It’s incredible to think that Gary Anthony James Webb has been apart of the music scene for nearly 40 years. Under his more common moniker of Gary Numan the songwriter spawned the late seventies new-wave scene and to this day offers glimpses of just that in his releases, as well as maintaining a healthy presence of the experimental and at times the obscure.
While the early innovatory years of Tubeway Army’s Moog keyboards, phasing and reverb are clearly something that an older generation of fans were introduced to it’s refreshing to see the artist has managed to establish a following that not only contains these now 40-50 somethings (and yes, i am in that fortunate bracket) but also a growing younger audience wanting to see Numan’s latest incarnation of electronic wizardry and from where their current favourites obtained their inspiration.
In a genre that has clearly developed beyond its DIY but acute and simplistic backbone Numan is seen as its instigator. A plethora of artists (Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson) continue to proclaim his work to be their main influence and it is for this reason, and a back catalogue that contains an embarrassment of riches, that this London Brixton Academy homecoming show was filled to capacity.
The setlist was adorned with old and new. Opener ‘Ghost Nation’ from this years ‘Savage’ LP was well received, as was the equally impressive ‘When the World Comes Apart’ – both actually sounding better bare than in their digital form. And the artist didn’t keep the audience waiting for the classics either – ‘Metal’ causing a noticeable rush of nostalgia, and ‘Down in the Park’ almost taking the roof off.
There were also noticeable outings for 2013’s ‘Love Hurt Bleed’, which is clearly becoming a real fan favourite, and ‘Here in the Black’ which is a huge curveball of a track and always well received.
But obviously it would always always be ‘Cars’ and ‘Are Friends Electric’ that were going to be the most popular, and thankfully neither disappointed. Numan gave them both a new coat of paint and their synth-based cores were backed up with raw guitars, pulsating drums and oodles of unashamed swagger … it was at times quite spine-tingling.
Gary Numan plays the last date of his UK tour in Southend tonight (18th October 2017) before taking the ‘Savage’ tour to mainland Europe and the US for various dates in November and December – see HERE
The full setlist from the London show is as following…
I’m an Agent
Bed of Thorns
Dead Sun Rising
Down in the Park
Pray for the Pain You Serve
Here in the Black
Love Hurt Bleed
My Name is Ruin
When the World Comes Apart
A Prayer for the Unborn
Are Friends Electric