Gary Numan performing The Pleasure Principle and Replicas 45th Anniversary Tour at Rock City Nottingham on Saturday 1st June 2024.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

In 1979 Gary Numan helped to revolutionise electronic music being the driving force behind two ground breaking albums, Replicas by his then band Tubeway Army and his debut solo album, The Pleasure Principle, which were released within six months of each other. Forty-five years later, Numan was at Rock City on Saturday night for a celebration of both albums for their collective anniversary.

Known for his dramatic stage presence and emotionally charged performances, he delivered a set that captivated the packed crowd from the off. It was an astonishingly good start as Replicas with its distinctive synthetic drum sound led into M.E. which had the crowd loving the music.

Guitarist Steve Harris and bassist Tim Slade were attired in long black coats adding to the gothic atmosphere but who rocked their instruments and kept the crowd engaged throughout. The pace ebbed and flowed with Numan playing guitar and synthesizer on the likes of Me! I Disconnect From You and Films.

Do You Need The Service? was the most percussion heavy song of the night and the throb of Playing With Aliens contrasted nicely with the sedate Tracks. The instrumental Airlane was followed by a sublime performance of Down In The Park which was a real highlight. He delivered hit after hit with his excellent vocals and trademark dance moves as he strutted around the stage.

The set also included the unfamiliar We Have A Technical and towards the end Only A Downstat allowed the crowd to have a breather before the set was closed with We Are So Fragile which was loud enough to drown out the cheers from the crowd.

For the encore there was the familiar opening of Cars which saw the crowd going wild and his breakthrough hit Are ‘Friends’ Electric which ended the night on a high.

Having celebrated these two hugely important albums which felt as cutting edge as they did on the day that they were written, Numan showed why he is still the king of electro pop.