Psalter Lane, Sheffield S11 8UZ
Psalter Lane/Sheffield Art CollegeVenue for The Human League's 1st live gig

The Human League started out in 1977 founded by members Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh. Fueled by their passion for German electronic pioneers, Kraftwerk, the pair decided to invest in a KORG 700s synthesizer, which had only recently been made available to the consumer market. They began to perform live under the name of 'The Dead Daughters'. The two then went on to form a band with Adi Newton (Clock DVA) called 'The Future'.

'The Future' was a solely electronic band, which at the time was almost unheard of, and only lived a short life before Adi left to form Clock DVA in '78. Martyn set out to find a vocalist and recruited school friend Philip, who would go on to become the long standing original member of THL. In their search for a name they decided on The Human League, plucked from a sci-fi board game, 'Star Force'.

Soon after Phil joined they recorded some songs using a 2-track recorder and created their first EP featuring the tracks, 'Being Boiled', 'Circus of Death' and 'Toyota City'. Soon after, they caught the attention of Bob Last from Fast Records, who would continue to support the band as their manager on signing to a larger record label. With a deal struck over the phone THL and Fast Records released 'Being Boiled' in June of '78, the record soon gained the admiration of NME, who would continue to champion the group for many years. Also caught in THL wave was legendary DJ John Peel who said "One day all music will be made this way".

The group performed their first gig live at Sheffield's Bar 2 (Psalter Lane Art College) on June 12th '78. Wanting to recreate the magic live for the audience, the band decided to use backing tapes to overcome the problem of 'unreliable and temperamental equipment'; this was practically unheard of and caused controversy within the Musician's Union. Following their first live gigs, the band gained support slots with The Rezillos and Siouxsie and The Banshees. During the tour David Bowie commented after seeing the group perform live, that he'd "just seen the "future of pop music".