1979 will be remembered as the year that witnessed the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident, Margaret Thatcher became prime minister of the UK, Pink Floyd released their seminal album The Wall and Sony released their groundbreaking Walkman.
This was also a time which witnessed the beginning of New Wave star Gary Numan’s solo career post his time in the Tubeway Army. And just like we have reflected on key events of those times, the British singer, songwriter and producer is currently on the road celebrating and reminiscing on the last 40 years of his life and career.
The title of this current run being (R)evolution. And parenthesis aside, based upon the Collins English Dictionary’s definition of the term revolution – which is ‘a successful attempt by a large group of people to change the political system of their country by force’, this word or tour moniker feels more pertinent than ever in the current political climate here in the UK right now.
Despite the thought-provoking title, tonight is all about four decades of this electro pioneer’s life in music. Of course, Numan’s latest release Savage: Songs From A Broken World saw the iconic artist receive some of the best reviews of his career, along with a Number 2 spot in the Official UK Charts.
Subsequently, the Numanoids are out in their droves this evening to participate in this musical revolution on Tyneside in the company of their idol. Die-hard fans line the street adjacent to the O2 Academy Newcastle to get their prize spot in front of the stage. Although many show their allegiance with a tour shirt others display their more permanent souvenir with a Gary Numan tattoo.
Numan kicks off the evening with the brilliant My Name Is Ruin from his latest offering before taking the Geordie faithful through 90 minutes of material both old and new. Synth classics such as Films and Metal still sound as fresh as they did when Gary’s seminal album The Pleasure Principle was released back in 1979. Whilst video screens at the rear of the stage add complementary visuals throughout.
During Absolution news footage from multiple outlets are displayed behind the man of the hour, giving the show a feel reminiscent of U2’s Zoo TV tour. Whilst tracks such as The Promise and Here In The Black showcases a heavier, darker and more industrial side to Numan’s repertoire. Of course, the show would not be complete without an airing of 70s anthem Cars.
There’s no denying that Gary Numan has influenced a broad range of artists from Kanye West, through to Lady Gaga and much more. His work has been sampled frequently over the last 40 years. But with tracks such as a Prayer For The Unborn, there are certainly undertones of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, which works to great effect. Continuing on this theme, the main set comes to its conclusion with the unmistakable Are Friends Electric. This being a track which inspired pop group The Sugababes with their smash hit Freak Like Me. The latter being the perfect conclusion to tonight’s career-spanning setlist.
This evening’s show perfectly encompasses the many facets of Numan’s artistry. Whilst also highlighting both his unparalleled creativity and influence within the music world. Here’s to the next milestone and the next chapter of this musical visionary’s career.
Event Date: 26-Sept-2019