Gary Numan - Nottingham, England, 2nd December 2009
|Event:||Gary Numan: Pleasure Principle UK + Ireland Tour 2009|
|Written by:||Baz Anderson|
Gary Numan - Nottingham, England, 2nd December 2009 by Baz Anderson (30)
Gary Numan and Dirty Harry, not the likeliest of combinations. With the venue starting to fill up, these were the events of the evening:
Main support Dirty Harry brought along a pop rock experience of no particular lasting value. Although easy on the eye, and clearly a competent and confidant frontwoman and dominant voice, she didn't bring any standout material to warrant much more attention. This girl has a great talent, but at the moment doesn't seem to have the means to use it properly.
The stage dark, the audience eager, a few shadowy figures emerged on stage and stood at their posts. One of them, the legend Gary Numan. No grand entrances required as the man began working his magic on the synthesiser without any greetings or introductions. Not once apart from brief thanks at the end and to dedicate a song to a fellow fallen comrade, did Gary speak to the audience. A Gary Numan show is about the atmosphere, about the mood and how his music evokes these things within each person. On top of being synthpop and dark wave pioneer, he is a masterful frontman to his own band, who knows how to portray his music effectively on stage.
Gathered for this ceremony was a vast and diverse array of spectators. Drunken teenage girls to official businessmen types in suits to the odd heavy metaller, and everything in between. Although humans of all different stages of life could be found in the busy venue this evening, the main bulk of the audience were middle-aged men and women. Not surprising as this current "Pleasure Principle" tour is celebrating 30 years since Gary's peak of commercial popularity with his album of the same name back in 1979. "The Pleasure Principle" used no guitars, but fed synthesisers through guitar pedals to create the distinctive, defining sound still attributed to him today. The Numanoids were out tonight, constantly whistling and shouting out "Numan!" in appreciation.
It is testament to the "Pleasure Principle" album that 30 years later in 2009, the entire album can be played to an audience as numerous as this and received as warmly as it was. That's right, the whole album from front to back in all of its glory visiting singles "Complex" and the universally known "Cars" relatively early in the set, not to mention the album's somewhat unsung highlight "M.E.". The set could therefore be seen as one of two halves with what was to follow. The old and the new Gary Numan. Away from the synthpop, Gary Numan has released a number of albums in recent years of dark, hard hitting, industrial music.
The second half of the set contained more of these industrial belters from his newer albums, such as "Pure", and from his latest offering, "Halo" and "Jagged". These accompanied by old friends such as "Down In The Park" and "Are 'Friends' Electric?" made this second half of the set just as enjoyable, if not more so than the first half. The bass was heavy, the whole sound was full and powerful. Numan's emotionless, robotic singing conveyed emotion on a different level, and nothing stood the hairs on your neck more than the ethereal, soaring synthesisers. An encore later and "A Prayer For The Unborn" from one of the more recent albums closed the set with force in dramatic and epic fashion. Musically and atmospherically mind-blowing. A set of history and a set of raw bleakness in beautiful audible industrial form.
Down In The Park
Are 'Friends' Electric?
We Are So Fragile
A Prayer For The Unborn
Thanks to Steve Malins for the accreditation.
Written, and photos by Barry Anderson.
||Written on 03.12.2009 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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