Review: Gary Numan @ The Foundry

Nights in the Foundry don’t come much better than this, and the hordes of Gary Numan fans, who always turn out to see their hero, knew pretty much what they were in for. Make no mistake: this was not a night for nostalgia – far from it.

Numan’s latest material is every bit as strong as it was in his chart-conquering days, and has received greater critical acclaim than ever. He is so far from the slew of ‘heritage’ acts that tour on the back of a limited run of old hits as it’s possible to be. His latest material has moved on and progressed from when he called himself Tubeway Army back in the Eighties.

And this was no one-act event either; the opening act, Nightmare Air, completely blew the evening wide open with their LA-based shoegazey, dreampop show. Driving bass, grungy, almost guttural guitars and synthesisers combined with male and female combined vocals; they took no prisoners. Their all too short show set the Foundry alight, and although most people were there to see Gary, they saw one of the best received opening sets I’ve seen in many a year. For me, and a few others I suspect, it will be one of those ‘I saw them when they were just a support act’ moments. They’ll be back to headline before too long if there’s any justice.

Gary Numan was the main dish of the night of course, and his show is nothing short of stunning. And where better than Sheffield to see this giant in the world of electronic music? He opened with Ghost Nation, also the opening track from his latest album ‘Savage: Songs from A broken World’, and managed to please everyone from then on, as you would expect, by playing much of the new album, along with the older songs we all love. No surprise that the show closes with ‘Are Friends Electric?’, which with the technology available today, manages to sound even better than it did when we were all a great deal younger.

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