Originally aired on MTV Australia
- Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man
- Worm Tamer
- Get It On
- Heathen Child
- When My Baby Comes
- Honey Bee (Let’s Fly to Mars)
- No Pussy Blues
- Bellringer Blues
- Love Bomb (encore)
Originally aired on MTV Australia
Gary Numan will release a new live CD, DVD and limited edition book/CD ‘Big Noise Transmission’ on August 20th 2012. Recorded at the HMV Ritz, Manchester in December 2011, ‘Big Noise Transmission’ features Numan and his band at their most intense, with the DVD’s aesthetics capturing the power, experimental textures and audio quality of the singer’s recent ‘Dead Son Rising’ album perfectly. Numan’s stage is blitzed with light – strobes being used like weapons for the set’s biggest anthems. At other times, everything fades, almost to blackout, with the viewer sucked into the darkness for a few moments before the heavy light-assault explodes into life again. Then cut to the images on the screen as each track is illustrated with slogans, graphics and burnt-out, degraded films. The atmosphere created by the audience is fantastic too, right from the opening classic ‘Down In The Park’ – a highlight for most artists’ sets – but for Numan, this is just the start. The set also features classic tracks such as ‘Films’, ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric? and ‘I Die: You Die’. Dead Son Rising was a very special tour and Big Noise Transmission is a fantastic document of one of Numan’s finest shows.
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t at the Phoenix Festival in 1994. My main reasoning for this is that I was at Phoenix in 1993 – its inaugural year, and it was shit. I would rather be sodden and mud-caked at Reading – and covered in my own vomit – than go back to Phoenix. You know, if I had to choose. I don’t think that anyone was surprised that it didn’t make a third year.
In 1994 Killing Joke played Phoenix – in the bright daylight – and today I came across a link to the entire gig – shot professionally – and ripped from a VHS via a foreign broadcast… looks and sounds pretty good though!
Firstly, Cars has an electro riff that would not be out of place on Jimmy Page’s Les Paul. This is backed up by the powerful drumming of the late Cedric Sharpley. Secondly, the force of the multi-layered Moog synthesiser parts is almost overwhelming. Using effects usually associated with heavy guitars – reverb, flanging and phasers – Numan drenched the gliding synth lines so they flow over you like wave after wave of ice water. These build throughout the song until the fantastical 1’30” fadeout, during which the Polymoogs – used as elements of a string section – are folded on top of each other in hypnotic harmonies that reinforce the song’s sense of eerie dystopia.
I don’t approve of hunting animals and selling them as trophies so it was hypocritical of me to buy this stuffed wolf (pictured above). But I saw it outside a souvenir shop at Anchorage airport in Alaska on my way back from a tour of America in the early 1980s, and some kids were hanging off its neck. I decided I could give him a better resting place. I lived in a different house then, with a massive front room, and my intention was to paint an Alaskan skyline on one wall and put the wolf in front on a raised platform. I never did that and now we use him as a burglar deterrent – he sits at the bottom of the stairs. He cost about $1,000 and twice as much to ship home.
Jeffrey Lee Pierce was a musical maverick, until his untimely and premature death in 1996. He was the front man in the Gun Club, whose swampy blues roar never received the recognition they probably deserved (largely due to Pierce’s well documented struggles with alcohol and drugs).
The Gun club members went on to arguably greater things – I saw the Fur Bible (Patricia Morrison and Kid Congo Powers) in the hangar-esque Gloucester Leisure Centre in 1985 supporting Siouxsie and the Banshees on the Tinderbox Tour. Kid Congo Powers went on to play with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Patricia Morrison went on to play with the Sisters of Mercy (Mk II).