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Gary Numan - Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall 10th March 2008   Print  E-mail 
Written by Christopher Lloyd  
Sunday, 23 March 2008

Old is the new new...

Itís 30 years since the landmark album ĎReplicasí by Gary Numan and the Tubeway Army.


A lot has happened in Numanworld over those thirty years, electronic music hitting mainstream culture, buying an airplane, baldness, baldness reversal, being sampled by the Sugababes, becoming way too obsessed with Nine inch Nails and turning a bit goth, and last but not least, appearing in ĎThe Mighty Booshí.


It seems that Old is the new new of late, with many bands hawking classic albums around the worlds venues in an act that has more to do with than reminiscing the good old days rather than making a tidy profit (I have got that the right way round havenít I?)


Listening to Replicas now, it does sound very dated, but then Numan was a pioneer, and we only have to listen to any beefed up electronic track over the last ten years to hear his influence.  This tour is billed as the first time that Replicas has been played live. Ever.  This is good news to me as Iím not a Numan fan, but I really like the first two thirds of Replicas. Like the recent Human League ĎDareí tour, I know when Iíll be leaving.


Unfortunately, this is Gary Numan, and Gary has decided to buck the trend of playing the album in itís entirety in order of itís appearance on wax, but to move them around and incorporate b-sides into the mix. This isnít such a good thing for me, because what I experienced was the dullest electro-rock Iíve heard in a long time, having to wait nine songs in before even hearing ĎDown in the Parkí a song so brilliantly covered by Marilyn Manson that Numan feels he should cover Mansonís cover. Bizarre.


And so, after ten tracks of average and one of genius, Iím assaulted by two instrumentals, and they donít half drag. Visually thereís some nice stage lighting, but that only remains interesting for around seven minutes when the music is so crushingly dull. The session musicians that make up the band are poseurs of the highest order, so watching them was out of the question.


A hardcore of Numanoids, (or Numanetteís?) were at this sold out gig, but even they were rooted to the spot as if there were landmines scattered on the venues floor. At least there wouldíve been something interesting to watch had there been any.


The last time Numan toured it was filmed for a DVD release and in theory a Replicas tour DVD would be a good release, but if tonight was anything to go by, in practice it would be a travesty which is a shame because despite how this review is coming across, I genuinely do like Gary Numan!




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