The Human League at Vega in Copenhagen 18.12.07  
   
22.12.07  
Behind the curtains  
   
That the band should play Copenhagen for the first time since 1982 was a great thrill, and my expectations were high, due to the reviews and photos already posted on the messageboard from the various gigs in England and Belgium. As per usual my expectations for meeting the band were low - this is due to the fact that I don't want to  get in their way and I don't want to be percieved as a stalker - even if band/crew try to convince me otherwise. This is an issue that has gotten worse with my age, and as I've just turned 40, I felt this could be the last time.

A bunch of fans from Aarhus went to Copenhagen - but this group of friends usually travels together and have atleast a few things we want to do together - this time, we all went separately, as some had to visit friends and family and we all stayed different places. We did manage to agree on meeting on a bar close to the venue, before the gig.

Wife and I, went to the venue first, as I was of course uncertain about getting tickets. Simon Watson (their manager) came to meet us - I got a short cold handshake - wife got a long hug! We were invited upstairs for a coffee - I was keen on getting back as I don't like being in their way at this point, as they usually do soundchecks. But no no - there was a small surprise after a few chats with Simon, Dave, Nic, Rob and Neil.


"aaah, so this is the Human League messageboard I've heard so much about?". "Yeah, this is the bunch of people acting up all weird at the front row at every bloody concert!"

Much to my surprise, I was handed a gift and a "happy birthday" - and must admit the moment felt really really surreal, with Simon and Philip laughing at me, while I unpacked a shiny new Nikon D40x camera - a pro camera I secretly have wished for...well, I told my wife about it...and found out that Simon and my wife had corresponded behind my back! should I be worried?!??
 

Trying to get my act together....also, someone must have turned up the heat, I'm sure!

To add to the owerwhelming experience, Simon handed me a 'camera pass' - told me batteries were fully charged, and I could go nuts during the concert. It was noted that the camera pass works through the first 3 songs, before I would be removed by the venue goons - so the pass was changed to an AAA pass, so I could take pictures throughout the concert if I wanted too!



Nice....really really nice - what a gesture. Let me know what you would have said if you were in my shoes - I was speechless!


Wife reading the manual! The guy on the far right is Paul Boswell (Free Trade Agency) - he's responsible for booking all the venues. Notice the sign in the back saying "Marianne, you are more beautiful than beer".


The soundcheck - first time I tried standing behind the band listning!

After some sweating backstage, and trying to come to terms with the situation, we went for a brief soundcheck, before heading down to the bar, where all our friends awaited.


Wife standing in the way!


Meeting with our friends and I tried hard not to look like someone who just recieved the shag of his life - I doubt I succeded.


The guy in the front is a police man - he does look more like a criminal, but that's beside the point - he still claims that he gave me a vinyl version of Dare a few years ago - yeah right - like I needed one!

If you read the messageboard, you have without a doubt seen all the great photos and read all the great reviews - I can't really add anything new to that. Faaantastic gig - greatest so far - looooooved the Dare! tracks, but it was over far to early. To hear 'Do Or Die' for the first time was fantastic - I really enjoyed 'Darkness', 'I Am The Law' - but for some reason 'Being Boiled' blew me away this year - sounded fantastic, and I absolutely loved the visuals for this one. A small note about the visuals; they usually show some marching Nazi's - but after investigating, they found out that in Germany it's not legal to publically show Nazi or Nazi related stuff - so the video was changed - perhaps a good move, and a testimony to their professionalism.


Officially dropping all the Dr. Who crap, and turning to the real dark side! I talked with Philip about the interview, and he did mention that him and Simon Price suddenly discussed Dr. Who...to which I replied "geeks", boy that felt good!

I also think their voices were absolutely stunningly good - especially if you take in consideration that this was close to the end of the tour. The reception of the band from my fellow countrymen was really a concern, as the last two times they played here (2003 and 2006) were both on some field in the middle of nowhere infront of a bunch of hillbillies - but with a sold-out Vega and lots of fans, my worries were soon put to rest. The really odd thing was to see very young people attending the concert - the 40-something was sort of expected - but boys and girls around 22-25!??


Rob Sinclair (Lightning/Set designer + video projections) at work - it's Rob on the left - and may I add an extremely nice and talented chap.

With my 'Access All Area' pass, I enjoyed walking around the venue feeling important... not that anyone noticed it, but that didn't matter! :-)

I got into the "box" with the sound/visual guys and took a few photos. Now the reason there aren't so many concert photos is that many are pretty blurred - it's a brand new camera, and a new technology, so I have to read the manual. Besides - standing infront of the people on first row was embarrasing - you took their view + you were standing so close to the band members you could touch them - I felt out of place, and moved on rather quickly - I'm not sure if it was because it was in Denmark - had it been in Britain, I probably wouldn't care! :-)


Taken from within the mixing desk booth.


This double picture shows a balcony on a balcony - one of the balconies were in motion, and I had to freeze frame that...sorry, but it was very distracting!


I look like I'm in love with mr. Dave Beevers!!! At one point Niels told about his freakin' number plate frame with "The Human League" printed on - we ALL agreed that putting that on a Berlingo was a disgrace to the band name - no one thought the Berlingo could be classified as a car, anyway!

After the show, we were invited backstage. Again, these weird moments were you feel out of place and you don't know what to expect emerged. And the lesson is - relax! we sat for more than an hour talking with the guys about everything - it was so nice and relaxed - much like previous meetings. The girls were downstairs - but I think the topics being discussed wouldn't interested them one bit anyway, so that didn't matter. It was fun, extremely enjoyable chats in a really good atmosphere.

This is '∆bleskiver' - I think it's a Danish thing - they stood waiting for the band backstage, but I think only Dave dared to eat one!

You eat them with jam and some sort of sugar - you know the powder sugar looking like cocaine? - I don't know the name, okay?!


aaah, check out the two pathetic old men boring the hell out of innocent band members! I asked Philip about the reception of 'Get Carter' - he told it was very different from gig to gig - he had worked out a little "revenge" if people were too chatty in the audience - he would hold an extra long pause before the repeat - nasty! :-)


Neil signing a programme. Philip was so kind mentioning the tour programme during the concert, only to be met with silence - I can only assume it's because my fellow country men doesn't quite grasp the english language....ahem. :-)


Dave getting technical on our arses! You gotta love this nice guy, who finally is in the limelight instead of tucked away behind boxes on stage. A huge thank you to both Dave and Simon for making all this "getting close" possible in the first place!

After an hour or so, the band had to leave for their next gig. "so, aren't you coming to Oslo or Stockholm" we were asked - and then Niels and I looked at each other... mumbling about working days, kids, and other stuff, while saying goodbye to them - we are soooooo rock'n'roll!!!!

Then we found a bar - talked the whole evening through - wife got sick - I destroyed our new car the next morning - back to work....zzzzz.

...and now it's Christmas time! I guess I could do all this again in 2008!

 
   
 

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