Gary Numan (Intruder Tour)

CE Updated

Gary Numan (Intruder Tour) - Rock City, Nottingham (UK) - 16 May 2022

I have to admit that all those years ago, in the late seventies, I was only really aware of Gary Numan thanks to ‘Are Friends Electric’ and ‘Cars’, the singles that brought him to the attention of many people who were not necessarily “Pop” fans. I was one of them. Then he vanished for a number of years, and when he came back his music was still synthesiser based, and melodic, but also a little more Prog. I had heard bits here and there, and after buying his latest album ‘Intruder’, I was sufficiently impressed to want to check him out on his latest tour.

Before that though, there was the support act, a French band from Lyon called Divine Shade. Being totally unaware of who they were and what they did, things weren’t made any easier when none of the songs were announced. The music wasn’t too far removed from what you would expect with a band supporting Mr Numan, heavily electronic with guitar, drums and keyboard/guitarist/vocalist, no bass, and there was a good response from the audience for the three-man ensemble. The vocals were a little bit lost amid the music unfortunately, but nobody seemed to mind, and the guitarist did jump down into the pit to get closer to the crowd.

Gary Numan’s band came on stage at 8.45pm, closely followed by the man himself, very closely followed by loud cheering and exaltation. He had drawn an almost, if not sell-out crowd which, for some reason, surprised me a little. His band, guitarist Steve Harris (no, not that one), bassist Tim Slade, David Brooks on keyboards and drummer Richard Beasley all sported face paint, with the guitarist and bassist going one step further by wearing what I can only describe as skirts, or possibly more closely kilts, but long ones. The guitarist in particular did menacing very well. Numan had a pale face (nothing unusual there), with red stripes running down it, as he moved around the stage throwing shapes with his body all the time, moving between the beams of a very comprehensive (for the venue size) light show. (How old is he now?). Despite the vocals once again being slightly lost in the music, the crowd was captivated from the start, and you sometimes forget, just how long he’s been doing this and how much material he has to choose from.

For the main set he sang eighteen songs, seven of which were from his first four albums between 1978 and 1980, including ‘Everyday I Die’, ‘Down In The Park’, ‘Metal’ and ‘Cars’, while totally disregarding thirteen “invisible” albums from 1980 to 2000. No-one seemed to mind. There was a nice touch with ‘My Name Is Ruin’, which saw Numan backed vocally by his daughter Persia, unfortunately though only on tape with her image displayed on the many screens behind him. There were five songs from the new album, the title track being the first of the evening, with ‘The Gift’, ‘Is This World Not Enough’, ‘A Black Sun’ and ‘The Chosen’ all thrown in for good measure. All appeared to be pretty well known by everyone in attendance, which tends to indicate that the ‘Intruder’ album sold well. The band left the stage at 22.10, but were back on two minutes later to the crowd chanting his name, to which his comment was “Best crowd of the tour”, which delighted the crowd before doing ‘Me! I Disconnect From You’ and ending with ‘Are Friends Electric?’ for which the whole room joined in.

As I said, I was slightly surprised by the size of the crowd that attended, but after experiencing my first Numan concert, I can understand why so many were there, as the guy works very hard, as do all the band, during the ninety minute plus show. I totally enjoyed it, and will definitely try to catch him the next time he comes around.

Set List:- Intruder, Remind Me to Smile, Halo, The Gift, Metal, The Promise, Is This World Enough, Films, Pure, Resurrection, Down in the Park, A Black Sun, Everyday I Die, Cars, My Name Is Ruin, Love Hurt Bleed, The Chosen, I Die: You Die.

Encore: Me! I Disconnect From You, Are 'Friends' Electric?

Andy B/Lou C.

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