After knocking around for a few years in their native Paris, core pair Axel Basquiat and Vincent T have come to London and are chucking us their latest single 'Now Now Now', well, now. With just that right mixture of eager-to-please grooves and rock star diffidence, The Penelopes feel just one big chorus away from a serious breakthrough.
They even managed to make us forget, briefly, that we're about to see electropop godfathers (and mothers) The Human League. The band are celebrating their 35th anniversary. Phil Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley have of course been The Human League for a little less than that - the girls joining in the early 1980s after the Heaven 17-ers left.
Not that there's any place for all that water under the bridge on this celebratory night, as the band take in all the finest moments of their three and a half decades in the industry. From their earliest, most groundbreaking bits of electro ('Being Boiled') to tracks from last year's much underrated Credo ('Night People'), Phil, Jo and Su get the Royal Albert Hall moving in a middle-aged melee of dodgy dancing and smiles.
There's a fair sprinkling of hits over the whole set, including mid-'90s commercial high point 'Tell Me When' and the brilliantly facile/fantastic political treatise 'The Lebanon' ("Before he leaves the camp he stops/ He scans the world outside/ And where there used to be some shops/ Is where the snipers sometimes hide"). Giorgio Moroder co-write 'Together in Electric Dreams' ends the night and is as joyous as ever.
Predictably though, what really gets people on their feet are those Dare singles. Souped up with the keytar/drums/synth of the backing group, 'Don't You Want Me', 'Love Action (I Believe In Love)' and 'The Things That Dreams Are Made Of' are totally freed from their Here & Now/Fiat/Yuppie chains. Tonight, they reverberate around this swanky establishment like the pop monsters they are.
There are costume changes aplenty - Oakey goes from slick flasher mac to white hoodie to suave suite via a Mourinho jacket. Joanne and Susan seem to lose a new layer of clothing after every half-dozen songs. Like The Rolling Stones, the two women explode the myth that rock 'n' roll is about youth, while underlining the fact it is all about sex appeal. And as well as those gorgeous voices, that sex appeal is still every bit as present tonight as the hits.
Susan notes that The Human League's 35 years is only 15 short of the Stones' half-century. Sure, those years (1962-1977) were arguably pop's most important, but it's still a sobering thought. While Mick and Keef are widely celebrated the world over, our icons and trailblazers from other eras are all-too frequently shunted onto reality telly and nostalgia tours. If tonight is anything to go by, we hope these three will still be around in 2027, proving the doubters wrong.
Watch The Human League play 'Don't You Want Me' at the Royal Albert Hall below: