Wow, wow, wow!!!
10th May 2022 – 02 Acadamy Glasgow
When an artist has been around for several decades and goes on tour it will, more likely than not, be a professional and polished act. It can, sometimes, be a bit of the same old same; play the hits, take the applause and move on to the next town.
Gary Numan has been around since… forever really. He’s moved from genre to genre, costume to costume but, for the last few albums at least, he has settled on a certain sound. Sure, the soaring synths are still there but he has developed a Nine Inch Nails-esque vibe to sit alongside his signature sound and dressed it up in a post-apocalyptic package. The humanoid persona has been replaced and developed over time and we now have a Mad Max-style bonafide rock star; the voice is the same, some of the sounds are the same and the shy, almost awkward, Gary Numan is still there somewhere but it’s just become bigger and better over time.
Tonight Mr. Numan has brought his current tour to Glasgow and, if the reviews of the gigs so far are to be believed, we are in for a treat. Glasgow is the spiritual home of Gary Numan as he played his first major live tour gig here in 1979 at the (in)famous Apollo Theatre. Gary could turn up here and play the kazoo to the beat of clattering spoons and he would be pretty much guaranteed an ovation of sorts… he can do no wrong in the city of Glasgow.
To start the night off and warm up the crowd Gary’s special guests stride confidently on stage to a small, but enthusiastic, crowd. Divine Shade has been making waves on the tour so far so this promises to be a good starter to the main course.
The trio, who hail from France, do not disappoint and the hype is justified. Dark and cold is the menu du jour as the crowd swells to an impressive number for a support band. Many have tried to arrive early to hear for themselves if the plaudits from previous gigs are deserved; the ovation at the end of the set suggests that they were. Divine Shade has the credentials to soon be headlining.
At a slightly earlier start time than usual for gigs, the lights dim and the walk-on soundtrack begins; The awesome light show is already giving us a hint of what lies ahead. The band members appear one by one from the stage side to enthusiastic applause before Gary arrives in a rapturous ovation and the long-established chants of “Nuuuuuuuman“.
The set begins with “Intruder” and “Remind me to Smile” and he already has the crowd in the palm of his hand although, to be honest, that was never in doubt.
The set showcases the extraordinary catalogue of Numan from the beginning until now and almost every song includes the famous “dance” moves from the main man. He gives his everything and, although they aren’t exactly moving like Jagger, the energy seems like that of a twenty-year-old and not that of a 64-year-old! If he could only bottle the energy and enthusiasm and sell it. It’s not choreographed or in any way manufactured. It’s just Gary being Gary and not giving a t*ss as he leaves everything out on that stage.
The 20-song set is ripped through and, all too soon, “Are Friends Electric” signals the end of what can only be described as a triumph of music, light, and dancing like no one is watching. But… we were watching and the whole experience was a thing of beauty.
Haste ye back Mr Numan!!