Gig Review by Michelle Griffin with Photography by Ian Dunn

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Gary Numan hits Rock City in Nottingham again, this time with his brand new album ‘Splinter’ which has given Numan his first top 20 album chart spot in 30 years, and definitely one of his best in a long time.

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First up it’s Losers, an assured, infectious support performance from a really cool bunch of guys comprising of Tom Bellamy (ex-Cooper Temple Clause), Mark Heron, XFM DJ Eddie-Temple-Morris and the very talented Paul Mullen (ex-The Automatic) on vocals. The set comprises six tracks from their latest album ‘And So We Shall Never Part’. The pacy, driving Acrobatica starts the set off followed by Us vs. Night, Think You, The Chain, the apocalyptic Turn Around and culminating with the simply epic Azan, which Gary has cited as a major influence in his new album.

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They leave us wanting more… But, Ok enough of the support. Let’s get on with the man himself…

9pm. Full house, full of expectation. Gary Numan and band enter the stage shrouded in dry ice to the pounding, industrial sound of heavy guitars and bass intro that is Resurrection. If anyone hasn’t seen Numan in the past fifteen years then this intro is very much a hint of his musical progression over that time. And as if to dispel any lingering doubts, the first track is I Am Dust (from Splinter) with it’s grinding intro which clearly gets the fans in the mood.

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This is followed by Metal from Gary’s 1979 album the pleasure Principle – a timeless track which more than stands its ground against the industrial bright young things of the new millennium. Gary then followed this with more powerful tracks from the album splinter, my favourites being the dark, uncompromising Here in the Black and The Calling. The set continues with a mix of classics and new. Down in the Park is followed by Pure, Splinter and then the very open-hearted Lost. I have never seen Gary Numan fans so quiet as he sang this. Almost brought a tear to my eye.

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The set continues with When the Sky Bleeds, We’re the Unforgiven, Love Hurt Bleed – the first single from Splinter – and finally Prayer for the Unborn. After the customary Numan chants from the packed house, Gary returns for the encore to deliver the classic Cars followed by the ritual that is Are Friends Electric. Gary finishes with Splinter’s final track – the emotional, beautifully-crafted My Last Day. Perfect ending to a perfect gig.

Yes Gary Numan is back. Roll on the European tour in February 2014.

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Gary Numan Setlist: Resurrection (Intro) / I Am Dust / Metal / Everything Comes Down To This / Films / Here in the Black / The Fall / The Calling / Down in the Park / Pure / Splinter / Lost / Where the Sky Bleeds / We’re the Unforgiven / Love Hurt Bleed / A Prayer for the Unborn Encore: Cars / Are Friends Electric / My Last Day

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