AFENet Review - Reviews of Numan gigs by Numan Fans
Saturday 8th Feb, Bristol Colston Hall
Not Worth the Journey

This was first show for a while and although I have been a serious critic of Gary lately I was hoping the theme for the night "25th Anversary & Hybrid" would be worth dipping my toe into the water once more. I decided on Bristol for two reasons, one was I had never ever been there before and the second I have never liked SBE. Unlike some I do not meet up with old friends from concerts past, my interest has always been just Gary, so my concert experience does not include attendance in a local pub, a factor that must change people perceptions of a performance, I like to be sober. For similar reasons I did not bother with the support, apart from Nash the Slash I have yet to see a Numan support worth a second look, I gave Sulphur a miss.

To business, the stage was not hidden and so the set was visible before the gig. It looked to be better than past sets but there appeared to be nothing to remind you of the past 25 years, not even one tiny panel or moving part, a warning I thought, the 25th aniversary is perhaps not the main theme for the night.

Now please forgive me I do not know the names of the newer Hybrid stuff so I will not go onto a blow by blow account of each song. In general my feelings were that the older songs have been beefed up but have lost those wonderful keyboard hooks, even AFE sounds a bit odd now. It was a nice surprise to hear Please Push No More once again, it sent a shiver down my spine, and as much as I love I die You Die and We Are Glass, with the beefed up sound these are only adequate or workman like renditions, Cars was Cars and again it loses that steel in favour of umph!

The newer material from Pure and Hybrid was what it was, I am just not a metal head, that is why I got into Numan all those years ago, to laugh at metal heads. Compared to the epic sound of say ME none of the new songs or re-mixes have that certain something, they lack individuality of style, so whilst they are performed well, they do not have what once was, not for me at least. A note on the drums, is that the loudest snare in the world or what, very annoying after about an hour.

Overall after the early excitement of the old songs I lost interest as did some of the folks sitting around me and the applause was polite at best. As for Garys own performance, odd really, vocally he is up and down, clear one song, muffled the next, I have been critical about his use of tapes before, tonight from the balcony at least it seemed to be all live, perhaps others will know different. His stage persona is not what is was and I am afraid Mr Harris needs to bugger off during DITP, please no dancing chimps during an all time classic if you do not mind. The band, well Ade seemed to be a little under used and the other fella, sorry do not keep up with names anymore, no comment really, he was just there.

My overall thoughts, well I am sure there are folks who like what was on offer, it was not rubbish. But it is not Gary Numan, well not the Gary Numan I like. As for the theme for the night, a celebration of 25 years it was not, and Garys lack of communication with the audience at the end did for the first time ever annoy me, for goodness sake I like many others have travelled a long way to see you and have along journey home, you would have thought he might have had something to say after all this time.

If you like this kind of thing then it was 100% up your street, but if like me, you now prefer something with a more musical quality, then you will be a bit disappointed.

I am sure I will be seeing Gary again, if he ever comes to the Midlands, but my days of long journies are over, it just is not worth the effort for what are just ok gigs, but nothing special.

Archoness

Absolutely brilliant

just a few words to say that this show was absolutely brilliant. There are no other words to describe it. Jam packed from front to back. Gary looked fantastic.

I feel really honoured to have been present at that show. There was this huge excited vibration within the crowd that something special was about to happen and also a sense that this year is going to be one in which we can all celebrate.

For me , the major surprise was "Please Push No More". That was really emotional and I could'nt hold back tears at that point. Ancients would make a first class single, a bit of a classic, that one. I also loved the "Hybrid" treatment of "Rip". Afterwards we went round the back to the tour bus and waited in the pouring rain, met Gary, got "Thats Too Bad" signed, shook hands and thanked him for a truly magnificent and unforgettable night.

Gary if you are reading this, a big thanks. We are all very proud to be your fans. Hope you like the card!

Cheers,
Phil & Lanna.

BLOODY BRILLIANT...'scuse my french...!!

"Please Push No More" and "Prayer For The Unborn" were real highlights for me...along with "That's Too Bad" and "Crazier". It was nice to hear some new stuff, but I thought the set as a whole was a good balance from across the years.

Only prob I had was being able to see...the set was lit a little dark at times, and being a shortie at the back it did make it a little difficult to actually see the man himself at times (bearing in mind that I was stood behind tall people - it didn't help)...though I admit it was good & atmospheric.

I totally loved the show...and thought Gary rocked big style...!!!!!!!!!!!!

DownStat

Gary is a GOD

I wish the man who dies everyday would go off and die. Saturday night was pure genius I have not been that close to him since Brussells 2000. The show was breath taking a true masterpeice! Even my husband, who is not a Nuamn fan, thought he was brilliant, in his word "that boy can sing".

The set was amazing, the man was completely rocking and totally cool. I wish I could have gone on Sunday as well but nothing in the world could top the buzz that I still have from Saturday. Gary is a GOD, after all these years I will never stop admiring the pure genius that he is. What a night it was pure brilliance need I say more?

Jo Saddler

Great Show

A great show! Deliberately mysterious lighting. Gary and the band were lost in fog most of the night.

Highlights were Gary doing keyboards on one number, Andy Gray guesting on the new track they composed (EXCELLENT) and some remixes. The remixes were varied. You often were left waiting for the chorus (eg Rip), and then the chorus was played down.

The Prayer for the Unborn remix was good, but the song played straight would probably have been better! No complaints about the set list! A good mix of early songs: That's Too Bad, Shadow in Vain, PLEASE PUSH NO MORE, It Must Have Been Years, etc. Three new ones: the intro - might have been Exposure; the Numan-Gray one; another that I didn't recognise, but a few people were singing along to???? And the encore? Are Friends Electric, Cars, I Die You Die AND We Are Glass!!!

The whole thing was excellent, a bit less sing-along-to than usual because of the remixes, well worth driving to Bristol for. The place semed packed out, and there was a great atmosphere.

Keep these shows coming, Gary!

Paddy Vickers

Oh, what a night!

It has been quite a while since I really enjoyed a Gary NUman show as much as this - certainly before the days of mimes, unchanging set lists and general apathy.last night was something else, something special and one of the best shows Numan has put on in a long time. Show starter was 'My Shadow In Vain' closely followed by 'ME','My Jesus' and (with Andy Gray introduced to the audience )'Ancients'- the latter which sounded a little under-rehearsed.

The newer songs were still there with some Hybrid-style (highlight for me being Prayer To The Unborn)set nicely against classics like 'It Must Have Been Years','Thats Too Bad' and the ever-present 'Down In The Park'. Someone had obviously had a word with Gary about being able to hear Synthersisers as they were nice and clear for a change, cutting over the guitars with a clarity not heard for far too long.

For the first time since 1981 'Please Push No More' was played complete with nice little tribute to Paul Gardiner and the Bristol crowd sang along with Gary. For an old-stager like me it brought back memories of three glorious nights in Wembley and I hope he continues to use this track live.

The encores were the recognised 'Numan Classics' of 'Cars','Are Friends Electric?','I Die:You Die' and 'We Are Glass' al lplayed in the recognised style - and they didn't deserve to be there when the Man is celebrating 25 years of which they are an enourmous part.

Of the newer songs 'Crazier' was brilliant and should be released as a single.'Bleed' and 'Rip' worked well in their newer styles.

There was something for just about everyone last night and it was nice to see Gary Numan back on form again.

Great show and many will be sorry they didn't attend them. 9.5/10

Vanian

You Ruined Everything

As a performer, Gary is better than ever. Nice to hear "Please Push No More" again. Then there were the remixes. To get the bad stuff out of the way first, there's Sulpher. At the start of the evening, Sulpher sang "You Ruined Everything". Well, Sulpher ruined "Torn" and "Bleed" using a formula of replacing the chorus with sub-Nine Inch Nails guitar bollocks.

Andy Gray's remixes of "Rip" and "Everyday I Die" were superior to Sulpher's efforts, but probably sound better coming out of your living room speakers than they did live. On the plus side, "Prayer For The Unborn" was magnificent - a perfect blend of the remix and the guitar heavy ending of the original, and a great song to close the main set with. "Crazier" sounds reminiscent of "Rip", but is none the worse for it. The old songs that the band played straight were as good as ever.

Don't get me wrong, Gary's decision to play the remixes is fully justified with the Hybrid album coming out, but hopefully the ones that were less successful live will be dropped in favour of his own versions.

Just one more point. I am thinking of setting up a fund for a crate or barrel of beer to give to any member of Gary's band that "accidentally" damages that bloody Korg M1 beyond repair. Any takers?

Steve

Most Disappointing

Show was good up to thats too bad, then down hill to the encore. too much remixing bass and guitars i must be old fashioned but i like me synths.

numan looked bored singing some songs namely cars
only missed the 79 & 80 tours this for me was the
most disappointing.

Red Dwarf

Totally Enjoyable

Haven't seen numan since vicar street dublin on the pure tour, and before that it was the exhibition tour....so i'm not exactly the best reviewer but what the hell! Just back home to west ireland this sunday evening....my only regret is that i couldnt stay around for shepherds bush tonight ....but the memories of last night will stay with me forever. Totally enjoyable experience for me and my wife and 16 year old son .... Only complaint was that the evening went too quickly.

I genuinely cannot flaw the show..the set list was superb, numan looked brillant and sounded brillant, steve harris was psychotic on stage, still think this man is a show stealer....but he is so fuckin' enjoyable to watch....think my son has become his biggest fan. Sound reproduction was excellent..considering we were stuck up on the balcony.....which is the worst place to be at a numan show, as security will not allow you to go mental...the athmosphere down in the stalls looked seriously cool, from where i was sitting!

Highlights for me...well please push no more was a very welcome surprise, crazier was totally brillant, hybrid versions of tracks rip and bleed and torn were ,for me, raw and energised and definately worked well live, and possibly define numan's new style better than i imagined.
Great to see andy gray on stage with his contributions.. But glad the set didnt include remixed versions of the classics, down in the park, cars, are friends electric? Which were mind blowing...sorry for being old fashioned and retro but these songs can, in my opion, only be played live exactly like the great man did last night. I die, you die and we are glass likewise stole the show.

I have never heard it must have been years or that's too bad live before so i was fairly blown away by these i'm afraid...they were true to their original form and as such..perfect !

This show really did compliment a man who has been making music for 25 years ...and amazingly he looks better now than he did then, sounds better, and has become an amazing performer......as you can see i am a little overwhelmed by last night....i never thought we would see 25 years!!

This is the most important year of his career..............i think a star is reborn! I will watch with interest.

Enjoy tonight!

TADHG KILCUMMINS

O.K.

The show was ok. nothing spectacular, scrimped a bit on the lights, as ever he puts in tons of energy on stage, this is in my opinon the best thing about his gigs these days.

The Hybrid versions of the songs i dont think worked to well, made a reference to paul gardiner before he played please push no more. the track crazier sounded fantastic. nothing else really different but it was a numan show and i and a lot of people around me enjoyed it. you pays your money..............

The Man Who Dies Everyday

 
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