Review : Gary Numan – O2 Leicester 22 May 2012

Feeling under the weather I decided to venture over to Leicester to witness the opening show of the latest Gary Numan tour, Machine Music 2012. Having bought a ticket outside for a nice reduced price of £15.00 I ventured into the dark venue that once was the Percy Gee Buildings at Leicester University. There I was met by the blue neon lighting which could have been from an early Numan video. The support came in the shape of Officers who gave a decent set and whom have just have worked with Gary.

As 9pm arrived the lights again went down for the arrival of the main act. The giant screen behind the drum kit was used throughout the night. The images were supplied by winning entries submitted by Numan fans for certain songs. A great gesture and a good way to save money on producing them yourself. The screen was dominated by a woman’s lips painted blue informing us ‘Berserker‘ was the opening number. The band looked anxious to start off with but soon fell into stride behind Gary’s vocals.

We were not disappointed with the selection of tracks tonight which included the early singles of ‘Bombers‘ which still sounds relevant and the punky ‘That’s Too Bad‘. The bass on both tracks was particularly excellent and sat well with some of his latest material played during the set. ‘Down In The Park‘ a personal favourite of mine was as usual played to a high standard. The first real audience participation came with the performance of ‘We Are Glass‘ a song known even by the non-numanoids in the crowd.

I was actually impressed by ‘This Wreckage‘, a song I’ve always regarded as a bit nondescript but tonight it seemed to take on a bigger bolder face. I will have to go back and listen to studio version again to see if I afforded it some injustice previously. The anthem track ‘I Die You Die‘ had fans hands aloft throughout. This made me realise that the average Numan fan seemed to stand well over six-feet. Received well tonight was Gary’s tribute paid to the late drummer and close friend Cedric Sharpley.

The show seemed to be over early when in-fact he had been on stage well over an hour and a half. The encore included the two monsters ‘Cars‘ followed by a sort of worship me version of ‘Are Friends Electric‘ which shifted from a wall of noise to just Gary’s vocals in places. Certain hit songs were absent from the set, but being as the man has a vast catalogue you could forgive him for that. It was clearly evident to see that this man was totally at home on stage and was enjoying every minute of it, as were the audience too.

If I could find fault in the concert it would be that the vocals were too low in the mix at times. Being as this was show number one, I’m sure future gigs will hopefully have this sorted out. The only other blight on the night was the annoying drunkard who did not know any words to the songs. He just roared out in people’s ears, until I told him to button it – a note I took literally from Mr. Mallinder earlier in the day.

About Stevo Music Man

Music fan (Worked in music 79-92, gigs, collector, Indie DJ) Football (LCFC Season ticket), Travel, Read, Swim, Cycle & Internet.
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9 Responses to Review : Gary Numan – O2 Leicester 22 May 2012

  1. Karen says:

    Well, um, I last saw Gary in Wembley in 1981, so my fault really, I had such high expectations – I was making this trip to see him as I have been battling a life threatening disease and told to live my life to the full, so in essence I think I was trying to recreate that emotional feeling I had 30 years ago. On arrival at the o2 I was immediately struck by how small it was and felt a little sad. There was absolutely no way that I would be able to stand all night (due to my illness) so we tried to find a good vantage point in which to see. No way! nearly everyone was over 5ft 7 and no way was anyone going to budge from the railings upstairs ( and some were positively hostile!! “move” one bloke said to me as I dared to step into a space while he fetched a beer from the bar) so my fiancé and I sat on the cushioned benches right at the back of the area. The sound back there was awful, far too much base, so much that the walls vibrated and gave me a wonderful back massage. We could not hear any of the lyrics from the support band – When Gary came on I kicked off my shoes and stood on the seats – luckily security were lovely and did not mind. Gary was still as wonderful as I remembered him, but so different! WE have both aged well!! But I am afraid to say I left early, I could not stay standing for all that time, and in hindsight I should have asked about seating arrangements. Am I glad I went? OH yes, I have always liked Gary as a person and his music was wonderful, would I go again to the same venue? Nope sorry, it is okay for the youngsters but not okay for us oldies who need to sit down now and then. and as for the general public….hardly anyone dressed up….there just wasn’t the camaraderie there was all those years ago…but that isn’t the artists fault….that’s me, being a soppy 52 year old lady.

    • Nice sentiments, well it was my first experience of the venue as the O2, there was upstairs near the doors an area set aside for people tagged as disabled, maybe you should have asked someone if you could have gone there as it wasn’t full.
      I first saw Gary at Hammersmith Odeon with support by OMD, and yes things have changed but that’s only natural. We progress, hopefully for the good. Have to agree the vocals on the support were sometimes low, but that maybe due to the venue. Being as the concert didn’t sell out then the size was about right for the area it would seem. Bands nowadays can’t afford to make a loss on concerts as this is where they make their money and not in album sales. That’s a complete turnaround from way back when.
      Hope you get a chance to see him again. Thanks for reading my review.

  2. Scott says:

    I attended the Newcastle gig last night and i totally agree with Gary’s vocals being almost inaudible at times I noticed he gestured to the roadie at one point pointing upwards. I really enjoyed the gig though that was the only negative so it was interesting that someone else should make the same comment. there was a few obnoxious people there old enough to know better who just pushed through and stood in front of my young son and I had be become rather agressive in my manner to move them, they obviously thought he was on his own till his 6ft 3ins 16st Dad tapped them on the shoulder and told them to move lol. So glad I made it to the gig it was awesome RIP Ced !

  3. alan says:

    saw gary numan twice in the 80’s when he did his berserker tour…1st was in Portsmouth and i loved it so much i went and saw him in Southampton. both venues were all seater so no matter where you were sitting you had a good view….i was tempted to go and see him in newcastle during this recent tour but most o2 arenas appear to be standing only nowadays which is a shame as it seems that the bullyboys get to the front and if you want to introduce your kids to the icons of your youth then the experience would probably but them off. Shame but he is welcome to perform in my front room if he wants


    • That’s a good point about venue’s we have areas for disabled – why not when the concert isn’t a pop idol type star have an area for young children. As you say they can’t see and artists need future generations to experience their music. I may email various venues about it.

  4. Iwonder says:

    Where did you get the photograph of him smiling from?

  5. george says:

    i attended the show at the HMV Forum and i thought the show was incredible! the sound, lights, video presentation, and set list were awesome!

    • Seems then by that gig all the problems were ironed out, plus the stage at the Forum is alot bigger too and the ceiling alot higher. Seems reading many reviews this tour was a success.

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