Concert Buzz

Nash the Slash NUMANIA08


Birmingham Bar Fly

November 29, 2008

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by andrew ward

Review of Nash the Slash, Johnny Normal, Deviant UK, YTDS

NUMANIA 2008 at Birmingham BarFly, Saturday 29th November 2008


So, there I was sat in a pub in Birmingham City centre having a quiet drink when a group of mildly merry young men shoved a flier in my direction...'Nash the Slash, NUMANIA 08 gig'. I was astonished...would this be the very same Nash the Slash I saw supporting The Who in the 1970's? No...couldn't be...or could it? Bandages...check...glasses...check...morning suit...check....yes it could be!

I just had to get there to see this one. I arrived at the venue at 7.05pm and people were being made to queue outside, even though the gig had already started... Not was cold too. I made my way in and entered the Dragon Bar.

First act up...already on electro post-punk act called Johnny Normal... Guitar, Synths and vocals. It's a shame that the audience were coming in during the start of their set, because these boys were really good. Lovely anthemic synths and hard driving guitar sounds, with some clever lyrics and humour. A sort of cross between Gary Numan, Pulp and Soft Cell. The guitarist looked pretty menacing and could obviously play a bit too. The vocalist/synth man had a bit of Adam Ant about his voice and was quite amusing. Mainly original songs with a couple of covers...notably a fantastic version of Numan's 'I Die You Die' which went down very well. I have heard of them before, but this was the first time seeing them live... and they were good.

Then it was Deviant UK. Big in the underworld these guys. Big fat industrial sound, confident strutting lead singer, more anthemic synth sounds. Again, a couple of covers thrown in for the benefit of the obviously Numan-fanatical audience. Deviant do have more than a passing resemblance to Numan in his 'Pure' days, but they are more accessible, and that wins them fans. They seem to have been playing together for years and had a real stage presence. The whole thing worked well...the gothic black look, the heavy industrial sound and the charisma of the lead singer...very authentic. I will look out for these fellas in future.

So onto YTDS. Apparently performing Numan covers without sequencers and drum machines I had the great Numan used to in the early days. YTDS were entertaining and gave a good account of themselves as they belted out Gary's greatest (and some of his least known) songs to an appreciative audience. Lovely analogue fat synth sounds and a live drummer...took me back a few years. The crowd really enjoyed the act, and it was nice to see the lead singer not trying to impersonate Numan, he simply sang Numan songs in his own it wasn't like Karaoake...and that is rare these days.

Nash the Slash had been hovering round the room, hiding in the shadows all evening....I imagine he does that normally anyway! A seemingly shy and charming man who politely apologised when I bumped into him. When Nash formally took to the stage there was loud applause and enthusiasm from the waiting crowd. They were suitably warmed up and ready for the main act. Wailing, searing violin and synthetic backing, combined with a colourful light show and video/slide projections all made an interesting backdrop to this God of Industrial Noise. Nash weaved his magic for over an hour, performing a bizarre and very pleasurable selection of his best songs...electronic? progressive rock? classical fusion? industrial?...I just don't know...there was a bit of everything in there. I do know that we were all entertained and amused...and a bit scraed at times!

Overall Numania was a great night with some top quality acts, and good value for money. Thanks to Big Steve for the beer, Johnny Normal for the t-shirt, and Trevor for the lift home!

Andrew Ward, bbc midlands, the mailbox

This review is the subjective opinion of the individual reviewer and not of ConcertBuzz

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Rating: 1.7/5 (90 votes cast)

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