Fascinating talks on September’s British Music Experience schedule
5 months ago
The British Music Experience is hosting two special In Conversation evenings in September.
The first, on September 8th, will feature Heaven 17 and former Human League member Martyn Ware, while the second sees acclaimed music writer Will Hodgkinson visiting the venue.
Musician, composer, arranger, record producer, and music programmer Martyn Ware visits to mark the launch of his memoir, Electronically Yours: Vol1.
The Human League and Heaven 17 were among some of the most pioneering bands of the late 1970s and 1980s, with Martyn Ware having played an integral role in each of their numerous successes.
Described by David Bowie as ‘the future of music’, Ware toured with the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Iggy Pop before having the colossal hit albums Penthouse and Pavement and The Luxury Gap with Heaven 17.
In Electronically Yours, Martyn takes us through his incredible route to stardom; from his austere but sometimes-happy upbringing in the heart of Sheffield and close teenage friendship with former-bandmate Phil Oakey, to the white-hot experimentation in the ‘Synth Britannia’ era and his production career, which allowed him to work with some of the world’s greatest singers, including Tina Turner.
A proud socialist, Martyn writes poignantly about and its role in his music creation and Britain today. With meditations on culture, humour, travel and sport, Martyn also shares his love of 60s films, explains why Venice is the most beautiful city in the world, and reveals how Sheffield Wednesday has forever been his first and eternal passion.
Discover amusing anecdotes, raw confessions, and moving reflections of a life well and truly lived at the height of the music industry.
Martyn will be in-conversation with news reporter and presenter, Phil Williams.
For the second event, on September 22nd, Will Hodgkinson will be looking at the pure pop phenomenon of the 1970s following the publication of his book, In Perfect Harmony: Singalong Pop in ’70s Britain.
While bands such as Pink Floyd, Queen and Fleetwood Mac were ruling the albums chart; the singles chart was swinging to the tune of million-selling blockbusters by the likes of Brotherhood of Man, the Sweet and the Wombles.
These were the songs you heard on Radio 1, on Saturday-night TV, at youth clubs, down the pub and even emanating from your parents’ record player… It was never cool, but it was the real soundtrack of the decade. Against a rainy, smog-filled backdrop of three-day weeks, and national strikes this unending stream of novelty songs, sentimental ballads, glam-rock stomps and finely crafted pop nuggets offered escape, uplift, romance and the promise of eternal childhood – all recorded with one goal in mind: a smash hit.
A definitive, in-depth exploration of mainstream pop in 1970s Britain, this comprehensive chronicle of a shapeshifting musical decade explores how an unlikely mix of backroom songwriters, revitalised rockers, actors, producers, teen stars and children turned pop into the dominant sound and vision of the 1970s.
Will Hodgkinson is author of the music books Guitar Man, Song Man, The Ballad of Britain and the childhood memoir The House is Full of Yogis. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian, Mojo and Vogue and presented the Sky Arts television series Songbook. Since 2010, he has been chief rock and pop critic for The Times.
He said: “I had a simple goal with In Perfect Harmony: to take seriously the singalong pop of 70s Britain, which so far has not been taken seriously at all. From bubblegum to brickie glam, suburban disco to cabaret pop, this is the music that soundtracked everyday lives and for that reason it has a story to tell. Someone had to explore the geopolitical significance of Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep by Middle of the Road. Someone needed to find out why Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade became the people’s anthem in the age of the Three Day Week. That someone, it turned out, was me.”
Both books will be available on their respective nights and signing sessions will follow the talks.