Live Concert Photography: Gary Numan with Me Not You at Brooklyn Steel 12/7/17
Gary Numan is a Hammersmith, West London, UK-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, who with the release of 1979’s seminal debut effort The Pleasure Principle, which featured smash hit singles “M.E.” and his biggest hit “Cars,” is largely considered one of the pioneers of electronic rock and industrial music with a diverse array of artists including Prince, Lady Gaga, Jack White, Kanye West, Beck, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters and Trent Reznor among a lengthy list of contemporary artists, who have cited the British-born and Los Angeles, CA-based artist as an influence. That shouldn’t be surprising as fans of EDM, industrial electronica, hip-hop, metal, nu-metal and indie rock have been drawn to his work and found something familiar within it; plus, I mean who hasn’t heard and loved “Cars”?
Numan, who was born Gary Anthony James Webb received one of his most treasured possessions when he was 15 — a Gibson Les Paul guitar that his father bought for him. And as teenager and young man, Numan, who then performed under the pseudonym Valerian, presumably a reference to the hero in the French Sci-Fi comic book series Valerian and Laureline played in a number of local bands, including Mean Street and the Lasers before forming Tubeway Army with his uncle Jess Lidyard and Paul Gardiner with whom he had released two albums, most notably Replicas, an album that featured one of the first synth-rock based #1 hit with “Are Friends Electric?” Interestingly, when Numan formed Tubeway Army, he changed his stage name to Numan, reportedly after he had seen a Yellow Pages advertisement for a local plumber by the name of Neumann.
As the primary songwriter, producer and public face of the band, Numan decided to drop the name Tubeway Army and within a few months of the release of Replicas, Numan released his aforementioned debut The Pleasure Principle. Although the peak of his commercial success was over 30 years ago, Numan has maintained a healthy cult following while releasing material that reveal a restlessly creative artist, who has at points radically experimented with his sound and approach — or expanded upon his sound while retaining elements of the futuristic sound that caught the popular imagination, including his unique vocal stylings, which evoke icy alienation and robotic detachment. Along with that he’s collaborated with a number of artists throughout the years including Trent Reznor, Battles and others. His headlining set at Brooklyn Steel earlier this month was a career spanning set that featured material off his latest effort Savage (Songs from a Broken World) as well as his smash hits “Cars” and “M.E..” Opening the night was the up-and-coming, New York-based indie act Me Not You. Check out some photos from the show below.
Opening the night was the New York-based garage pop act Me Not You, an act that cites Lou Reed and Karen O/Yeah Yeah Yeahs as major influences on their sound and approach — although the band’s sound managed to remind me quite a bit of Blonde Redhead and Lightfoils.