Gary Numan + Gang of Four
Thursday 27th July 2017
@ Exhibition Centre, Liverpool

Gary Numan

In the early days Gary Numan had a reputation for impressive light shows, in an era when few artists went to town on lighting.  These days with advances in technology, there are some very innovative shows around, so I was curious whether Gary’s contemporary shows have anything for the casual fan, i.e. if you’re not a Numanoid, would it still be impressive.

This was the first time I went to see Gary, I’ve always liked a lot of his stuff, but never been one for going to many arena shows.  I kind of imagined him standing static behind a synth keyboard, with very little in the way of performance – how wrong I was!

I was initially surprised at his sheer confidence, bounding around the stage very much owning it.  Numanoids were out in force, loving every minute, and he gave them, and the more casual fan, what we wanted.

I was also surprised at his range of material – besides the obvious hits, he’s dabbled with lots of styles over the years, his current single “My name is ruin” is quite hardcore industrial sounding.  I can imagine that some of his more traditional fans don’t like it, but I was really impressed.

Talking about “my name is ruin”, in the video his daughter Persia sings the song – tonight he brought her out on to the stage.

Aged about 11, she understandably looked terrified when she came on to the stage, but she quickly gained confidence and was singing like a star in her own right by the end of the song.  Now that’s what I call work experience with the old man!

This gig was unusual in that usually big touring bands go to Manchester and Liverpool, or just Manchester, but as this was one of 2 dates in the UK, there was no Manchester date, so a lot of people came through for it, including the shadow education minister Angela Rayner.

Gang of Four

The last time I saw Gang of Four at Glastonbury I was a bit disappointed to be honest.  I like their recorded material but on that occasion I wasn’t impressed with their live performance.

So I started tonight with low expectations, but I’m happy to report that tonight they were much better.

It’s true that Numanoids started chanting “Numan” by the end of their set, after all he’s who they cam for, but I really enjoyed their set, finishing with the anthemic “To hell with poverty”.

All in all a superb night!


Words + Pictures John W. King