Jo Callis, ex of The Human League, returns to perform his classic era material
Solo show Dec 6 at the Hard Rock Cafe, Glasgow – following The Human League’s Glasgow concert
Solo track Woah Yeah! soon
Jo Callis is one of the few British pop musicians who’s enjoyed two bites of success. First with new wave icons The Rezillos, and then with synth pop pioneers The Human League.
Now he returns to his classic era with a solo band performing some of the material he wrote during his League era – putting a classic 1980s spin on the music. The show features original-style production values with the help of collaborator Steve Adam. Expect some tracks that were released at the time – along with previously unheard material.
Jo Callis: “Hearing about the latest Human League box set Anthology: A Very British Synthesizer Group got me thinking that I was sitting on a whole load of material, in various stages of completion, that never made it onto a League album – and in most cases was never released at all.
“I thought it might be nice for some of it to see the light of day. Enter Steve Adam, who, after hearing it, said it was ‘fucking brilliant’ and made the outpourings of Mozart, Beethoven and the like sound like drivelling pish. He asked if he could have a go at ‘rebooting’ it. (Contemporary film industry term for rehashing old ideas because you can’t be arsed thinking up new ones.)
“‘My thoughts exactly, Steve,’ said I.
“’Well,’ says Steve, ‘Get your guitar our and let’s rock, you left-handed twat.’ So I did.”
In an increasingly common tale of generations passing the torch, Jo’s return comes in collaboration with Steve Adam, known for his work with 80s genre outfit Party Fears Three.
Steve Adam: “The electronic music revolution of the early 80s represents one of the most enduring and innovative eras ever in music. Anybody, like me, who was inspired during that unique time, will be well aware of Jo’s pivotal contribution to some of the most important records of the day.
“It’s extremely rewarding to work alongside Jo, revisiting his catalogue and playing many of these songs live for the first time. But best of all has been the chance to explore a few tantalising ‘what-ifs’ by breathing new life into his ideas.”
Jo launches his track Woah Yeah! soon. Steve describes it as a “case in point” for the whole project, explaining: “It was first recorded just before Jo began working with the League. When I suggested it lent itself to an electronic makeover, he said he’d thought about re-recording it like that with legendary League producer Martin Rushent. From that moment we couldn’t resist the chance to see how it might have turned out if that had happened.”
Jo plays his first show of a new era at Glasgow’s Hard Rock Cafe on December 6 as an aftershow event for The Human League’s appearance at the nearby Royal Concert Hall, earlier the same night.