Gary Numan at The Brighton Centre, 1st May 2022
When Gary Numan first appeared on Top of the Pops back in the late 70s, he immediately presented something different to other artists. Despite the plethora of electronic bands on the scene at the time, there was no frippery from Numan, just a half smile, half sneer, perfect eyeliner and an element of the androgynous android.
Who would have imagined that all these years later, he would still be selling out venues far and wide, not in some kind of nostalgic revival show, but with consistently released new material and a message to save the world to boot?
Latest album Intruder considers environmental damage from the perspective of the planet, disillusioned and angry at the devastation caused by its inhabitants. Numan and his band perform like a dystopian dance troupe, confrontational through concern. The music, old and new, fits perfectly.
Starting with the suitably gnarled title track from Intruder, the show hits its stride straight away, segueing into Me! I Disconnect From You, the parity between decades impressive to note.
Tracks from Numan’s now extensive back catalogue mix in with more recent material, The Chosen and My Name is Ruin both set highlights. And then there’s room to go back to where it all started with Tubeway Army. A personal favourite from Replicas, for me Down in the Park has all the despondency of the bleak landscape the newer songs convey but, of course, the final track of the encore is as ever the timeless Are Friends Electric?
Based on the energy and dedication apparent in his work, Gary Numan shows no signs of stopping any time soon. The Brighton Centre sees a loyal fanbase out in force, many of whom have been there from the start. Clearly, they’re not going anywhere either.
Further tour dates for Gary Numan here
Words and photos by Siobhan
3rd May 2022