Why Gary Numan Deserves His Place In MetalTalk – Cardiff Live Review

So you’ve probably seen this article pop up on your feed and thought, Gary Numan? For MetalTalk? But he isn’t Metal. But I’m here to tell you why Gary Numan is not only more Metal than you but is considered to be our ‘Dark-synth goth overlord’. Yes, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but roll with it. 

Gary Numan

Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024

Words And Photography: Georgia Brittain

Gary Numan - Tramshed, Cardiff - 28 May 2024
Gary Numan – Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

Let’s start with the crowd for tonight. It’s a sold-out Tramshed, which obviously means sweaty, packed like sardines, and don’t move from the main venue cause you won’t get back in.

The doors opened early tonight as the Welsh weather is alive and kicking, and before the official doors time of 7:30, the room is already halfway full and I can hear punters around me talking about holding their spots with a view of the stage. 

Gary Numan - Tramshed, Cardiff - 28 May 2024
Gary Numan – Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

There’s a steady mix of a crowd, varying from the older ’80s fans, a couple of Metal-shirt-wearing big dudes and a few like me, absolute raging goths ready to pay worship to the overlord. Yes, I’m exaggerating again. That’s obviously Cthulhu. 

Gary Numan - Tramshed, Cardiff - 28 May 2024
Gary Numan – Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

There are no opening acts tonight, which isn’t actually a bad choice. Maybe that’s the lazy photographer in me not wanting to edit, but I don’t see much of the crowd moaning about waiting for Gary Numan. He takes to the stage at approx 8:20, opening up with old classic Replicas.

Having seen the setlist prior to the show, I wasn’t too sure how this would go down, but there’s something about how this song is played live that really gets you hyped up. Numan’s vocals are exceptional, and his stage presence is something else.

Gary Numan - Tramshed, Cardiff - 28 May 2024
Gary Numan – Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

You can tell he truly enjoys what he does, and being a performer, the man really can perform. The bassist and guitarist he has brought along do a great job alongside him, almost performing their own show to keep with the dark and moody atmosphere. 

My only gripe with the show tonight is there isn’t any crowd interaction – both ways. Numan doesn’t really hype the crowd or even say, “What’s up, Cardiff?” And the crowd doesn’t tend to move very much.

Gary Numan - Tramshed, Cardiff - 28 May 2024
Gary Numan – Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

After a bit of analysis, I realised it doesn’t matter that much as every person I can see is smiling and singing. I think I’m still in the “Metal show” mindset of mosh pits and pushing, and if you’re still reading this thinking “okay, but tell us HOW he is more Metal than me,” I’m getting there. 

It’s not until Metal is played that I actually hear the crowd cheer and start to push a little. Yes, Metal, as covered by Nine Inch Nails – I told you I’m getting there.

Gary Numan - Tramshed, Cardiff - 28 May 2024
Gary Numan – Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

This ensures the crowd is at maximum hype for the final few songs of the show, ending with old classics Cars and Are Friends Electric? Numan’s vocals and stage presence are hyped up for these, clearly feeding off the crowd finally coming a bit more alive, and it’s some of the best live music I have ever heard. 

After the end of the night as I’m walking back to the car, everyone around me is talking about the vocals and stage presence of Numan and how much more incredible of an artist he is to see live. Only one person I hear complains, mentioning he played “too much new stuff”.

Gary Numan - Tramshed, Cardiff - 28 May 2024
Gary Numan – Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

Considering half of the setlist was from The Pleasure Principle and Replicas, I find myself astounded by this comment, especially since my two favourite ‘new’ songs weren’t played. 

So here it is, why is Gary Numan worthy of being covered on this Metal and rock website of ours. 

Think about it. Without the music of Gary Numan, how many bands using synth would exist now? We have Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, both prominent in industrial music.

Gary Numan - Tramshed, Cardiff - 28 May 2024
Gary Numan – Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

Numan is a creator of many genres, from synth-pop to dark wave, and he even hits some industrial himself. His album Savage is an absolute masterpiece, and if you really want to hear the song that got me into Gary Numan (despite having listened to Cars all my life from my ’80s-crazed mother), I highly recommend you listen to My Name Is Ruin.

I won’t review this song itself, but having been featured on South Park and being a song I can’t skip for the last year and a half, I’d consider it a bit good.

Gary Numan - Tramshed, Cardiff - 28 May 2024
Gary Numan – Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

So there we have it, Gary Numan for Metaltalk. The impossible, which shouldn’t be. But thanks to our lovely team having me on board, you’ve got it!

Gary Numan - Tramshed, Cardiff - 28 May 2024
Gary Numan – Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk
Gary Numan - Tramshed, Cardiff - 28 May 2024
Gary Numan – Tramshed, Cardiff – 28 May 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

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