Gary Numan at Plymouth Pavilions 6.5.2022 + Divine Shade supporting
Only my second ever visit to Plymouth Pavilions, last one being Morrissey. Quite a big venue holding up to 4,000 or 2,500 all seated. It’s a hybrid tonight with front standing section and seats sloping down from where the balcony usually starts.
We are here a few rows up from the front of the seated section which give a great view across the standing crowd at the front to the stage – a wander in the standing area seems to be allowed, well no one stopped me. It’s quite busy tonight but there’s room. Bars not too busy – bottles of Tribute available – sound. (Here with gig buddy Dave – DPi and our wives and met up with Glasto Nige, currently masquerading as ‘Plymo’ Nige for a bit.)
We are in for the support band Divine Shade: hard to see in the backlit gloom but not hard to hear. A very full-on heavy synth sound – shades of heaviest Killing Joke at times but the repetitive heavy beat overwhelms the rest of the sound. I try and avoid letting a support band wreck my ears before the main band is on and my ear pieces are in early. This heavy trio from France are giving it a right old thrash. I can see how they’ve got on the Numan tour, with the heavy synth sound – they get a good reception but they wore me down.
I’ve seen Numan several times, all this century, the last time and earlier experiences documented here at my last Numan gig in October 2019.
The new album Intruder is up to the standard set by the last one Savage and it’s the title track of Intruder that is the opener tonight…then straight in to I Die You Die to get all the crowd going. Love it.
The sets Gary Numan is playing on this tour vary a little but all have a clear contribution from the new album (4/5 songs) and other tracks are chosen from across a broad selection of his extensive range of work. (Setlist link). It’s My Name is Ruin from the relatively recent Savage (2017) album that I have in my head after the gig. There’s always one song that is suitably contagious to infect the mind above the rest.
I forgot my camera this evening 🙄 so I’m reliant on a few from my phone. I took a phone video of We Are Glass, one of the bigger hits from the old days. That was the end of the main set.
The lighting is excellent and complementary not over-blown, although it’s pretty dark. There is so much more weight to a live Numan song these days – the keyboards more industrial than in the electro-pop of the late 70s and early 80s.
Numan and his band certainly put on a performance rather than play the songs. There is almost nothing said throughout the set, just one utterance of thanks near the end which was a bit odd. I don’t recall such silence from his previous gigs. This underlines the performance with its rehearsed dance moves – Numan back arches with one arm held up and the interchanging bassist-guitarist moves. I’ll get you photo next time eh if I don’t leave my camera behind again. 🙄
Here in the Black (from Splinter – 2013) and finally Are Friends Electric are the encores. It’s hard to imagine not hearing that these days, or Down In the Park, which they also played tonight.
Cracking night. Great sound, set and performance. As the venue empties you can see the seating arrangement – a good comprise.