LIVE: Gary Numan, O2 Academy, Leicester, 19/05/2022

LIVE: Gary Numan, O2 Academy, Leicester, 19/05/2022

For some reason I’ve managed to spend the last forty years or so inadvertently never seeing Gary Numan live. Eventually the planets aligned and I finally found myself in the same hall.

The first thing you notice about a Numan concert are the fans waiting outside. Engage with them and they’ll be able to tell you most details of his extensive career or anything else for that matter. They all know each other and Numan knows them, by first name usually.
Some of them have been to every date on the tour and further afield too.

There’s a good selection of Numan tattoos on assorted limbs too. It’s then you realise the importance of Numan to civilisation.

These days the Numan band consists of guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. No standing around sans Kraftwerk, as some might expect. No no no, This band is as animated as Tom and Jerry on steroids and rocks.

Opening with the title track from the latest album Intruder what we get is a lucky bag of career spanning tracks from all points of Numan’s back catalogue, with an emphasis on said Intruder album. ‘We Are Glass’ follows.
The ‘oldies’ these days tend to be beefed up and rock out a little more than you would perhaps expect.

Cars’ sticks more to the template , but the ‘National anthem’ that is ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric’ is given a 2020’s makeover and works well.

I Die, You Die‘, which apparently hadn’t been played live for a while, the beautiful piano laden, ‘A Black Sun‘, ‘Everyday I Die‘ and ‘The Gift‘ are amongst the other highlights of the night. ‘Films’ in particular came across as fresh as this morning’s linen.

Numan himself cuts a charismatic figure onstage. Well he’s been doing it a while now, but looks about twenty years younger than his 64 years would have you believe. Visually too, Numan has put a fair amount of thought in how to present his band and put on a show.

I’m almost apologetic it took me so long to see him live. On this showing. I won’t leave it as long before the next time.

Support on the tour has come from Lyons, France, in the shape of industrial techno band, Divine Shade. A very good noise they made too and seemed to go down well, certainly with the extended Numan family gathered on the front row.

Photo by Paul Reno.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.