The latest headliners to grace the Dreamland stage were The Human League – and they’ve finally made it there after 40 years.
Arriving just as the sun starts going down to find a buzzing crowd on a warm Friday night gets the adrenaline and excitement for a true 80s party.
With the support show coming from Marc Almond of Soft Cell and the band’s anthem Tainted Love playing as we got in, there were some real legends of the decade pounding out the tunes.
Alongside the retro backdrop of the park, it was a perfect combination of colour, lights, pumping synths, keyboards and electro-drums.
The transformation Dreamland has seen over the past decade or so is incredible to be welcoming pop stars and thousands of people every weekend.
The massive array of bars and food trucks, lights from the rides, the big wheel and the scenic railway make for a unique and special arena.
Opening up with aptly-named The Sound of the Crowd, Philip Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley and their musicians walked out to the stage to huge cheers, the packed Dreamland crowd certainly sounded like they were ready for the show ahead.
Then leading through with hits including Mirror Man, Love Action, the soulful ballard One Man In My Heart and the extremely dance-able and simple to sing-along-to Tell Me When, the atmosphere was building for the grand finale everyone knew was coming.
The thing which struck out to me about this latest gig in the Summer Series at the Margate venue was the huge age range of people enjoying the music at the end of the week.
Teenage girls and boys and those children of the 90s (which is the bracket I fall into) who weren’t born when The Human League were pumping out these bangers yet still singing out like we knew every word.
That’s perhaps the beauty of their music where in fact I’m somewhat of a novice to the band’s back catalogue and honestly, had to do some searching on Spotify and YouTube to become more familiar.
Yet because the tracks are so catchy after just a few bars of the main riff and the first chorus you can pretty much sing-along like you’ve always known them, even if you weren’t in the least bit familiar in the first place.
Typing away now the songs keep bouncing around my head.
Returning to the crowd and looking around, you’ve got banks of people partying along; the groups of friends reliving their youths from when these guys were on Top of the Pops and waiting for the next release to hit the airwaves - as opposed to my aforementioned streaming search to get to know this band.
Then, the couples now in their 60s who probably met in the clubs and pubs 40 years ago and fell in love while dancing and singing away at the discos.
It all made for a cracking atmosphere.
Although in typical fashion, an ill-timed trip to the toilet and top-up at the bar just as the opening bars of Don’t You Want Me rang around prompted a rush back to my spot so as to not miss the big moment!
An extended instrumental got the crowd singing the first lines before Oakey, Catherall and Sulley took the acclaim and returned to belt out those immortal lyrics along with the thousands of others.
Surely that’s not the end, there’s still one more they haven’t done, I thought...
And not to disappoint, back they came for two more culminating the night with the anthem Together in Electric Dreams rounding off a truly fanstastic feast of the 80s.
Let’s hope it’s not another 40 years until they’re back in Margate because Human League, we do want you, baby!