By DJ Astrocreep

Another gig without any supports could be a worry with some artists. For the likes of Gary Numan who always seems to get a hero’s welcome in Liverpool, maybe less so. Throw into the mixer a set list comprising of two of his much-vaunted early Tubeway Army albums and there is a little more relaxation about it. On arrival, the lift has broken down, meaning access in a wheelchair is hard, but the venue work valiantly to help me get in, which I do about 15 minutes before the band start, settling in on line with the front barrier. 

Gary Numan @ Liverpool Academy 4 June 2024The albums come in full order, which is not overly a surprise, given Numan’s reputation. This doesn’t matter a jot to the gathered masses, though, who get straight into it and are happily singing along from the off. Numan is on fire, as are his backing band, and the love is flowing in a clearly circular manner.

Some songs are always going to be more appreciated than others and while both albums are – or should at least be – staples for a lot of different people, everyone will naturally be drawn to a particular sound more than others. This probably best shown throughout the night in ‘Replicas’ classic ‘Down In The Park’, which may not have been a commercial success as the lead single from the album, but has remained a set list and fan favourite across the years.

People are definitely warming up as we work our way through the packed set list and people are far more visibly dancing along as well as singing as we get further into ‘Replicas’. Numan’s infectiousness has definitely been seeping into the crowd as much as the alcohol has and the heady mixture of both lead to such a warm affectionate atmosphere that he seems to draw from the audience so seemingly easily.

We have time for two encores and it was fairly obvious which two Numan would pick, given the era he is playing from through the main set. After all, what set would be complete without a nod towards transport or his friends? It’s a superb night of music, where almost everything, a couple of idiots in the crowd excepted, just align for an exceptional performance. Fantastic show.

  • The tour continues with back-to-back shows at Manchester’s O2 Ritz tonight (Wednesday 5 June) and tomorrow (Thursday 6 June) and then finishes with two successive shows at The Roundhouse on Saturday (8 June) and Sunday (9 June).
  • Photograph by the author.
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