Gary Numan - Engineers

Live in concert, in robotic terms at least

In 1980 Gary Numan was at the
top of his game, having
successfully sold the idea of a
musical android from Slough
wearing a tie to the masses on
three continents. The first shock
the listener gets from this
Australian live date comes from
the amazing sound quality,
which (considering the age of
the master tapes) puts in-concert
albums from a decade
later to shame. Numan’s voice
is a little weary on some of the
songs, but otherwise the band’s
sound is near-flawless: the big
hits (then as now, judging by
the audience response) of Cars,
Are “Friends” Electric and Me I
Disconnect From You are close
to the recorded versions. The
setlist comes from the two
1979 albums Replicas and The
Pleasure Principle, plus I Die,
You Die, Remind Me To Smile
and Remember I Was Vapour
from the forthcoming Telekon.
The latter work-in-progress
songs will be the Incentive To
Buy™ for most Numan fans, but
the rest of the set is gold dust
too, not least the Webbster’s
rearrangement of Satie’s
Gymnopedies for synthesised
theremin. Weird, addictive stuff
on all sides.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Beggars Banquet | BBQCD 2059

Reviewed by Joel McIver
<< Back to Issue 353