Tue • Mar 15, 2022
I Speak Machine
SHOW - 8:00pm
One of the founding fathers of synth pop, Gary Numan has influenced countless artists with his constantly evolving form of dystopian electronic rock music since the late 1970s. Establishing a lonely, android-like persona, he rose to fame leading Tubeway Army, a pioneering new wave band whose second album, 1979's Replicas, became the first of Numan's three consecutive gold-selling, chart-topping full-lengths in the U.K. The same year's The Pleasure Principle, his first solo effort, included the perennial favorite "Cars," which remains his biggest worldwide hit. He continued refining his sound, incorporating elements of jazz and funk into more sophisticated efforts like 1982's I, Assassin, and remained a consistent presence in the U.K. charts throughout the following decades.
His impact continued to make itself felt; his dark, paranoid vision, theatrically icy alien persona, and clinical, robotic sound were echoed strongly in the work of many goth rock and (especially) industrial artists to come. His own work took a turn towards industrial and darkwave with releases like 1994's Sacrifice and 2000's Pure, and the release of a tribute album, in addition to numerous dance artists sampling or reworking his past hits, helped revive his popularity.
Frequently working with producer Ade Fenton since the late 2000s, Numan released some of his most acclaimed and well-received work in decades during the 2010s, with 2017's Savage (Songs from a Broken World) reaching number two in the U.K., his highest charting album since 1980. He continued exploring post-apocalyptic themes with 2021's Intruder. Working once again with producer Ade Fenton, Numan used a post-apocalyptic Earth as the setting for the release, charting humanity's struggle for survival and its inevitable downfall. A companion piece of sorts, Intruder arrived in 2021. Like Savage before it, the project focused on mapping the effects of human destruction and climate change, this time from the perspective of the Earth itself.