Gary Numan - HMV Picture House, Edinburgh, Tue 4 Dec 2012
The electronica legend's performance boasts rousing tracks but little audience interaction
Gary Numan’s name comes with heavyweight pedigree, an original member of the 70s synth-wielding tribe, he has continued to spurn releases, with varying success, over the last four decades.
Part of a handful of UK dates on the ‘Dead Moon Rising’ tour, his Edinburgh show came with a practised set-list, fusing fan-pleasing material with excerpts from forthcoming album Splinter. As the musician’s latest collaborators goth-rockers Officers opened, spurning ritualistic, industrial sounds that gained in momentum.
A giddy crowd lauded Numan on stage, his instantly recognisable vocal securing ‘Films’ and the rousing ‘Haunted’ as early highlights. Throughout it was Numan’s iconic persona which dominated: caked in black eye make-up he threw glam rock poses, headbanged and triumphantly brandished his (fleetingly used) guitar towards an enthralled crowd. Trembling instrumentals, church organ keys and synths were hallmarks of an accomplished band, backed by churning, grotesque images. Hopes for audience interaction were quickly dashed as Numan retreated to the shadows between tracks, only heralding Officers back on stage for CALM single ‘Petals’, marked by a triumphant post-song hug. As the atmosphere sunk ‘Are Friends Electric’ proved a pleasing revival, followed by an encore of the infamous ‘Cars’ and ‘I Die: You Die’.