The Assembly Rooms
Prelude : Having caught the first leg of this monumental tour, back in October last year at the ABC in Glasgow, I found yet again the venue was heaving. Numan’s Scottish shows have been sell-outs for years, such is his rebirth and rise in popularity. So when the dates for Savage part 2 were released, seeing the Assembly Rooms as one of the venues, made me think wow, Good Time.
Gary Numan: vocals, guitars and synths
Dave Brooks: keyboards
Richard Beasly: drums
Steve Harris: rhythm guitar
Tim Muddyman: bass
The Event: I arrived early with eager anticipation of collecting the golden tickets for tonight’s capacity show. The Night’s opening act a trio of musicians from Los Angeles. Who took their musical lead from classic goth, The Mission and Sisters era. Nightmare Air played a short but very well received set. that warmed the room up nice. I absolutely loved Savage Part 1. At the ABC in Glasgow. Its darkness complemented the Lyrical feel and the Eastern Menace. within the album and its stage interpretation. Savage (Songs From a Broken World) Punched high and its releases heralded rave reviews everywhere for the first time since the Early 80’s. Numan was back, Sending waves of excitement amongst Gary’s Numanoids. It was a fantastic gig. Glasgow always rocks, but it is a venue built for Rock N Roll Purpose.
Unlike The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. Rhe last time I was there was in my professional capacity of Clairvoyant. I had a table on the stage that Gary was performing on. I always did love the chandeliers. So I wondered beforehand. Would Savage Part 2 work in The Assembly Rooms? Well that is a really good question. Having been a long-serving Numanoid myself and seen him perform live regularly since the first time in 1983. I have to say that he has always cut the mustard live, no matter how dodgy some of his mid period musical output was. Live, he was always awesome. But The Assembly rooms is just not built for Rock N Roll. The sound engineer deserved a medal last night, I didnae envy his job. It pushed Gary though he had to put that bit more effort in to deliver, Savage Part 2, I was expecting the tunes he didnae play on part 1. It was pretty much the same, Only without the Sound production of a purpose-built Rock N Roll venue. And more like Gary on the stage of the church hall. The venue swallowed the sound. It is very nice to look at, but it distracted from the reason we were their man.
Numan’s touring band are brilliant and they are part of the reason Gary has risen up the Rock N Roll ranks, in recent years his stage performances have seen the dark lord of gloom become much more fluid. The album before Savage (Songs From A Broken World) was Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind) As the titles suggest, the work that they embody is nae joy and salvation, But it is very good. The band perform them with musical dexterity and complete rock n roll grace. Dripping Darling, soakin’. The chemistry of the band is very evident, It was hard work for all the members because they knew the limitations of the sound..The overall tune selection was captivating and yes it was exciting. But yet it wasnae The ABC in Glasgow. Interestingly, the last time I saw Numan in Edinburgh, was at the HMV Picture House, on The Pleasure Principle 30th Anniversary tour. that felt flat too.
So the Divine Verdict…
Performance effort: 5 stars
Venue (although very pretty): 2 2tars
Stagecraft: 5 stars
Lighting: 5 stars
Overall Enjoyment: 3 stars (It was the wrong venue for the show)