Another Gary Numan tour, another album to recreate. Having given his Replica album a once over at the same venue last year, this time round saw the industrial icon running through The Pleasure Principle, his first album under his own name from thirty years ago. Devoted fans returned along with those who were yet to see the legend perform for their first time and luckily for them, they weren’t disappointed.
Walking into a gig, you always worry that maybe you are somehow late and have missed the start, but there was instantly relief when we heard Dirty Harry aka Victoria Harrison bellowing throughout the venue. The English born rocker seemed to be entertaining some of the crowd, but for the majority, left little impression. It didn’t take long until Numan and fellow producer Ade Fenton took to the stage, accompanied by their live team of musicians. ‘Random’, one of the few instrumental tracks from The Pleasure Principle was the first song aired and it was a chance for Numan and his buddies to rock out and ease themselves into what would be a cracking show.
The Pleasure Principle is an extremely developed album and considering it was released in 1979 and still mesmerising listeners in 2009 really proves how great a musician Gary Numan is. He has what one can only describe as a -strange abstract’ voice with an extremely enigmatic timbre. He writes all his own material and can make a keyboard and synthesizer work better than the majority of industrial artists today, regardless of the amount of technology they may use.
‘Cars’, one of the most infamous songs from the album was played mid-set and every single person, hardcore fan or not, sang along with every word. However, ‘Metal’ was the song of the night that made State’s jaw drop and Numan truly shined, showing that after 30 years, he could still perform so passionately while still sporting black eyeliner, dark clothing with big boots while throwing industrial shapes around the stage. Regardless of the show being dedicated solely to The Pleasure Principle album, it wouldn’t be a Gary Numan show without playing ‘Are Friends Electric?’, and, even though the audience had a sneaky suspicion that there was a possibility of hearing it live that night, it still came as a welcome surprise.
Gary Numan live is head and shoulders above any industrial/electronic artist working today, and as a result is a huge influence on musicians like Trent Reznor and pop culture comedy stars The Mighty Boosh. Numan is currently working on new material, and it’s safe to say that he would be welcome back to Dublin to perform any one of his albums anytime, new or old.