I mentioned another post earlier this month that I would soon be off to see Gary Numan at the Barbican in York, well it came around quite quickly and I was there for the show last night. It was a part of the weekend long DV8 festival across a number of York venues. It also seemed like there had been coachloads of Whitby Goths dropped in York for the weekend. It could easily have been a Bram Stoker convention. But really I jest because I love the fact that some people, mostly young, take the time to be a little different with their appearance. That indeed was one of the many things that I loved about my late, great cousin Deborah Schofield who died way too young quite a few years ago now. I reckon she would have enjoyed herself last night.
Catwoman did accompany me, against my best advice, I did tell her that she probably wouldn’t like the music. But she came anyway, to try to share my interest. That is one of the many things that I love her for. But she did leave halfway through Gary Numan’s set, I was pretty darned impressed that she made it that far actually!
So onto the show. Personally I thought the support band were dreadful and sit very easily in amongst the 5 worst bands that I have ever seen and I saw my first gig in 1973. Their musicianship was very good, the songs were mostly average and the lead vocalist, well I believe they need to get one! The bass player really looked the part though, he could have stepped right out of Johnny Thunder‘s Heartbreakers in the late 70s. But that is all just my opinion and they did seem to have quite a few fans. Of course it could be that they weren’t allowed anywhere near a sound check as often happens with support bands. Click here to check out their MySpace page and tell me what you think. I would like to stress that this is my opinion and I look forward to the inevitable backlash!
Luxury Stranger finished at 9.30 and then we waited nearly an hour for the main man Mr Numan to arrive on stage, but for me it was definitely worth the wait. I suppose tribal loyalty (I’m a Bowie fan) means I shouldn’t like Gary Numan, but frankly I find all that kind of stuff pathetic. Numan opened with a kind of dark electro fanfare which rolled neatly into the excellent “Down In The Park“. I must confess that I probably know more of his late 70s work, but the newer stuff is strong and powerful and he has a great stage presence. he sure as hell knows how to work his very passionate audience. I will almost certainly buy his new album ‘Dead Son Rising’ when it comes out in September.
He played the classic “Cars” shortly after Catwoman left the building. A shame really as this may have been the one song she would have recognised. He finished the pre encore part of the set with my favourite; “Are Friends Electric?” it still sounds fresh and futuristic. The main synth riff was replaced with a piano riff which works really well. He was only off stage briefly before finishing with two songs. The light show was bloody good as was the sound and the venue is great. I went away happy at midnight as I would imagine the rest of the audience did too. I would definitely go and see him again and I truly believe that his show would work well at the Reading Festival, probably late afternoon on the Main Stage. Are you listening for next year Reading organisers?
I don’t have any recordings from last nights show so here are a few excellent clips for your further listening and viewing pleasure.
And finally an excellent old interview with Graham Norton