Gary Numan 998th concert at Electric Ballroom - Still Electric!
I’ve been a fan for many years and first saw Gary Numan at the Brighton Dome in 2009. His most recent albums Savage and Intruder sound as good as ever, so I was thrilled to have got a ticket for these sold out gigs when they were first released.
The queue snaking around the Camden Ballroom was as big as the levels of excitement. Strangers swapping stories of previous encounters and gigs with Gary Numan and a huge age range was a sure sign that despite him celebrating his 998, 999 and 1,000 gig at this intimate venue, his popularity isn’t on the wain.
There was only one support act for the evening and that was from his daughter Raven, who had her sister Persia on support vocals.
Sometimes you go to a gig and you wonder how the heck the decision was made to pick a certain support act; Dizzee Rascal supporting Muse at the Emirates during 2020 immediately springs to mind, but there was an obvious and natural fit here and the crowd warmly greeted her as she walked on stage for her debut gig.
It’s obvious that Raven has been heavily influenced by her father with heavy synth laden songs and atmospheric vocals throughout. Raven and Persia (who’s vocals can best be described as ‘lush’) made a great duo in harmony and on stage. She hasn’t yet released any songs yet on Spotify or Apple and I’m hoping that she releases some shortly as there were a few songs that really shone through. As she walked off stage, she was cheered with shouts of “Raven’ and a huge smile broke across her face. A great debut gig and she warmed the audience up nicely.
During the interval I thought about the children of successful musicians who decide to follow their children into the performing arts; Miley Cyrus, Jason Bonham etc. and I hope Raven uses this as a springboard and is as successful as she wants to be. As the lights dimmed, green light flooded the stage and the band strode out on stage, the guitarist and bassist occupying the front with the keyboardist and drummer at the back.
The make up artist had a field day with the band, all looking arresting with their heavily made up white stark faces with foreboding black marks. The first song Resurrection is probably one of the best tracks he could open with - it builds so well and the anticipation rose as Gary Numan walked out on stage to perform Down In The Park. He broke out in a huge smile as he swayed across the stage.
Pure saw the Gibson Les Paul coming out to play and he looked as lithe as ever, posing dramatically throughout. The fifth song Metal got a massive reception - it’s one of my favourite songs, and if it was possible increase the atmosphere a notch or two, it happened at that moment!
With a setlist spanning across 10 albums, the hits came thick and fast; Cars, My Name is Ruin, and The Gift to name but a few.
With three dates sold out and the crowd going nuts for every song in a relatively small venue, I’m sure that this is exactly how Gary Numan would have wanted to have celebrated this monumental achievement. Here’s to the next 1,000!
All photos by Duncan Tyler