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Live review

Gary Numan 

HMV Institute, Birmingham

added: 3 Jun 2012 // gig date: 31 May 2012
reviewer: Ross Cotton

Gary Numan - HMV Institute, Birmingham - Printable version
I'd been really looking forward to seeing Gary live again, after such a spectacular performance at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall last year. And promises of him playing older material to celebrate the release of his DVD Machine Music: The Best Of Gary Numan also got me building up excitement for months on end.

This was my chance to experience songs that I'd never had the chance to hear live before. This was my chance to sing along to Music For Chameleons, My Love Is A Liquid and other great classics from the early years.

But unfortunately, on entering the HMV Institute, I was immediately greeted by the fowl stench of sweat leaking from the over-crowded space, which had been filled by obnoxious, rude people who saw no shame in pushing past others for a better view of the person's head in front.

Instantaneously, my ears became damaged by the consistently annoying football hooligan chants of “Numan” spewing out from the knuckleheaded Gary fans, whose cult-like behaviour gradually become more and more unbearable.

I couldn't wait for Gary to appear on stage, knowing that his pioneering synthpop music (which has become a second language in my home) would drown the irritating dialogue erupting out of fans.

Unfortunately, Gary's performance was not loud enough, and tracks were becoming barely recognisable through the mindless, consorting “NUUUUUUUUUMAAAN!” I could've been listening to this muffled performance through a brick wall, as the venue space didn't appear to have a strong enough sound mix. If sound levels had been altered, then of course, the buffoons would have been audibly muzzled. But unfortunately, the sound came across very one dimensional.

If I was right at the front, maybe I would have been able to hear and enjoy the elating, amazing vibes and sonics transmitted from Gary. Maybe I would have been able to sing along to my favourite songs. But of course, I wasn't at the front, and none of these 'ifs' or 'maybes' were possible. And so, I had to stand there listening to the repetitive vomit projected out of the moronic crowd.

Obviously most Gary fans are quite happy to pay twenty-five quid to hear themselves speak, rather than listening to/watching the legend himself, who never fails to put on an amazing live set, and always has uniquely distinctive visuals and lighting. And obviously Numan followers are happy disrespecting their icon, as well as disrespecting the people who do ACTUALLY want to hear his music live.

Gary, there's one thing I'd like to ask you. You've put up with this kind of thing for over thirty years?! I can't put up with it for five minutes! How do you do it?!

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1 stars

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