First Brighton Centre concert in 39 years for Gary Numan

Posted On 03 May 2022 at 12:21 pm

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

GARY NUMAN + DIVINE SHADE – BRIGHTON CENTRE 1.5.22

It’s official, the godfather of synth music Gary Numan has finally got to play live at the Brighton Centre for the first time in 39 years! His previous two appearances were during the 1980 ‘Telekon’ tour and the 1983 ‘Warriors’ tour – see further information on those concerts at the foot of this review. This means that there was a gap of 14,064 days between his last appearance and this appearance at the Brighton Centre. Clearly Numan is very much back on the radar!

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Gary Numan last performed live in Brighton on 16th October 2017. The Brighton & Hove News Music Team were in attendance, read our review HERE.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

This new ‘Intruder’ tour concert signifies that Numan has, against all odds, managed to claw his way back to the forefront of the music scene. Although it must be noted that Numan’s music style has certainly not stood still over the past four decades and his musical journey has led him from punk through to synth to arguably his current heavier industrial sound.

Steve Harris live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Former East Sussex resident, Numan, who used to reside with his wife Gemma and their three daughters at Ragged Dog Lane in Waldron, before they all emigrated to the USA for a fresh new life and career reboot, released his latest album ‘Intruder’ on 21st May last year. It was available in various exciting formats, including: Double Picture Disc Vinyl, Gold Double Vinyl, Red Double Vinyl, Black Double Vinyl, Deluxe CD Album, Standard CD Album, Cassette and Download.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

To date, Numan has amassed no less than 26 UK Top 40 Singles and 23 UK Top 40 Albums. His last two studio long players, the aforementioned ‘Intruder’ and its predecessor ‘Savage (Songs From A Broken World)’, both held the No.2 album slot in 2021 and 2017.

David Brooks live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

With Numan tours in the past, it has always tended to be the same songs used for the whole tour, however this current one is appearing to be different, which is refreshing. There is clearly a rotation going on as there were 5 songs performed this evening that were not performed on the previous two nights of the tour. Tonight was date three having already called in at Cardiff and Bristol and there are 17 UK and Ireland dates still to run.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

The tour debut tunes this evening in Brighton were ‘Me! I Disconnect From You’, Everything Comes Down To This’, ‘The End Of Things’, ‘Dead Sun Rising’ and ‘The Fall’. For those of you who attended the Brighton concert and are wondering what songs you missed from the previous two nights, these were (from Cardiff) ‘We Are Glass’, ‘Halo’, ‘Ghost Nation’, ‘Here In The Black’ and ‘Pray For The Pain You Serve’ (and from Bristol) ‘I Die: You Die’, ‘Bed Of Thorns’, ‘A Black Sun’, and ‘Jagged’. Next date up is Birmingham, so I wonder what will change for them? I hear that the band have rehearsed 35 tracks in total, so expect more numbers to crop up on other tour dates.

Richard Beasley live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

This evening, the loyal Numanoids, the recently converted, the next generation of fans and the curious gathered within Brighton’s biggest concert venue to experience a powerful 95 minute 19 song set which as always is accompanied by a decent light show. Numan famously (briefly) retired from live shows back on 26th, 27th and 28th April 1981 when he filled Wembley Arena on all three dates. His lightshow was so impressive and expensive that he actually lost money by doing this. A bit like New Order did when they released ‘Blue Monday’ on 12” with a fancy computer disc style sleeve.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

The Brighton Centre lights went out at 8:45pm and on strolled the quartet of musicians who were followed by Numan. The crowd erupted as they always do at every Numan gig. He is blessed to have such a loyal following.

Tim Slade live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Stage left (our right) on a slightly raised podium was keyboardist David Brooks who has been in the band since 1996. On the opposite side of the large stage on an equally raised podium was drummer Richard Beasley, who has been playing live with Numan since 1993. In front of Beasley, was guitarist Steve Harris, who came on board in 1997. In front of Brooks was bassist Tim Slade, who is the relatively new boy having only served his apprenticeship for the past dozen years. Centre stage was 64 year old Mr Webb (Numan’s real name), when he wasn’t patrolling the length and depth of the stage with his confident swagger. He still looks and appears fit, must be his trio of teenage daughters keeping him on his toes.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

The light show was as always impressive and atmospheric with good use of dry ice. There were video screens in between the vertical lighting panels. The screens weren’t for a closer look at the band, but for back up videos to serve as maximum impact, such as shots of his daughter Persia for popular 2017 single ‘My Name Is Ruin’ for which she sang backing vocals for an appeared life on stage with dad on the previous tour.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Interestingly enough I noted that arguably for the first time in decades Numan was performing a majority of his recent material. Now when I state “recent material”, I’m referring to the past decade of his work, as he has been making music continually since the heady days of punk in 1977.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Many Numan fans love to attend his gigs in order to once again relive their teenage years and get a nostalgia boost by hearing the old classic tracks and early album highlights from 1978 to 1980, from the self titled ‘Tubeway Army’ album, to ‘The Pleasure Principle’ to ‘Telekon’. But this evening in Brighton these were few and far between. Yes we obviously were served ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’ and ‘Cars’, but the only others from that period were ‘Me! I Disconnect From You’, ‘Metal’, ‘Films’, ‘Down In The Park’ and ‘Remind Me To Smile’. The rest of the live songs were culled from his 2011 to 2021 period, with the one exception being the title track from the 2000 ‘Pure’ album. This was quite possibly the best tune of the night for me and the “Hey, bitch, this is what you are, Purified, sanctified, sacrificed” lyrics sounded awesome! ‘Pure’ was a bolt out of the blue that signalled the way forward in musical direction for Numan. It was to join Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson and the likes on their heavy industrial electronic sounding music.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Tonight, power was the order of the day. I’m very pleased to state that David Brooks’ synth work could be easily heard in accompaniment of Steve Harris’ guitar and Tim Slade’s bass. On some past tours the keyboards have been far too down in the mix for my liking, but tonight this was not the case. The sound at the Brighton Centre is far removed from when it first opened its doors back in 1977, when you could hear echoes bouncing off of the walls in a time delay.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

The quintet certainly looked the part this evening in their pseudo sandman, darkwave, goth, EBM, industrial clothing. They were looking the part and sounding it too. “The sound of metal, I want to be” and they certainly were.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

It is a great thing that Numan has the confidence to not stick in a rut and to move forward with his musical style, but I wish and just once in a while he would dip back into his own much despised ‘Numa Years’ releases, as there are a few forgotten corkers in there! There has been for quite some time deliberately no live tune representation from his 1981 to 1999 era, but as he has amassed so many decent albums, it might be worth heading back out on tour next time around by performing one track from each studio albums and those tunes not being obvious choices, maybe even a few that he has never performed live before. That would make an interesting experiment.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

After tonight’s performance, I was just left wondering how many people in the room would be back again for the next tour, as tonight was maybe too reliant on newer heavier material. Something I myself am not adverse to, but it would have possibly been pleasant to have been thrown one or two curveball tracks! Something in the order of for example ‘The Iceman Comes’ (‘Warriors’ 1983), ‘This Is New Love’ (‘Berserker’ 1984), ‘Strange Charm’ (‘Strange Charm’ 1986), ‘Don’t Call My Name’ (‘Metal Rhythm’ 1986), and ‘Magic’ (‘Sacrifice’ 1994).

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

This evening it was pleasing to note that Numan has dusted down his old synth that hasn’t seen any action for the past 25 years, although this was possibly slightly under utilised tonight, but it was sounding great during ‘Metal’. His guitar also made an appearance mid set.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

The second best tune of the night for me was ‘Remind Me To Smile’ which was performed prior to the two song encore of ‘The Fall’ and ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’. The last notes of which sounded at 10:20pm. The curfew was 11pm, and so I would have selfishly wanted at least a couple more tunes. There was certainly plenty of time for them!

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

A Numan gig is always an event for my several Numanoid friends who have religiously followed him like myself for over 4 decades, but for me tonight wasn’t quite up there as one of the best and I felt that the merch was just a tad overpriced as well.

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Gary Numan band:
Gary Numan – vocals, guitar, synth
Steve Harris – guitar, keys
Tim Slade – bass
David Brooks – keys
Richard Beasley – drums

Gary Numan live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Gary Numan setlist:
‘(Intro)’
‘Intruder’ (from 2021 ‘Intruder’ album)
‘Me! I Disconnect From You’ (from 1979 Tubeway Army ‘Replicas’ album)
‘Everything Comes Down To This’ (from 2013 ‘Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)’ album)
‘The Gift’ (from 2021 ‘Intruder’ album)
‘Metal’ (from 1979 ‘The Pleasure Principle’ album)
‘The End Of Things’ (from 2017 ‘Savage: Songs From A Broken World’ album)
‘Is This World Not Enough’ (from 2021 ‘Intruder’ album)
‘Films’ (from 1979 ‘The Pleasure Principle’ album)
‘Pure’ (from 2000 ‘Pure’ album)
‘Resurrection’ (from 2011 ‘Dead Son Rising’ album)
‘Down In The Park’ (from 1979 Tubeway Army ‘Replicas’ album)
‘And It Breaks Me Again’ (from 2021 ‘Intruder’ album)
‘Dead Sun Rising’ from 2011 ‘Dead Son Rising’ album)
‘Cars’ (from 1979 ‘The Pleasure Principle’ album)
‘My Name Is Ruin’ (from 2017 ‘Savage: Songs From A Broken World’ album)
‘Love Hurt Bleed’ (from 2013 ‘Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)’ album)
‘The Chosen’ (from 2021 ‘Intruder’ album)
‘Remind Me To Smile’ (from 1980 ‘Telekon’ album)
(encore)
‘The Fall’ (from 2011 ‘Dead Son Rising’ album)
‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’ (from 1979 Tubeway Army ‘Replicas’ album)

Front row at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

garynuman.com

Ren Toner from Divine Shade live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Support this evening came from Divine Shade who hail from Jean-Michel Jarre’s home town of Lyon in France. The trio on stage consisted of Ren, Nico and Emile performed a 41 minute set from 7:35pm to 8:16pm. They informed us that this was their first time playing live in Brighton. I hope that it won’t be their last!

Nicolas Thonnerieux from Divine Shade live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Their Facebook page states: “This is the soundtrack of a solitary walk in a dark undergrowth. Between organic beats and almost human machines. Appeared only a few years ago in France, Divine Shade is a Rock / Electro trio with variable geometry. A combination of styles and influences inspired by the Cold Wave culture with a touch of Industrial music”.

Emile Casas from Divine Shade live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Although this trio of Frenchmen were stationed towards the edge of the stage, it was still quite difficult to pick them out due to their choice of moody lighting. Their format was songwriter Ren on vocals and synth, Nico on guitar and Emile on drums, with the assistance of sound technician Pierre off stage.

Divine Shade live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

They sit very happily in the Numan, Nine Inch Nails, heavy Depeche Mode world of music and thus were a natural choice of support artist. I should imagine that Numan rather likes what these lads are doing. They are one of the better Numan support artists over the years. The longer they played, the better they got, or is that they ground down my defences the more they went on. I was not alone, the crowd was in the main well behind these chaps. I was rather partial to ‘From The Sky’ as well as their closing number ‘Black Birds Return’ which was a tad more danceable than that which had preceded. This final number reminded me of French synthwave musician James Kent aka Perturbator.

Ren Toner from Divine Shade live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pic Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pic to enlarge)

Divine Shade are:
Ren Toner – vocals, keyboards
Emile Casas – drums
Nicolas Thonnerieux – guitar
Pierre Forissier – sound technician

Divine Shade live at Brighton Centre 1.5.22 (pics Sara-Louise Bowrey) (click pics to enlarge)

Divine Shade setlist:
‘Hate & Oblivion’
‘Ruines & Cendres’
‘Stars’
‘From The Sky’
‘Éternel’
‘Love Of Angels’
‘Ashes’
‘Get Away’
‘Black Birds Return’

Divine Shade music deserves to be checked out, thus head on to their Bandcamp page HERE.

Before tonight’s Gary Numan show there was an afternoon concert by Numan tribute band The Liquid Engineers at The Prince Albert. Read our review of that performance HERE.

2022 ‘Intruder’ tour flyer

Tonight’s Gary Numan ticket (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Tonight’s set times

Additional information on Gary Numan’s previous appearances at the Brighton Centre:

My 1980 ‘Teletour’ ticket (pic Nick Linazasoro)

21st September 1980 ‘Telekon’ tour setlist:
‘This Wreckage’
‘Remind Me To Smile’
‘Complex’
‘Telekon’
Me! I Disconnect From You
‘Cars’
‘Conversation’
‘Airlane’
‘M.E.’
‘Everyday I Die’
‘Remember I Was Vapour’
‘Stories’
‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’
‘The Joy Circuit’
‘I Die: You Die’
‘I Dream of Wires’
‘Down In The Park’
‘Tracks’
‘We Are Glass’

Concert personnel on that date were:
Gary Numan (vocals, keyboards, guitar)
Paul Gardiner (bass)
Chris Payne (keyboards, viola)
Rrussell Bell (guitar, keyboards, percussion)
Roger Mason (keyboards)
Cedric Sharpley (drums)

The support act was Nash The Slash (born Jeff Plewman 26th March 1948 – died 10th or 11th May 2014)

My 1983 ‘Warriors’ tour ticket (pic Nick Linazasoro)

29th October 1983 ‘Warriors’ tour setlist:
‘Sister Surprise’
‘Remind Me To Smile’
‘Metal’
‘This Prison Moon’
‘Down In The Park’
‘This Is My House’
‘My Centurion’
‘Warriors’
‘She’s Got Claws’
‘Love Is Like Clock Law’
‘The Iceman Comes’
‘Films’
‘War Songs’
‘Cars’
‘We Take Mystery (To Bed)’
‘I Die: You Die’
‘Me! I Disconnect From You’
‘Love Needs No Disguise’
‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric ?’
‘Tracks’
‘We Are Glass’

Concert personnel on that date were:
Gary Numan (vocals, guitar)
Chris Payne (keyboards, viola)
Rrussell Bell (guitar, percussion)
John Webb (keyboards, saxophone)
Joe Hubbard (bass)
Cedric Sharpley (drums)

The support act was Tik And Tok, who played:
‘Intro’
‘Robot Music’
‘Summer In The City’
‘Soulless Synthetic Heart – Steps Of Unconcerned Androids’
‘Puppets’
‘Vile Bodies’
‘Tek’
‘Screen Me, I’m Yours’
‘Cool Running’

  1. Chris Reply

    “the loyal Numanoids, the recently converted, the next generation of fans and the curious”
    Yup – I’m 62 and a Numanoid. This was my 11 year old niece’s first ever gig after she fell in love with “My Name Is Ruin” due to the involvement of Persia. Then she discovered she liked all his music.
    A great evening and good to see him once again (first time was right at the start).

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