Along with the birth of a new Liverpool venue, electronic legend Gary Numan steps into the Exhibition Centre to play classics, new material and everything in between.
The birth of a new venue in the city is always an interesting thing, especially when it’s kicked off with a brilliantly billed show.
Tonight, Liverpool sees the arrival of the Exhibition Centre as a venue. Based on the opposite side of the Echo Arena, the venue has kicked off to an odd start, albeit with an amazing show.
Walking into the venue, we quickly notice just before the curtain to enter that there were a layout of chairs and tables, along with a fish and chips stand. It’s a nice addition, perfect for the audience in-hand.
Through the curtain, the standing ticket holders are based behind a barrier which is placed away from the stage and behind the huge seating area. It’s different, but is not far away from the quick criticism that it’s gotten.
Opening at almost exactly 8pm, the post-punk legends Gang of Four took to the stage.
Their 55 minute long set is full of their well-known, brand of minimal punk sounds with their social/political vibes throughout. While the band in modern times isn’t full of original members, they sure are an interesting and brilliant band live.
While the crowd didn’t seem to appreciate (especially the seated), Gang of Four brought almost an hour of entertaining songs, most of those who made them one of the greatest punk bands.
Moments after, the “Numan” chants begin. They lead all the way until the legend himself hits the stage almost half an hour later.
Numan arrives in his own grand fashion.
He dove into “Everything Comes Down to This” from his last album, 2013’s Splinter, showing while tonight was about his upcoming release Savage, he wasn’t forgetting about his modern efforts.
He followed with “Films“, a classic Numan cut. The Numanoid was already showing his difference, haunted by stunning lights throughout.
Numan stops for a moment and urges the seated crowd to rush to the stage, seemingly uninterested in the seating in-front of him.
Continuing on, Numan preformed “Bed of Thorns” from the Ghost in the Shell soundtrack, “Metal” and “Pressure“. He’s in his element already, five songs in and we’re in his palm.
“Ghost Nation” from his upcoming album sees it’s debut, and shows his modern industrial side is his best work. “Jagged“, “M.E” and “Splinter” follow.
Another new track “Mercy” comes up, the crowd are on-fire. A few songs later, the new tracks continue when Numan brings out his daughter Persia for a lovely moment between the two as Persia joins in with her part in Gary‘s new single “My Name is Ruin“.
As a thank you, Numan follows it with “Cars“, his biggest hit of his career. The crowd explodes, singing every word to his now heavy immortal piece.
Savage track “When The World Comes Apart” and “Love Hurt Bleed” end his powerful, flawless set.
While Numan has given us an amazing performance so far, we greedily want more and the electronic icon agrees.
Numan comes back with “Down In The Park“, his legendary Tubeway Army track that was covered by industrial-metal titans who Numan later found influence in. The lights fade, before we get struck with the powerful intro to “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” as Numan uses it to end his sublime performance.
There’s work to be done and a lot to be looked into at the Exhibition Centre, but there’s no doubt that Gary Numan is an exceptional performer, with a catalogue of stunning upcoming songs and a lot of classics worthy of a place in his live set.
Words by Jack Cinnamond, photography by Phil Johnson.