Live Review: Gary Numan at Oxford’s O2 Academy

The low ceiling of Oxford’s O2 Academy funnels the thudding bass speakers output like a wind tunnel as Jayce Lewis and his band literally shake the internal organs of the sold-out crowd – By Guy Shankland. The welsh singer resembles a young Numan with his dark black hair, bleached brown t-shirt and leather trousers. His voice is pitch perfect but gets slightly drowned out by the thumping sound which threatens to remove the onlooker’s skin from their blistered skulls. GARY NUMAN is an artist, performer an electronic renegade whose individuality has seen him rise, fall and rise once more. Tonight Numan gives it his all, the concentration, emotion and effort he throws into his seventeen song set is clear to see. ‘Ghost Nation’, ‘Metal’ and ‘Everything Comes Down To This’ push, pull, then prod the eyes, heart and ears. Dressed in new world garb with obligatory jet black hair and eyeliner he cuts a dashing, albeit a slightly Skywalker-ish figure. With his new album ‘Savage’ dealing with a post-apocalyptic globally warmed world, his futuristic desert ensemble makes perfect symmetrical sense. ‘Splinter’, ‘Down In The Park’ and latest single ‘My Name Is Ruin’ are all faultlessly delivered by his superb band who are aided by a stroke-inducing light show. Gary’s unmistakable silhouette ushers in the timeless intro to ’Cars’ which unsurprisingly gets the loudest crowd reaction. ‘A Prayer For The Unborn’ and ‘ We Are Glass’ give way to a monumental crowd-pleasing set closer. ‘Are Friends Electric’ 2017 is a heavenly beast, the No1 song has been modernised, made beefier and is subtly Industrial while retaining its spine of familiarity. This was not a gig in the normal sense, this was a performance of cathartic release wrapped up with an eclectic career spanning set. Gary Numan is, was and always will be….electric.

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