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Heaven 17


12 Upcoming Events

United Kingdom

12 Events
Loaded 12 out of 12 events



Synth-pop group that embraced the power of politics in the post-punk era

Coming out of Sheffield in 1980, Heaven 17 were created by synth master and songwriter Martin Ware, keyboardist and composer Ian Craig Marsh, and vocalist Glen Gregory. They took their name from the fictional band in Anthony Burgess’ dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange.

Previously, both Ware and Marsh were founding members of The Human League, writing and playing on the debut single Being Boiled as well as the group’s first two albums. After leaving because of creative differences, they launched the production company British Electric Foundation and released a cassette of instrumentals called Music For Stowaways and the record Music For Listening To before establishing their new wave and synth-pop trio.

H17’s debut album Penthouse And Pavement came out in 1981. Its melodic pop songs addressed the politics of the time, particularly Sheffield’s economic crisis following the deconstruction of the city’s steel industry under Margaret Thatcher. The track (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang famously reached No.45 on the UK singles chart, even though it was banned from public airplay.

Their follow-up The Luxury Gap arrived in 1983 and became Heaven 17’s best-selling album, charting at No.4 and spawning singles like Temptation, Come Live With Me and Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry.

The band’s next three albums ­– 1984’s How Men Are, 1986’s Pleasure One and 1988’s Teddy Bear, Duke & Psycho – continued their signature style of juxtaposing upbeat, danceable tracks with lyrics centred around their views on everything from the arms race and nuclear war to religious extremism.

The ’90s were a quiet period for Heaven 17, as they only released one album, 1996’s Bigger Than America. Although failing to chart in the UK, it did peak at No.1 in Germany and was generally well received by critics. Primarily a studio act, in 1997 the band played their first ever live concerts.

Nearly a decade passed before H17 revealed their seventh album, 2005’s Before After, which offered a more contemporary dance sound than previous releases.

In 2006, Marsh disappeared, resurfacing in early 2007 but no longer wanting to perform with the band. From this point, Ware and Gregory continued Heaven 17, recording and performing together as a duo. They released the album Naked As Advertised in 2008 and a download-only EP entitled Not For Public Broadcast in 2017. 

Heaven 17 confirmed appearances in August 2021 at Rewind Festival in Cheshire and WonderHall in Lancashire. Their 40th anniversary UK tour dates were also rescheduled to September and November 2021.


Heaven 17 are appearing at Rewind Festival on 6 August and WonderHall on 28 August 2021. Plus H17 are playing 40th anniversary shows from 4 September – 27 November 2021, as well as a date in West Yorkshire on 27 May 2022.

Heaven 17 are visiting the following UK cities and festivals in 2021 and 2022:

  • Rewind North in Cheshire
  • WonderHall in Lancashire
  • Sheffield
  • London
  • Bristol
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham
  • Bournemouth
  • Norwich
  • Glasgow
  • Liverpool
  • Cardiff
  • West Yorkshire

Tickets for Heaven 17’s 2021 and 2022 tour dates are on sale now.