Never seen a venue kill the atmosphere of an event as comprehensively as when Gary Numan played the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall last week.
Numan is on a roll, making great new music and packing venues. This part of the tour was an extension of the recent album cycle and he was really just having some fun playing with the Skaparis Orchestra on a string of UK dates.
A great idea which sounded epic as well as intimate at times. The music really lends itself to the addition of an orchestra, the electronics and guitars did not fight with the unusual additions, it blended perfectly.
But. It was the wrong place for this. Numan’s shows are lively, loud affairs. This all seated, posh venue with it’s bright wood panelling which makes it feel like a waiting room felt wrong from the moment I walked into the auditorium. It usually sounds great in here, classical and jazz fit so well, it’s just not rock n roll.
The music started, and it was so quiet. You could talk over it. The audience stayed seated, the ushers made sure of it.
Two songs in and Numan was visibly annoyed, he was animated and agitated, trying to get a reaction from the audience. The ushers didn’t agree with this and it took maybe an hour for them to finally give up and let people do what they should have been doing all along.
Numan was still raging though, he might be 60 but he’s definitely not going through the motions for the cash.
It got louder too towards the end too, did the soundman try and help the situation in the only way he could?
The orchestra were excellent, all young folks having the time of their lives. The conductor was a nutjob too, so into it. Brilliant to watch.
Numan’s wee lassie sang a couple of numbers, cracking voice and watching dad and girl interact on stage was such a joy.
So many positives tonight, the music was just so good. Support from Chris Payne who played his awesome 1980 classic Fade to Grey, never thought I’d see that song played by its writer.
But that venue, that bloody venue, what a horrible mismatch.