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Flashback: Heaven 17, UB40 & T’Pau chat to The Star

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Step by step... day by day... Sheffield’s Temptation electro kings Heaven 17 have never been closer to releasing their first new studio album in years as they prepare for a live nostalgia spectacular, writes Graham Walker.

They are on a retro bill of 1980s and ’90s legends during a two-day festival.

Reggae super band UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, T’Pau star Carol Decker, Jason Donovan, Go West, Heather Small, and The Doctor (Doctor & The Medics) will appear with them at the Flashback Festival, in the grounds of Nostell Priory, on Saturday, June 14.

Jazz, blues and boogie-woogie piano man Jools Holland, with his 20-piece Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, plus guests Melanie C, Marc Almond, Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall, will perform on Sunday, June 15.

The star-studded event, set in 300 acres of countryside at the stately home, is just 50 minutes drive north of Sheffield, near Wakefield.

And ahead of it, Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory, UB40’s Ali Campbell and T’Pau’s Carol Decker have been speaking exclusively to The Star’s Graham Walker - listen to their interviews in full and also watch them perform some of their big hits. Click the links below.

Day tickets for the festival, subject to fees, are £37.95 each, children under-14, £22, under fives free but pre-booked ticket required.

Call 0845 075 6101 or buy at www.ukeventsandproduction.com. Camping tickets also available.

HEAVEN SENT POP IDOLS TEMPED BACK IN A FLASH

LISTEN: Hear Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory in conversation with Graham Walker - CLICK HERE.

WATCH: See Heaven 17 performing hit single Penthouse and Pavement - CLICK HERE.

Heaven 17 singer Glenn Gregory and keyboard wizard Martyn Ware, also a co-founder of The Human League, are having flashback memories of their own ahead of the northern homecoming, as they complete their first new album in 12 years.

It follows a massive fan base revival at live gigs. They toured debut album Penthouse and Pavement, then second and best selling album, The Luxury Gap – made in Sheffield 31 years ago, featuring hits Come Live with Me, Crushed by the Wheels of Industry and their biggest, anthemic hit, Temptation.

The chart-toppers headlined at Tramlines, have sold out UK venues including Sheffield’s O2 Academy, and were back recently to help raise £62,000 at The Star backed Women Of Steel legends concert at Sheffield City Hall.

In an exclusive chat - listen to it in full online at thestar.co.uk - Glenn told The Star they are excited not only to be back playing to thousands of fans, new and old, but to have memories of recording in Sheffield come flooding back as they put the finishing touches to an album of new songs, due out later this year.

“We wondered about doing it the modern way, me in my studio and Martyn in his, and to almost do it remotely. But we thought, ‘No, let’s do it together, old school’.

“We have all the old stuff plugged in from back in the day - the Roland System 100 and the SH1, as well as some really new equipment.

“At the moment it’s a creative love fest. Martyn and I get on really well. We see each other a lot. The only time we really argue is when we’re in the studio, but that’s the kind of creative battle you need to have to make sure good stuff comes together.

“We don’t have a working title. We’re not even sure how we’re going to release it yet. We’re having lots of conversations, whether to do just vinyl, text 5,000 copies and that’s your lot, or perhaps sell it with a ticket to a concert. It’s going to be something exciting.

“We’re hoping to have it finished by halfway through the summer and it will come out in the autumn. We’re not at the state yet to play it to other people.”

But of the Nostell Priory gig he assured fans: “We will be playing the hits and make sure everyone has a good time. And yes, we will be singing Temptation. It’s one of those songs people love.”

Music festival day tickets, subject to fees, are £37.95 each day, children under-14, £22, under fives free but pre-booked ticket required. Call 0845 075 6101 or buy at www.ukeventsandproduction.com. Camping tickets also available.

UB40 LEGEND ALI CAMPBELL BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT

LISTEN: Hear UB40’s Ali Campbell in conversation with Graham Walker - CLICK HERE.

WATCH: See UB40 performing hit single Red, Red Wine - CLICK HERE.

There’s little love lost between UB40 legend Ali Cambell and his older brother Duncan - after his sibling took over the lead vocals of the band and released a country album.

Ali, aged 55, who angrily quit Britain’s biggest selling reggae band ‘over management difficulties’ five years ago, teamed up with keyboard player Mickey Virtue and disenchanted Astro, real name Terence Wilson.

Now they are back, on a world tour, with a new album on the way - with Ali claiming he and his reunited mates are, of course, the real UB40.

The Red Red Wine and I Got You Babe chart-topper, speaking exclusively to The Star - hear his chat in full at thestar.co.uk - said: “What you’ve got are two UB40s out there.

“One has got the original singer and the other hasn’t. We’re letting the fans decide. They decided when they didn’t buy the country album. It’s dreadful.”

But it will be reggae all the way when he belts out all the hits, as he originally sung them, on their world tour which plays at the Flashback Festival, at Nostell Priory, on June 14.

Music festival day tickets, subject to fees, are £37.95 each day, children under-14, £22, under fives free but pre-booked ticket required. Call 0845 075 6101 or buy at www.ukeventsandproduction.com. Camping tickets also available.

T’PAU STAR CAROL DECKER STILL GIVING HER HEART AND SOUL

LISTEN: Hear T’Pau’s Carol Decker in conversation with Graham Walker - CLICK HERE.

WATCH: See T’Pau, featuring Carol Decker, performing singature hit China In Your Hand- CLICK HERE.

China in Your Hand star Carol Decker hit the charts with T’Pau a quarter of a century ago but jokes she’s kept her youthful good looks by being ‘pickled in white wine’.

It’s actually more to do with her work ethic - like the title of her favourite T’Pau song, she always gives her Heart And Soul.

“I love Heart and Soul. Personally it’s my favourite. The way we got the rap vocal mixed in with the singing vocal, as a songwriter, I’m really proud of how clever it is,” said Carol, who plays the Flashback Festival at Nostell Priory, on June 14.

“Obviously China in Your Hand was our biggest hit and it’s a fantastic classic ballad. It’s become a little national treasure. I can’t believe I helped to write it. But from a professional point of view I get my kicks from Heart and Soul.”

Of her poster pin-up good looks, at the age of 56, she modestly laughs: “I’m pickled in white wine. I find that’s a good preservative.

“I look after myself a bit. I’m no angel. I’m quite a party girl but lucky genes and, if I’m honest, little trips to the beauty salon now and then help, if I think I’m looking a bit shabby.”

Music festival day tickets, subject to fees, are £37.95 each day, children under-14, £22, under fives free but pre-booked ticket required. Call 0845 075 6101 or buy at www.ukeventsandproduction.com. Camping tickets also available.

WHAT ARE YOUR MUSICAL MEMORIES OF THE 1980S?

Email us your words to letters@thestar.co.uk, email your photos to readerpics@thestar.co.uk, tweet us @SheffieldStar, send us a Facebook message at www.facebook.com/sheffieldstar, or write to us at Letters To The Editor, The Star, York Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S11PU.

 

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