Gary Numan - ABC Glasgow - 20/09/16

It's a brave move for an artist to draw a line in the sand career wise.
To say that was then, this is now, so let's have one last celebration of the past and then leave it there. Especially when the past is considered by many to be the artistic benchmark that they are best known for, and yet this is what Gary Numan has done with his latest tour, which is framed as a farewell to Replicas, The Pleasure Principle, and Telekon, his run of three albums from '79 to '80, that in many ways reshaped how music was made.

For many his output at this time is even considered as pivotal as Kraftwerk, rightly so, and for others they are the foundation for what would become the industrial goth scene.
These are without a doubt in hindsight very important releases, but it is also understandable that as an artist Numan is now wanting to move out from under their shadow, and by going out on a curtain call tour he will create a watershed point that will allow others to move on and find some similar appreciation for his many other critically acclaimed releases.

Especially his more recent releases such as Dead Son Rising and Splinter (Songs from a broken mind) as both do a sterling job of highlighting that he is not yesterdays man, but an ongoing pioneer in the artistic sense.

And yet for so many fans, and most definitely those who attend any of the shows, it may have been a bittersweet moment, a wake of sorts, but personally as a long time fan, but not having witnessed a live show, I found the experience to be the perfect point to step in.

From the moment when the monochrome lighting heralded the band and Numan on stage it was akin to a dark dawn that set the scene to play out until the close of day on the material, leaving the next time that I see him as the beginning of yet another chapter.

And in yet another brave move the songs in themselves were rarely given any sort of reverential treatment, as while the point was to put them to bed, they were staunchly reinvigorated with a far tougher and muscular approach than some fans who wanted the time travelling wormhole experience of revisiting their personal halcyon days may have appreciated.

But a slavish re-enactment was never the point, and as my gig going buddy said he was playing it out on his terms, and rightly so.

Again Numan was simply taking the role of leader and it is our job to follow.

In many ways it has to be said that the live set is only partially a nod of respect to the past, and instead it more often concentrates on being a somewhat familiar introduction to the present, and it works, or it works for me.

Others may disagree, and their opinion is as valid, but again on a personal note it hit all the buttons I wanted it to, and in its totality the performance was one that couldn't ever be considered as a twilight of a career cash grab as is so often the case with retrospective and anniversary tours.

With a capacity crowd attending in Glasgow for this outing it will be time that will tell if the less than familiar fans of more recent work will be carried over to the next tour, but hopefully this is the case as Gary Numan is still pushing at the boundaries, and pushing hard.

So rather than a goodbye, let's just make this au revoir.