Words: Michael Coates
Pictures: John W. King
The anticipation was perspiring from eager numanoid bodies as they marched past me to the Exhibition centre to witness the genius of the pioneering godfather of electro-pop, Gary Numan. This was Numans 2nd Liverpool gig in 12 months and from overhearing conversations in the ticket queue i learned that the numanoids were hoping and expecting new tracks from Numans highly anticipated new album “savage”. I quickly became acquainted and accepted by Numans loyal cult following, and found it interesting listening to the conversations between fans of Numans earlier electro-pop sound and his more recent harsher, darker and industrial sound. There was obviously a mixed bag of fans anticipating a set that covered a wide span of his career.
I was there early to catch Gang of four, the band I was personally most excited for, and after buying an expected overpriced beer I headed to the standing area. I was slightly disappointed to learn upon arrival that the seating was in front of the standing area, which I found somewhat unconventional for a gig that would be exhibiting bands of gang of fours and Gary Numans calibre. It took a while to adjust to but It most definitely didn’t ruin my night.
Gang of four opened up with unique fan favourite “anthrax” I was delighted to hear the concrete splitting guitar of Andy Gill once again. The set included classics from the most celebrated album “entertainment” and included newer material from recent albums “content” and “what happens next” which were both released this decade. I was yearning to be up front as I watched Gill stomp across stage chopping his arms across his guitar creating that unique jagged sound Gang of four are famous for to songs such as “damaged goods” John Sterry played Jon kings part well as lead singer, and all the new members did not disappoint this Gang of four fan.
There was a hint of uninterest from the numanoids however, who broke out into chants of “numan, numan, numan” their excitement could not be contained as gang of four finished their set with an energetic performance of “to hell with poverty”.
It became dark, The Numanoids were becoming increasingly more skittish, they could sense the imminent arrival of their beloved Gary Numan. The restless atmosphere was blown open by the pulsating intro of “everything comes down to this”, the tense mood of the Numanoids turned quickly into collective, ecstatic ecstasy. Gary has also noticed the unusual lay out of the exhibition centre and urged his followers to join him at the front, a request they were happy to oblige to. The audience was blessed with what was obviously a very personal moment for Numan as he welcomed his 12 year old daughter Persia on stage to perform backing vocals on lead single “my name is ruin” from new album “savage”. This was the live debut of this track and im sure all numanoids went home happy to be the first witnesses of such a special event. The set was closed with Numans first solo number 1 “Cars” a song which has stood the test of time and sounds as fresh as it did 38 years ago. Numan did not deny his numanoids the expected generic encore they deserved and finally ended the concert with the genre defining “are friends electric” whilst thanking his devoted fans.
You don’t normally find a gig which gives you two genre defining and pioneering acts for as little as £33, and contrary to the opinion of other reviews the layout of the event was nothing more than a slight nuisance which the quality of music provided, easily distracted you from. Gary Numans cult status makes all of his gigs special for his loyal followers and the personal touch of Gary Numans daughter taking to stage made this concert priceless for some forever devoted numanoids.