I must admit, I’m a Numan fan. I have been since 1979. When he took that stage at the Apollo in Manchester, my musical tastes changed overnight.
My interest in three minute punk songs had gone. It was a powerful and mesmerising performance that I will never forget.
In fact I’ve seen almost every tour since. Unfortunately it’s been a bitter sweet relationship since that debut performance. Numan “retired” in 1981 with three sell out shows in London and jetted of to the states. Personally I think it was a huge mistake. What followed never quite managed to live up to the first three classic albums. I’ve actually struggled with some of the later offerings.
Fast forward-2013 brought the release of “Splinter”. The album favoured some fantastic reviews. Numan had found his mojo again. Life in L.A. is obviously working its magic. And it’s also the album that brought me back into the fold. However tonight is about the pledge funded album “Savage”
Tonight we are in the newly opened Liverpool Exhibition Centre. More about that later.
First up is the power guitar laden “Everything comes down to this”. It’s a great opener that gets the seated audience up on their feet. The classic “Films” follows. This has been a mainstay track for a number of years and never ceases to please. All of a sudden I’m back at the Apollo. Stunning track.
Obviously peeved by the layout of the hall, Numan askes the audience in the rows either side of the stage if they can see. To be honest however, designed the layout needs a word in his shell like ear. I’ve never seen blocks of seating in front of a standing area. Or as Numan put it “There’s fucking loads of space here…that is shit!”
And so on to the first new track of the evening “Bed of Thorns”. It a typical Numan track… and it pleases the black clad followers. He smiles with approval knowing his work over the last 12 months has paid off. In fact we are treated to another 4 tracks off the new release. But the one that everyone is waiting for is the first single release “My Name Is Ruin” as it features Gary’s daughter Persia on backing vocals. And what a sterling job she does. Dad is very proud tonight.
The set continues with a mixture of noughties Numan and 80’s classics.” M.E”, “Cars” and” Down in the Park” sit perfectly with “A prayer for the Unborn”, “Here in The Black” and “Love Hurt Bleed”. It’s a real crowd pleaser of a gig. Of course the best is saved for last. “Are Friends Electric?” ends the night.
A couple of things did however irritate. The layout was inappropriate for this type of gig. And the lighting was mostly back lit which left some songs with Numan and co silhouetted. But I’m just picky. All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable night.
- Everything Comes Down to This
- Bed of Thorns
- Ghost Nation (Live debut)
- We’re the Unforgiven
- Mercy (Live debut)
- A Prayer for the Unborn
- Here in the Black
- My Name is Ruin (Live debut)
- When the World Comes Apart (Live debut)
- Love Hurt Bleed
- Down in the Park
- Are ‘Friends’ Electric?