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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Gary Numan March 24, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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At Christmas met a friend who lives in New York and was back for the holiday who said he’d seen Gary Numan live a month or two earlier and that it was one of the best gigs he’d ever seen. Given I wouldn’t have seen him as a fan of Numan I was interested. Now, I’ve always liked Numan and when it was announced he was playing Dublin (next Thursday as it happens) I didn’t hesitate to get a ticket (particularly after the the OMD gig last year which for all the pop hits was pretty great). His appearance on the special and pretty excellent anniversary episode of the Old Grey Whistle Test a few weeks was great too.

It’s sometimes forgotten just how guitar based Tubeway Army were, and in that sense his reintegration of guitars to achieve a more metallic/industrial aspect to his sound represents a return as much as an expansion of his music.

I thought I’d done Numan on the site, and I had, years back before the This Weekend slot. So I’ve not a lot to add to that other than to say his most recent album, heavy on the industrial, heavy on his early 1980s sounds and textures, is pretty great – though I’ve got to admit a personal preference for Hybrid from the early 2000s. Granted, it’s filled with tracks with entertaining titles, My Name is Ruin, The End of Things, etc… though that’s no fault for those of us partial to the likes of Front Line Assembly etc. But part of the schtick is the way in which he is at his most palpably sincere when he is simultaneously at his most entertainingly baroque.

That his trajectory from someone loathed by the musical press to someone now lauded as a visionary in electronica, pop and industrial is hugely entertaining for those of us who liked him from the off. That the fact he is clearly a likeable guy who is both absurdly grandiose and utterly down to earth and able to craft a melody and a lyric and a song is probably a large part of his popularity ( – it also appears to be hereditary, his 11 year old daughter provides backing vocals on his most recent album which makes sense – see the Old Grey Whistle Test clip below), long may he continue.

My Name is Ruin

My Name is Ruin/Are ‘Friends’ Electric? (Old Grey Whistle Test, 2018)

Ghost Nation

Bed of Thorns

When the World Comes Apart

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