Review: Gary Numan goes down a storm on a breezy night in Bexhill

Gary Numan on stage at the De La Warr Pavilion, September 23
Gary Numan on stage at the De La Warr Pavilion, September 23

It was a breezy old night in Bexhill but Gary Numan was going down a storm at the De La Warr Pavilion.

It was a wet and windy night outside but it didn't put off hundreds of fans packing the auditorium inside

Gary Numan

Gary Numan

Is it really 40 years since this icon of electronica first burst onto the post-punk pop scene?

Numan is celebrating four decades in the business with a special anniversary tour and there is a lot to celebrate including some new music.

A healthy crowd gathered to see their hero as he calmly walked onto the stage to open an explosive set packed with fine musicianship, crafted tunes and a belly-full of attitude. After such a long career, Numan has lost no appetite for performing and quickly started springing about the stage to the delight of his fans.

Starting out with the rip-roaring My Name is Ruin from his most recent album, Numan showed why he has lost none of his appeal. Intricate and well-crafted music and lyrics combine to pack a real punch.

He moved through the first hour of the set at breakneck speed ably assisted by some very capable musicians who also enjoyed moving to the industrial rhythms created by driving bass beats and drums.

Absolution brought a slower pace to the set before a quick blast back to the early days followed with Cars and I Die: You Die. Then a return to a slower track with the atmospheric Prayer for the Unborn.

The first set ended with the anthemic Are Friends Electric which still sounds incredible and is the hallmark of Numan's brilliant musicianship. Numan worked the crowd on the chorus and they revelled in singing it back at him.

After a brief break, while the crowd clamoured for more, the band returned to the stage and Numan started to talk to his adoring audience. He mentioned that there was some new music on the way and treated fans to the track Intruder where he again demonstrated his trademark catchy vocals and musical hooks.

The evening ended with Numan playing acoustic guitar on Jo The Waiter before he wished the crowd goodnight and set many of them off home eagerly awaiting the next gripping instalment from this talented, popular and intriguing genius of a musician.