than America. I was very disappointed when they bowed out of the Regeneration tour. I came close to going to London for the Luxury Gap/B.E.F. shows but couldn’t quite do it and am still kicking myself over missing the Penthouse and Pavement Tour. Someday my band will come!!
    As for ABC, I stood front row and center at the NYC Palladium for The Lexicon Tour in 1982 and remember every moment of that show – it is one of the best concerts I have ever attended. I saw the reconstituted ABC in the late 90’s on a Retro bill in London with Human League and Culture Club – we left after the first 2 CC songs to catch the last train back to the West End and hit a club. In 2005 I caught the post VH-1 Bands Reunited ABC with David Palmer where Martin debuted a couple of the tracks which ended up on Traffic and then in 2008 I saw them again at The Canal Rooms in NYC Chinatown play to about 300 fans to promote Traffic. Live Martin Fry is really engaging and always sound great. Even if they are performing at an 80’s play the numbers and get of the stage show, he puts everything into the show.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – The Luxury Gap/B.E.F. Weekend was a “kill me now” event for me. The upcoming B.E.F. shows might top that, particularly since the new material is so strong. Seeing Boy George belt it out on the bridge to “Dog” might be worth the cost of admission!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Lots of ABC envy here. I’m still pining for the next album! Yeah, nice to know Fry seems incapable of phoning it in, even on one of those Zombie 80s tours!


  4. Pingback: DEVO’s Gerald Casale Has New EP Of “The Invisible Man” With Martyn Ware Remix Video | Post-Punk Monk

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