Gary Numan - Hull City Hall 20.03.2018
Me I Disconnect From You
Down In The Park
Bed Of Thorns
Prey For The Pain You Serve
Here In The Black
Love Hurt Bleed
My Name is Ruin
When The World Comes Apart
Are Friends Electric?
Prayer For The Unborn
My Last Day
When I’m heading in to a Gary Numan show, as I have done countless times before, one thing that always strikes me is just how diverse the audience is and I always find myself asking the same question; I wonder how many of these people know exactly what this show is going to be like? You see, Gary Numan is an ever evolving alternative icon. Gone are the days of the Synth-Pop, New Wave 'Tubeway Army' and the white tux and red bow tie of 'The Fury'. Sure, you will hear a classic or two but I just wonder how many of the audience are expecting the behemoth Numan has become. A master class in Electronic Industrial Metal; crunching guitars, haunting synths topped with Numan’s unique mesmerizing vocals. Although the reinvention of himself was in the mid 90’s, I still hear mutters from the crowd of people expecting a nostalgic trip back to the late 70’s and 80’s, but instead they get a sound more like that of 'The Downward Spiral' era Nine Inch Nails which in itself ties in to a neat little bow considering NIN’s Trent Reznor considers Gary Numan a massive influence on him. It has since become a role reversal with the influenced becoming the influence of the influence, if that makes sense!?!
Tonight’s show is no different.
Opening tonight’s proceedings are LA’s Alt Art Rockers, Nightmare Air, which stars none other than Dave Dupuis, Gary Numan’s tour manager. Pretty handy, that. They set the mood perfectly with their blend of male and female vocal harmonies, pulsating psychedelic synths and goth-tinged shoe-gaze. It’s like watching the musical love child of The Sisters of Mercy and The Cure floating in space!
Carrying on the celebration of his latest release, 'Savage (Songs from a Broken World)', Numan kicks off with the album opener, 'Ghost Nation'. Dressed ready for our inevitably dystopian future, 'Ghost Nation' sets the mood with a heartfelt yet frightening look into the possibilities of mankind, a constant theme in ‘Savage’. The synth bass rumbles the floor as the pulsing beat kicks in and Numan’s haunting opening lines “We hide in a perfect storm, not even God remembers” strikes with the upmost importance.
Numan has been performing now for over 40 years, surprising considering he doesn’t even look 40 himself and it is clear from the start of the show that he knows exactly what he is doing. Dancing around the stage striking poses like a true angst ridden Rock star, combined with a hypnotising light show and a massive wall of sound, the crowd are instantly on their feet (for some reason it was a seated show) and pile to the front, in an orderly manor I may add, this is England after all and we know how to queue!
Numan fires through an incredible set of new masterpieces and updated classic’s including 'Tubeway Army’s' 'Down in the Park' before breaking out in to his latest single, 'My Name is Ruin' which features his young daughter Persia on backing vocals, although, unlike recent performances she couldn’t be here in person to sing it as she had to go back to school! Bless her!
Gary Numan is a man of few words, but it is clear from his smiles that, even after all this time, he still loves being on stage and to be honest he just looks at home.
Of the course the night wouldn’t be complete without the classic 'Cars' and when he breaks in to 'Are Friends Electric?' the crowd instantly break in to the “Woahs”. No matter how many times I see him live, when Numan smiles and delivers the line “You see, this means everything to me” it still sends a shiver down my spine and the crowd erupts in to cheers. It’s always in that moment that, even though it is a pre written lyric, it seems that at this show, right there at that moment in time, he is speaking with such honestly that I truly do believe this means everything to him.
And that’s what it’s all about for the Numan faithful, the ones who have grown up with him and seen him develop and evolve and the ones who have only just been introduced to him all brought together in that moment in time.
This man is an icon to the young and old(er) and truly does mean the world to them. What a legend!
Gary Numan - https://www.facebook.com/GaryNumanOfficial/
Nightmare Air - https://www.facebook.com/nightmareairmusic/
Photos & Review - Benjamin E. Gladstone Photography