There’s a packed calendar of delights on offer at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern over Christmas and New Year including the mighty Beefmince on New Year’s Eve. On 1 January, New Year Year’s Day, it’s Anthem Old Skool Reunion including a very special set from Jonathan Hellyer, the man who used to stand just behind the DE Experience. Dave Cross had a catch to find out about The Numan League.
Hi Jonathan, we know you haven’t performed for a while, are you excited to be back at The RVT on New Year’s Day?
Hey Dave! Well, if I’m honest, I’m a bit like a kid right now – lots of lovely nerves and anticipation at the thought of coming home. That’s how it feels and I know I’m playing a venue… but this is totally different. The RVT isn’t some bar, it’s where I’ve learned so much and made so many precious memories and, of course, so many awesome friends. You know how people say ‘We don’t meet up for ages but when we do it’s just like we met yesterday’… that’s The RVT. It’s definitely home. Definitely family. And I can’t mention my RVT family without saying how fierce it is to be working with DJ Simon Le Vans again, he is my brother. It never feels like work at the RVT – the crowd are sublime, the sound is awesome and the atmosphere is like a safe, warming, fuzzy-feeling love affair. I can’t wait!
This is not going to be Edna, please tell us what you will be doing?
A few years ago I met a musician called Jonathan Wakelin up in Worcestershire where I now live. He is a programmer nerd who plays synth and guitar, and like me, he adores pretty much all 80s music. We decided when we met that one day we would start an 80s tribute band and I announced then that we would be called The Numan League – a cheeky nod of worship and respect to two of the most iconic and influential icons of the decade. I think what Jonathan and I love about the 80s is the drama in the look and the lyrics…and we’re both nuts about electro pop and cabaret. JW cut his teeth in trance music production and DJing and I… well.. shall we say I’ve done a few shows in my time?
Although you’re hanging up the OTT glasses, glittery frocks and purple wig, can we still expect some of your trademark zingers and hilarious observations?
Haha! A gig ain’t a gig unless it’s entertaining. I’ve never been the type to stand on stage and just sing, and there’s nothing wrong with taking a slightly satirical slant at one or two artists from that era, so I think we can pretty much guarantee we’re going to have a fantastic, camp time and a hoot… and all while we get to pay loving homage to Gods like Visage, Gary Numan, The Human League and Erasure (whose biggest hit ever is getting an unplugged makeover).
Can you tell us some of the songs The Numan League will be performing?
We’re loving Cyndi Lauper’s True Colours so much – it speaks volumes about loving yourself just as you are – a message we’ve always needed, but never more so than in these times of fear and hostility. Kim Wilde’s Kids In America and PSB’s West End Girls have taken their place in the set and (SURPRISE!) Kate Bush has managed to find her way into the ‘Running’ order too (I couldn’t help myself), Depeche Mode, OMD, Soft Cell and Black’s Wonderful Life have been added to the ensemble of brilliance we’re honouring. Looking at the set list, I can honestly say there’s something for everyone. A few of the songs I’ve sung before, some are first timers, but ALL of them are songs we love. We’re proud to be bring The Numan League to The RVT for New Year’s Day – it’s a total trip and an honour.