WORDS AND IMAGES BY BRIAN SAYLE
‘He Can Hold An Audience Without The Need To Interact With Spoken Word, His Stage Presence Tells Its Own Story’
Gary Numan is back out on tour again, in support of last album ‘Intruder’, his nineteenth studio album, a concept album with an apocalyptic theme. Released in May 2021 it entered the charts at number two, it disappeared not long after that but he is still on the road playing out live, this time 28 dates across Europe and tonight is a return to O2 Academy in Liverpool, a city he has played many times before Opening up the show with title track from the most recent release “Intruder”, this gets the night going and the crowd, the stage set up looks great, with a wall of five panels screens showing a video, and Numan entering the stage from the back right in the middle of them. Next up is an old one, “Me, I Disconnect from You”, the opening track from the second Tubeway Army album “Replicas”. Steve Harris on guitars and Tim Slade on bass are two tall commanding figures, dressed in what look like something between large old rags and a kilt, with these two on stage flanking Numan its quite a spectacle, next up is “Halo” followed by “The Gift”, another track from his last album Unlike last time he played the Academy in March 2018 on the “Savage” tour tonight isn’t sold out, which is a real shame but its not a reflection on the artists, more so a reflection on the economic landscape many people find themselves in these days, its a shame too see venues not as busy but that doesn’t stop Numan putting on a full show giving us %100. One thing I noticed was how all night he never once spoke, his shyness, possible nervousness stands out, however it doesn’t stop him performing magically, he can hold an audience without the need to interact with spoken word, his stage presence tells its own story. I particularly enjoyed seeing him playing his guitar on Pure mid way through the set but for most of the tracks tonight he is floating around the stage, wrapping himself around the mic stand or his arms around his head, his movements are free flowing just like the music and nostalgic vibes, I say nostalgic because for the most part its a 40+ crowd tonight but he has drawn in some youngsters too which is nice.
But its not just about watching the band members, the screens behind have some great visuals on them, “Cars” gets a great reception tonight, obviously being one of his most well known tracks, its followed up by “My Name Is Ruin” from the “Savage” album, on the screens we see the image of a girl as he sings “When I called you poison, you knew. When I called you shameful, you knew. When I called you liar, you knew. I would always find my way to you” …. Is it her he is referring too? Who knows, an image of Numan covered in rags as we see on that album cover also moves across the screen, its a great watch for those stuck at the back who might not be able to see Gary so well.
On the final track of the main set ‘I Die You Die’ Numan leads the crowd clapping along, or rather he joined in as they spontaneously followed the music, a great finale.
After a short break its back out for two more tracks, “The Fall” obviously followed up with “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” Too end the night, he must of played for about 90 minutes solid and held everyone right till the end, brilliant set from a legend of British music
IntruderMe! I Disconnect From You Halo The Gift Metal Ghost Nation Is This World Not Enough Films Pure Resurrection Down in the Park And It Breaks Me Again Dead Sun Rising Cars My Name Is Ruin Love Hurt Bleed The Chosen I Die: You Die Encore: The Fall Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
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Brian Sayle is a freelance photographer from the North West of England who has been working professionally since 2014.
He used to be a house photographer for the Academy music group but has also covered live concerts for several blogs and publications and also been in print in magazines such as Metal Hammer and Terrorizer.
Multi disaplined with a camera his main specialist areas of expertise are live performance, both theatre and music and also architecture, he has photographed buildings across the UK ranging from modern architecture to Grade I listed buildings, both commercially and for his own pleasure.