It seems apt that Gary Numan once released a song called Music for Chameleons as for the better part of a decade he has been a musical chameleon himself. An artist of such talent and imagination that he is also reinventing himself and integrating himself into wherever he sees fit.
His Current album ‘Savage (Songs from a Broken World)’ is one of the best of his career and is his highest charting in quite some time, so its fair to say that when he announced a second leg of touring behind it that people were very very excited, and rightly so.
I cannot express how nice it is to see an artist still having so much fun this far into their career. Tonight’s show at The Pyramid Centre in Portsmouth is the first of the UK leg of the tour and in many ways seems like a homecoming of sorts. Portsmouth and Gary Numan have a very special relationship that stems back almost 35 years to his first show here at The Guildhall in 1985 on the Warriors tour. There always seems to bit a little bit of magic in the air every time he is here, and tonight is no exception.
Decked out tonight in full ‘Savage’ gear, the set largely comprises of material from the current album with a spine tingling ‘Ghost Nation’ opening proceedings, with ‘My Name is Ruin’, ‘When the World Comes Apart’, ‘Mercy’ and a haunting ‘Bed of Thorns’ amongst the other getting an airing this evening. The new material sounds incredible live, packing way more of a punch in the context of the live show, flanked by video screens and a dazzling light show, it all converges to create an atmospheric, immersive and somewhat hypnotic live experience.
The new material also fairs up against the old classics, such as ‘Me, I Disconnect From You’, ‘Are Friends Electric?’ ‘Down In the Park’, ‘Cars’ and ‘In This Wreckage’ all of which sound as timeless and vital now as they did when they were written all those years ago, especially now they have an added crunch and some extra bite to them.
This is aided by the band of musicians Gary has surrounded himself with, they are incredibly in sync with each other and you get the impression they truly love what they do. Gary of course stands front and center and is as captivating as he ever has been, putting many a frontman half his age to shame with the way he commands and holds the amassed audience before him.
Gary Numan is someone whose career I have followed for over 25 years and I can tell you now that is on the form of his life right now, putting out records of increasing quality and also managing to put on shows that leave you wanting more. Of the many times i have seen him I can honestly say this is the best and hopefully there will be many more to come in the future.
10 / 10