Sunday, 29 November 2009

Gary Numan - Live At Sunderland Campus

What a nice surprise - Gary Numan playing a live show in Sunderland instead of Newcastle. The venue was the Campus Academy, and this was the north-east leg of the 'Pleasure Principle' tour. Gary had already successfully toured his 1980 album 'Telekon' so it seemed a natural choice to get back on the road and play the 'PP' album in a similar fashion. It's been 30 years since the release of that album so I was interested in how it would be performed after all this time. Would it be played live as it was back in the day, or would Gary opt for a contemporary 'Beefed Up' rendition?

On arrival at the venue we were met by a very long queue at the door. I wasn't expecting that! Still 15 minutes before the doors open too. My compact camera was tucked away but the likelihood of getting a good spot near the front looked...well...unlikely.

It wasn't long before we were out of the cold and indoors, and I must say the concert room was bigger than I had first anticipated. The walls were covered with American style memorabilia and although the stage looked a bit cramped with all that gear, I was still expecting a great show once the music kicked in.

The support act 'Dirty Harry' were quite good. Loud, proud and very much live. A quick changeover and the main event started around 9pm. Numan's band quickly got into their stride, kicking off with the 'Pleasure Principle album and a couple of extra songs from that period. I'm not sure why there were 4 keyboard players though, one of which was Gary himself.

The music was excellent, just as I had hoped it would be. The synths were as powerful as always and on reflection it was quite hard to believe that these songs were actually written 30 years ago!

Well, I managed to grab a few shots, but being a few rows back hindered my chances of pulling in some big ones, plus the lighting was quite poor for 'Point And Shoot' photography. After Gary and the band had played the 'PP' album in its entireity the mood quickly changed as the more recent darker songs were introduced. Not really my cuppa tea to be honest folks, but quite a few of the punters were well into it. Towrds the end of the show we got 'Down In The Park', 'Are Friends Electric' and 'We Are So Fragile' before the final track 'A Prayer For The Unborn'. A great way to finish the night. This was probably the best Numan gig I'd been to and it was great to hear the live versions of an album which was the first one I ever bought back in '79. Showing me age now, eh!
Ah...the days of vinyl records...

Later, Ash