The enigma that is Gary Numan – returned to Glasgow with his 45th Anniversary Tour, just as he did a couple of years ago his venue of choice was the o2 Academy.

This tour being a celebration of the release in 1979 of both ‘Replicas’ and ‘The Pleasure Principle’ albums, and in keeping with this, the full 22 song setlist, with the exception of 2 ‘B-side songs’ – were songs from these 2 albums.

Gary Numan – o2 Academy Glasgow

From the get go, when guitarist Steve Harris and bassist Tim Slade stepped onto the stage dressed like 2 post-apocalyptic priests in dark long flowing Cassocks, you knew you were in for some kind of quasi-religious experience. So when Gary Numan appeared onstage and opened with the title track ‘Replicas’ from the same titled album the crowd were all in for what was to come.

What was to come was a show that began as a rock show, flowed into a slightly more electronic/synth show and then drove into a heavy, heavy rock (almost metal) show, with only one slight hiatus when a fan at the front took unwell. Gary paused the show and came to the front of the stage and sat down to make sure the fan was well taken care of.  

Special mention must be made to the incredible lighting show from David Howard Lighting Design. The variety of colours and patterns within the show perfectly complemented the music, almost as if each song was carefully and individually designed. Was amazing to see from the balcony.

The remarkable thing about the show was, Gary Numan manages to take 2 albums worth of songs from 45 years ago and add so much to them to make them sound totally contemporary whilst managing to retain the original feel of each song, perfectly heard with both encore songs ‘Cars’ and ‘Are Friends Electric?’. 

Needless to say, I’m eagerly looking forward to the 50th Anniversary Tour – just to see and hear how far he can take these iconic albums and songs.

Words and pictures: Kevin Rooney @knkography