Saturday, 30 July 2011

Gary Numan in York (DV8Fest)

Gary Numan
The Barbican, York

'DV8Fest' is York's Goth Weekend, featuring 40+ bands performing over three nights. Gary Numan was in action on the Friday night and that's why I was there. I have seen him once before, but only in the role of one of a number of DJs during a very memorable evening at Camden's Roundhouse.

By the way, I have nothing at all against Goths and I enjoyed seeing the extraordinary range of attire and watching some suitably unusual dancing.

Support was supplied by Luxury Stranger, a loud group with a big, beat-driven sound. They were well received and did a decent job in warming up the audience.

Luxury Stranger

It was a long evening. Gary Numan didn't appear until 10.25 p.m. but it's fair to say that he was worth waiting for.

I haven't followed his career post-1980, although I knew that his style had changed since the robotic stance of the first few albums. There's a heavy Rock style these days, albeit fused with the electronic element.

The lighting was very effective in setting the mood as the evening progressed (but proved not particularly conducive to taking clear photos).

The microphone stand came in useful as a stage prop. Gary Numan carried it around wherever he wandered and frequently slammed it onto the floor like an explorer - or invader - proudly claiming territory.

A lot of the lyrics were really blasted out. It was a passionate performance.

The set list featured songs from most stages of his lengthy career. Two new CDs - and a UK tour - are on the way.

Set List

Down In The Park
In A Dark Place
The Fall
When The Sky Bleeds, He Will Come
Noise Noise
Everything Comes Down To This
A Prayer For The Unborn
Are 'Friends' Electric?


I Die, You Die

Extra guitar was added to some of the tracks; it doubled as another prop at times too.

There was lots of Rock-posturing!

The band - destined to remain in (at best) semi-light - went unannounced.

By the end of the set, his voice was really showing the strain. Given the power he'd put into the vocals, it was no surprise.

Things drew to a close just a minute or two before midnight. It was a very good show and an enlightening evening. If the UK tour dates turn out to be good ones for me, I will be very interested in seeing him again.

Keep up to date with all things Numan by adding his official website to your 'favourites'.

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