Gig Review: Gary Numan at O2 Academy Newcastle, 26th September 2019

Last night, in retrospect, wasn’t the best night to have scheduled a trip out to see a gig. Well, it might have been when I booked the tickets a few months ago, but by the time it actually rolled around, Geth and I were both fairly exhausted due to the preceding fortnight being absolutely non-stop for both of us.

However, I’d been waiting to see Gary Numan for a long time (I believe I was first planning to see him play at the notoriously cancelled Alt-Fest festival in 2014) and so I was determined to go out, enjoy myself and not fall asleep! It helped that we arrived just in time for doors, as it meant we were able to get a seat close to the bar and enjoy the show from further back.

The support act was Kanga. I quite liked their industrial stylings at first, although the tracks did start to get a bit samey towards the end. Both Geth and I are in a place where we’ve reached industrial music saturation point over the last year or two – this does happen periodically – and so I will keep the artist in mind for when I’m more in the mood for listening to that kind of thing again.

Kanga, 26th September 2019
Kanga’s stage lighting was not very photography-friendly so this is as clear a picture as you’re getting, I’m afraid!

Once Gary Numan came on, though, the energy in the room was fantastic. He kicked off with ‘My Name Is Ruin’, which is very familiar to audiences now having been the lead single off last year’s hit album Savage. We then had a selection of tracks from pretty much every era of his career, with the ’70s and ’80s hits not really making an appearance until towards the end – being a fan of those early albums I would have liked to hear a few more, but I loved the variation in the set and appreciated the chance to hear some songs that I’m not so familiar with! The encore was also a nice touch, with some quieter songs in the mix, including a demo track (‘Intruder’) that hasn’t been released anywhere yet.

Setlist here.

Gary Numan, 26th September 2019
Legendary and energetic. He did stand still for ‘Absolution’, which is when I snapped this picture!

A great gig, one of my favourites so far this year (although I suspect there’s some stiff competition coming up this autumn).

Here’s a video I took of ‘Are Friends Electric?’. You have to, really, don’t you?

The next gig I’m going to is in three weeks’ time. I will try to be less busy and tired that week!

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