Portsmouth Guildhall celebrated the androgynous drag 80s and rock star Gary Numan last week
The Tubeway Army lead singer will be known by many for his drab gnawing of autonomy that dates back 42 years ago alongside Londoners Paul Gardiner, Billy Currie, and others. The group decided to bring life back to music with a serene new wave revolution.
Seeing the stage erupt with his dark interpretations of existence, new and old was incredible – there is nothing like vampire-esque cult classics with a load of thumping fists attached to screaming bodies to reinstate the anti-authoritarian attitudes of the not so distant mono human technicolour eighties.
Numan was lit with energy and seemed overwhelmed with the audience’s reaction. He opened with the album opener Ghost Nation, to which the fans praised loudly. The new album is all about the now and how he sees reality much alike an apocalyptic nightmare, where wars have created cracks in normality. The sound is dominated by a weaning electronica contrasted with a thrash rock. It stands aside from most music of the 80s besides similarly genre defying self proclaiming idol/comedian type personalities like The Fall and The Human League.
Subdued by sound
Joined by another groundbreaking act that emboies space flights erraticism, a Los Angeles band called Nightmare Air. It’s music perfect for hyping a Gary Numan audience. They were headed by guitarist and songwriter Swaan Miller who seems to have a lot of experience of post punk. He screams and cries and growls all at once in a very non-conforming manner. Their set was, for me, the most heart touching part of the concert. It was so cool to see how they’ve been influenced by British subculture.
Numan’s set was amazing, provocative and colourful. His fans were even in Gary Numan fancy dress. Getting the chance to become subdued by sound in a glass pyramid building with Gary Numan drowning out reality was an incredible experience. I think it’s safe to say I’ve found the rhythm within new-wave. I can totally appreciate the subcultures motives and attitudes. It’s everything reality isn’t and that is why it’s a bleeding sweet vibe to dance to. Rattling along quickly with annoyingly transcendental electronic accompaniment there is plenty of solace amongst the fans of Mr. Numan.