Photo: Veronika Moore
As time elapses, people’s recollections of the past have a habit of becoming more and more distorted – artists have a tendency to suffer from this more then most and many who take a quick glimpse may disregard Gary Numan; solo artist and onetime Tubeway Army frontman’s career as a casual flicker of high end activity before it freefalled into under the radar cult stardom. Yet exposure to tonight’s show cast in a venue that is more intimate then its usual staging and which is essentially acting as a warm up for his appearance at the Sonisphere festival the next day would serve as an instant truthful tonic.
Greeted warmly and to a series of loud overly enthusiastic cheers of “Numan” as soon as he inches out onto the at first dimly lit stage, the raven haired frontman and the hallowed figures that surround him unleash a series of dark doom pop which grapples fiercely with crunching guitar riffs and harsh electronics before it twists and turn’s its way into the ears of a highly appreciative dedicated audience that numbered more then just aging Goths.
High in intensity it was over an hour that demonstrated why he served as an essential cog in the development of industrial rock and to this day maintains to be a key influence on Nine Inch Nails Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson, Placebo’s Brian Molko and many more besides.
He may have achieved a loyal cult following that many artists only ever dream about receiving and had a meagre level of interest by a new generation reignited in him by previously having the use of ‘Cars’ being chosen to accompany a car commercial and the use of an ‘Are Friends Electric?’ sample forming the main part of the Sugababes song ‘Freak Like Me’ but Gary Numan has much more besides the obvious to take interest in.
Gary Numan live in Brighton