Former locals The Red Paintings brought their signature theatricality to the stage, costumed and with two painters either side of the band: the artist on the left painting on a red canvas, the one on the right painting onto a female model. Their heavy sound and stage presence got the crowd’s attention and held it as though they were the headliner. Their original songs were received as well as, if not better than, their covers which included a killer version of Nick Cave’s ‘The Mercy Seat’ and Tears For Fears’ ‘Mad World.’ As they thanked the crowd for not just waiting at the bar, they closed with ‘The Revolution is Never Coming’ leaving the crowd ready and rearing for the main act.

The lights dipped to black and the crowd roared with excitement as the opening notes of ‘Resurrection’ thundered through The Hi-Fi. The bass synth and industrial sounds on a backing track built the anticipation as Gary Numan and his band took the stage amidst a flurry of strobe lights. Numan strutted around the stage, donning his guitar for the heavy instrumental opener before ditching it when the band seamlessly kicked into ‘I Am Dust’ and Numan commanded the crowd with his enormous personality.

The set was obviously comprised mostly of songs from his latest album, Splinter: Songs From a Broken Mind, but with enough classics to satisfy even the most die hard of fans. ‘Metal’ was the third song in the show, while ‘Down In The Park’ and ‘Cars’ made their way into the set around halfway through. The band were spectacular, churning out the new songs and new takes on the old songs and it was always a highlight when Numan made his way over to the keyboard to play a few choice parts. Even his voice was flawless, confusingly so in moments when his mic was nowhere near his mouth.

With one of the best light shows I’ve seen in The Hi-Fi combining with Gary Numan’s signature industrial sounds, there was nothing to complain about. Sure, there were moments during the show I was convinced he was lip syncing but, if he was, it definitely wasn’t for the whole set. And, when you think about it, performance is what’s important, and Numan delivered that in spades.

Wes Fahey


2 Responses

  1. Nick

    It was a good show. The Red Paintings have earned themselves at least one new fan!

    Gary’s show was good, though it was disappointing that some of the more vocally stressing points he was clearly miming to a back up recording. As you said, sometimes it was done while not even pretending – nor was it hard to tell when his voice went from what you expect from a live show to perfect studio quality.
    However, that was the only downside, and considering he sung the majority of the songs and doesn’t exactly scream “peak fitness” I think most forgave (An offense I usually find unforgivable) this critique.

  2. Gforce

    Saw Gary Numan Preston, England on 1 July 2014, have followed since 79 and seen him 30+ times. He definitely lip-synchs, he sings and then if the chorus is tough he mimes, mike away from mouth and studio level performance.


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