Gary Numan brings his post-apocalyptic future to Brighton as Hurricane Ophelia’s orange gloom lingers above
Sometimes life is filled with strange coincidences and tonight (Monday 16 October) the people of Brighton bore witness to one of these.
The Godfather of Synth, Gary Numan, was in town at the Dome as part of his “Savage” album tour.
The album was unleashed just a few weeks ago and deservedly smashed into the official album charts at No 2.
The (sci-fi) theme of his album, and indeed Gary’s new look, is addressing one of the Earth’s possible futures, which is all to do with being set in a post-apocalyptic future where our planet has been ravaged by global warming and the outcome is barren desert – scary stuff indeed!
However, in some twist of fate, Brighton was actually bathed in a real menacing amber light, whereby the sun appeared uncharacteristically red and the sky had an eerie but spectacular darkened orange glow during the afternoon prior to the gig.
This was the result of a Saharan dust cloud that could be witnessed as a giant thick band right across one’s field of view.
It was the aftermath of Hurricane Ophelia and I have only ever experienced something similar once before and that was whilst I was in France to witness the solar eclipse.
The mood was certainly set for tonight’s gig.
Gary first played live at the Dome in 1979 (13,892 days earlier) and his support act was Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD).
I was there and can recall a member of the audience bellowing out that they wanted real live music in reference to OMD’s tape machine called Winston.
You see, in those days the synth was not a trusted instrument – but then Gary Numan came along and changed all of that with his No 1 songs Are ‘Friends’ Electric? and Cars.
So here we are all these years later and both OMD and Gary are as strong as ever. Gary filling a packed Brighton Dome with his extremely loyal Numanoid fans and OMD (who’s new album reached No 4 in the official album charts) will fill the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill next month.
Hammersmith-born and former East Sussex resident, Gary, is now based in glitzy Los Angeles and had tonight brought his family along to the concert, shortly after their exotic sailing holiday around Croatia and Montenegro on a specially chartered yacht – life is great for the Numan family! Especially for young Persia, who now sings with her dad on the stage.
Gary and his wife Gemma have three daughters, the eldest is Raven, the youngest is Echo and Persia in the middle.
Gary (real name Gary Anthony James Webb) was tonight unveiling his Arabic style Blade Runner-esque look in performing six tracks from his new album, Savage, and 11 other compositions from his career.
As always, his stage set and lighting was very impressive – as indeed was support act Jace Lewis’s too.
The set was opened with Ghost Nation from Savage and set the post-apocalyptic industrial music theme off rather well. The crowd loved it.
Classic track Metal was up next and then followed by the 2011 Dead Son Rising album track The Fall.
And so the exciting evening continued with a blend of new and old material, with the older songs these days always given a heavier sound, thanks to the influences of Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails.
We were treated to Down In The Park (the single released before Are ‘Friends’ Electric?), Cars, I Die: You Die and a rather good Andy Gray remix version of A Prayer For The Unborn.
One of the highlights was My Name Is Ruin from Savage, as daughter Persia expertly added backing vocals for dad.
We were seated behind Gary’s family and it was interesting to watch them moving around to their own different favourite songs.
Proud mum Gemma captured hubby and daughter on her phone as a family memento and Persia got a big hug from dad on stage and a big cuddle from mum when she returned to her seat in the first row of the balcony.
Song seventeen was Are ‘Friend’s’ Electric? and that was it, another truly fantastic Numan gig!
I wonder if … It’s Cold Outside. I should purchase a long-sleeve post apocalyptic Savage top from the merch stand just in case! Oh blast, I haven’t got £70 for one.
Tonight’s music was: Ghost Nation, Metal, The Fall, Remind Me To Smile, Bed of Thorns, Dead Sun Rising, Down In The Park, Pray For The Pain You Serve, Here In The Black, Mercy, Love Hurt Bleed, My Name is Ruin, Cars, When the World Comes Apart, A Prayer For The Unborn, I Die: You Die, Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
For more information on Gary Numan contact: https://garynuman.com/
If you enjoy synth music like Gary Numan, then the chances are that you will also enjoy the bands listed below. Simply click on each of the names and they will take you to our concert reviews on those bands:
Fröst, The Human League, Blancmange, The KVB, Digitalis, Battery Operated Orchestra, Halo Maud, Sextile, Orbital, Pinkshinyultrablast, B-Movie, Covenant, AK/DK, Blue Hawaii, OMD, The Fin., Heaven 17, Austra, Vile Electrodes.