Some 30 years ago, a war was raging. A war between two factions. Factions that argued over who was the first artist to pioneer synth-pop in the '80s. One faction were adamant that John Foxx was first, the other voted for Gary Numan. Look, it was neither - Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, Cluster (yes, Cluster on later albums), Neu! and Hot Butter (with their dotty instrumental 'Popcorn' in 1972) all used synths to create catchy commercial music, although Professor Leon Theremin and Harald Bode might lay claims to piecing together a wooden box with wires spilling out of it, topped off with a keyboard attached.
Gary Numan is certainly one of the most successful synth pioneers though, duly leap-frogging predecessor (and peer) Foxx with THAT unforgettable sinister riff on his debut #1 classic, 'Are Friend's Electric', released under the Tubeway Army banner in 1979. I can't remember any other Top of the Pops appearance being talked about in the school-playground quite as much on the day after broadcast. Well, until John Foxx popped up a few months later with 'Underpass', but those discussions paled into significance when compared to Gary Anthony Webb's.
At a time when the '80s is partially responsible for the survival of pop music, it comes as little surprise that Gary Numan is due a retrospective and a summation of his finest moments, of which there are plenty to choose from. Thus, 'Machine Music', the DVD, has been planned, assembled and finalized ready for unveiling. Out on 11th June, the collection will ring-fence his early promos, TV appearances and rarities from 33 years of creativity, covering his most familiar early synth-pop, right up to his heavier industrial rock era and you'll only be able to buy this limited-edition special DVD set during his next tour. Which leads me on nicely....
Numan's Machine Music Tour will begin in May at the Leicester Academy on the 22nd, followed by Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield and several more until the final show in Brighton on 3rd June. Tickets are due to go on sale at various times on Friday and Saturday, except for Cambridge and London which you can buy now, priced at £25 and £28 respectively.
The show is set to feature a full career-spanning one-off set and special visuals chosen by Numan from fan's creative submissions. Officers will support on all dates except Dublin.