Gary Numan closes his hugely successful Splinter tour tonight in Wolverhampton. The venue is packed out with different generations of Numan fans. The critically aclaimed new album has given Numan his first top 20 album chart spot since the Warriors album in 1983, and definitely one of his best in a long time.
Tonight’s opening act are Losers, a band like last year’s support act, Officers, Gary asked them to join him on this tour. An assured, infectious support performance from a really cool bunch of guys comprising Tom Bellamy (ex-Cooper Temple Clause), drummer Mark Heron, XFM DJ Eddie-Temple-Morris, with the very talented Paul Mullen (ex-The Automatic) on vocals. The set comprises six tracks from their latest album (And So We Shall Never Part). The pacy, driving Acrobatica starts the set off followed by Us vs. Night, Think You, The Chain, the apocalyptic Turn Around and culminating with the simply epic Azan, which Gary has cited as a
major influence on his new album. The album isn’t on general release yet but you could buy it from the Merch stand.Where the band would gladly sign it for you.
9pm. Full house, full of expectation. Gary Numan and band enter the stage shrouded in dry ice to the pounding, industrial sound of heavy guitars and bass intro that is Resurrection. If anyone hasn’t seen Numan in the past fifteen years then this intro is very much a hint of his musical progression over that time. And as if to dispel any lingering doubts, the first track is I Am Dust with it’s grinding intro which clearly gets the fans in the mood.
This is followed by Metal from Gary’s 1979 album The Pleasure Principle – a timeless track which more than stands its ground against the industrial bright young things of the new millennium. Gary then followed this with more powerful tracks from the album Splinter, my favourites being the dark, uncompromising Here in the Black and The Calling. The set continues with a mix of classics and new. Down in the Park is followed by Pure, Splinter and then the very open-hearted Lost. I have never seen Gary Numan fans so quiet as he sang this. Almost bought a tear to my eye.
The set continues with When the Sky Bleeds, We’re the Unforgiven, Love Hurt Bleed – the first single from Splinter – and finally Prayer for the Unborn. After the customary Numan chants from the packed house, Gary returns for the encore to deliver the classic Cars followed by the ritual that is Are Friends Electric. Gary finishes with Splinter’s final track – the emotional, beautifully-crafted My Last Day. A perfect ending to a perfect gig. Yes! Gary Numan is back. Roll on the European tour in February 2014.
I Am Dust
Everything Comes Down to This
Here in the Black
Down in the Park
When the Sky Bleeds, He Will Come
We’re the Unforgiven
Love Hurt Bleed
A Prayer for the Unborn
I Die: You Die
Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
My Last Day
Review by Michelle Griffin
Photographs by Ian Dunn