SHEFFIELD’S synth-pop legends Heaven 17 have teamed up with ex-Long Blondes star Kate Jackson to launch the city’s free three-day Tramlines music festival, writes digital editor Graham Walker.
Frontman Glenn Gregory and keyboard wizard Martyn Ware promised a greatest hits set and new tracks when they headlined the Nokia ‘Unannounced Stage’ in Baker’s Pool.
They were due on stage for around an hour at 9pm.
The Temptation hitmakers said it was easy to temp them back to the city where it all began for them more than 30-years ago.
They told The Star they were delighted to kick off proceedings at the UK’s largest free-for-all music festival in a unique celebration of the city’s rich musical heritage.
“We were very excited about this gig. We love Sheffield and playing there. We’ve played all over the city - even on the roof of Sheffield Hallam University. But we had never played an outdoor gig in Baker’s Pool. Nobody has,’’ he said.
“Sheffield has always been really important to music and to have its own festival - and free festival as well - it’s brilliant. It’s fantastic.
VIDEO: Press the play button to see our video report - and return for more on Saturday - including a highlihggt track from the concert.
They surprised revellers with an on-stage collaboration with Kate Jackson to give the audience their take on David Bowie’s Boys Keep Swinging, and Terence Trent D’Arby’s Sign Your Name.
The one-off moment was captured for fans to relive at Nokia’s UK Facebook page: facebook.com/nokia.uk, and at Tramlines TV: tramlines.org.uk/tramlines-tv, as the packed crowd of 3,500 at Barkers Pool in Sheffield went crazy for Sign Your Name, originally produced by Ware in 1987.
The collaboration topped the festival’s opening bill which also included performances from soul vocalist Steve Edwards, best known as the voice behind the Grammy-nominated World Hold On, and Jackson’s new solo material.
Elsewhere at Tramlines, Nokia’s Unannounced Tent played host to other one-off unannounced performances, intimate acoustic sets and exclusive on-stage collaborations from the festival’s artists dropping in for surprise gigs throughout the weekend.
John Nichols, Head of Marketing at Nokia UK said: “We were delighted to showcase the best of Sheffield’s music heroes to such a great crowd to open this year’s Tramlines festival. The bands brought the house down and we were so pleased give those who attended a surprise to kick start their weekend.”
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* See The Star on Monday for a full report, photos and more from Tramlines.