The Verse’s Nanette Hewitt reviews Gary Numan’s show at Brighton Dome on 16th October 2017.
The night began with supporting artist Jayce Lewis. Although he confessed to a case of (what some call deadly) man flu, he was a ball of energy and owned the stage. His whole performance seemed to revolve around a gigantic amp mid-stage that he would stand on or stride towards, flanked by two guitarists with long locks who threw themselves into their performances. His new album Million Part 1 releases on 27th October and features Queen’s Brian May.
Now, Gary Numan has a very strong fanbase. Older fans who had followed him through success from the early 80s were met by a younger audience, all with a taste for heavy electronica.
He started the night off with Ghost Nation, the first track on his 2017 album Savage. The lighting was epic the whole night; at the beginning of Jayce Lewis’s set it was almost painful to watch the strobes that blared with the synths, but once your eyes adapted to the different extremes it was outstanding to witness. The electronic, echoing sound really was enhanced by the light show.
Numan was quite the performer. He and his band came out in coordinated outfits which were informed by the dystopian aesthetic of the album. Numan even brought his daughter Persia on stage halfway through his set as her vocals feature on the track My Name is Ruin. She, like Numan, had tribal glow-in-the-dark paint on her face.
My friend described Numan’s sound as a cross between Marilyn Manson and The Killers – an unusual combination. He seemed to transcend any one genre which made it even more appealing. The track Cars was a major hit with the crowd, with more of a pop sound which was nostalgic and, of course, loved. This was followed by When the World Comes Apart. Pray for the Pain was my personal favourite.
He finished the night the track I Die: You Die and Are ‘Friends’ Electric? and left everyone chanting “Numan… Numan… Numan…”.