It seems that synth legend Gary Numan has become very popular again in recent years and 2011 is no exception. With the release of ‘Dead Son
Rising’ the album has received the best reviews for any of his previous albums. Gary has also picked up two awards this year Mojo magazine awarded him the ‘Inspiration’ Award and only a few weeks ago he claimed the first ever Artrocker Legend Award presented by John Foxx
I arrived early in Leamington Spa for the second leg of the Dead Son Rising’ Tour on a cold December evening and started chatting to fans at the front of the queue and found out that Gary Numan must have the most loyal fans around. The first four people that I spoke to had seen 1000 shows between them spanning Gary’s entire three decade’s in the music business. One fan, Jim Napier, who runs the Gary Numan North American Fan Club, has followed Gary all over the world and has attended over 300 shows.
As the house lights dim a carpet of smoke spreads across the stage. The capacity crowd chant ‘Numan Numan Numan’, we see four silhouetted figures moving across the stage during the chilling set opener ’Resurrection’. We get our first glimpse of the Dark Messiah, as he emerges from the shadows and takes the applause with a slight smile.” Down In The Park” sounds epic as Numan wields his microphone aloft in a series of classic rock poses. ‘Haunted’ has a Zeppelin style crunching rock riff which guitarist Tim Muddiman delivers with effortless grace.
With the set list leaning towards the DSR album, which is to be expected, ‘Films ‘and ‘Everyday I Die’ sound as fresh tonight as they did over 30 years ago. Tracks like’ Big Noise Transmission’ and ‘Dead Sun Rising’ have an arena-filling grandiose about them.
The pace is slowed down with ‘Absolution’ and ‘For The Rest Of My Life’ [with its classic Numan mournful keyboard sound ] this fills the Assembly Rooms with a majestic beauty. Solo keyboard player, Ade Fenton, knows the sound and understands it’s power as demonstrated with his outstanding production on the DSR album.
The set closes with one of my favorite live tracks ‘I Die, You Die’ at this point I’m stood behind the sound desk and the sound is breath taking. Gary very rarely does audience banter, But tonight he tells that, “ As you can see there are only four of us onstage as David Brooks is abroad and Bass guitarist Tim became a dad tonight. “So we have worked extra hard to fill in the Gaps” Numan’s honestly is greeted with the loudest cheers of the night, that is until we hear the opening of ‘Cars’ followed by the set closer ‘ Are Friends Electric’.
Two number one singles to close the set was the perfect ending. I thought the show was great considering the events that happened earlier in the day. The tour bus was involved in a crash and then losing two band members. The remaining four members did a very professional job on stage and this couldn’t have been easy at times. But everyone in the room appreciated it.
So, 2012 looks like being a promising year for Gary Numan with a new album and tour planned and now that the Music industry recognizes that Mr. Numan was years ahead of his time, his music will continue to influence new bands and artists. I say long may it continue.
Thanks to Steve Malins for making this review possible.
Down In The Park
When The Sky Bleeds,He Will Ccome
Big Noise Transmission
Dead Son Rising
Everyday I Die
We Are The Lost
For The Rest Of My Life
Everything Comes Down To This
I Die,You Die
My Shadow In Vain
Are Friends Electric?
Review and Photos – Ian Dunn