Praying to the Australiens - Snippets

Sydney Daily Telegraph : 26 April 2000

Collision EP by Genetic

Sydney dance megastar Genetic has a new EP out, called Collision. On the sleeve notes he says "Mr Webb - I truly have been Exiled". On his full-length album a couple of years ago he said "Mr Webb - it's still cold outside". I think I'm beginning to spot a pattern here :-) BTW the new EP is excellent, with or without the Numan reference.

TV Week, issue dated 31 October 1998

.....a bit late I know. The "Hot Seat" interview in this issue is with Jane Gazzo, the wide-eyed radio and TV presenter who interviewed Gary twice on JJJ in the last year or so. You may remember her having multiple orgasms on air when Gary said he was going to be in Oz soon (he lied to you Jane!). Anyway, one of the questions Jane was asked was :
TVWeek : Who has been your favourite talent to interview?
Jane : Boy George. I was always a huge Culture Club fan and he was my childhood hero. I interviewed him about 3 years ago and became even more of a fan after meeting him. He was lovely and full of wise anecdotes. Gary Numan is also a big fave, too. He's being hailed as the Godfather of Electronica, but in the Eighties he was considered this wierdo pop star with very white hair. I've interviewed him twice and he's just so much fun.

Exile review : Rolling Stone Issue 550, July 1998

The Electronic iceman cometh with a message of doom in a sci-fi comic.

Evidently heartened by a recent rash of recorded homages, '80s synth-pop pioneer Gary Numan returns to the world stage. His trademark icy electronica is refined to Manga-movie bleakness here - Imagine Icehouse on a bad acid trip - and his horrific-futuristic vision is intensified accordingly: God is treachery, Hell is nigh, the children are slaughtered in every other song and all hope of salvation has been cancelled. The titles offer a taste of the Biblically-proportioned terror that reigns within: "Dominion Day", "Dead Heaven", "Dark", "Innocence Bleeding", etc. While the inherent lack of humour does nothing for Numan's credibility problem, the over-wrought concept is offset by good pop sense and a mighty sci-fi soundscape, a pristine techno-sculpture with detail enough to keep the headphone-oriented credulous and cowering.
3.5 stars out of 5

Review by Michael Dwyer.

Exile review : The Australian, Wed May 6 1998

HEY, everyone, Gazza's back! You remember Gazza, he had a big hit almost 20 years ago about driving his car. Maybe you wanted to meet him head-on in a speeding Kenworth truck? If so, you were not alone. We were all a little frightened of the bleak, sexless megalopolis Gazza depicted (foretold?) in his songs. It was all pocket calculators, scary Nehru jackets, and gluey eyeliner. But look at us now; we're all scooting about in plastic hatchbacks and sending each other e-mail holograms. Because Gazza couldn't keep up, he's changed his tune. Now he sings about what a lie Christianity is and how he wants to "drive a stake through the blackness of your heart (oh Lord)". Sorry Gazza, but your sensationally immature Exile sounds like overproduced potato soup performed by a comatose relic whose sole talent is joining the dynamics of conversational speech and mumbling with a ridiculous theatrical yodel.

Review by Jeremy Chunn.

Hmmmm. I think the reviewer is a complete and utter bastard. Obviously his full name is Jeremy Chunnder, because that's exactly what his review makes me want to do. What a fuckwit. My guess is that he's using this review in an attempt to get a job with the NME. It won't work - not enough vitriol.

Sunday Age review of Exile

Melbourne's Sunday Age actually had a review of Exile in its 24th May edition :

Exile is chilling, anti-religious and other worldly. True to form, Gary Numan, whose keyboards do so much to craft out a bleak ambience, does little to experiment with changes of mood, pace and theme. Lyrically, Exile relies on verse patterns that are simplistic. Note : "Glory is dead heaven/Glory is shadows and pain/Glory is dead heaven/Glory is death in 'His' name" (Dead Heaven). Still, while diversity and humour are not on Numan's agenda, the starkly haunting Dominion Day is happily garnering extensive airplay.
2.5 stars out of 5 (between tolerable and good).

Review by Terry Reilly.

Beat review of Premier Hits

This is a bit old now, but here's what Beat had to say about Premier Hits...

Long before Spice Girls, early 80s icon Gary Numan was foolish enough to come out in support of Thatcher and her closeted Tory party. Unfortunately for Gary it got him tagged as a fascist. Added to his other tag as an arrogant and pretentious art wanker, he really didn't have much hope for a long reign at the top of the pops. But he has continued to release albums long after his pop star has faded and now, some two hundred and thirteen flop albums later, his early work has been thrown together on this compilation. There are the slick, sharp-edged electro-classics Are 'Friends' Electric?, Cars, Down In The Park, etc. There are also inclusions from his early, pretend-punk days (when he was Tubeway Army) such as Bombers. It also covers his faux-Japan period (he was no David Sylvian), his attempts at pompous prog-electro, his flirtations with Janet Jacksonesque funk and the campy Stormtrooper in Drag (no wonder there were rumours flying around about his dating a certain Australian 80s pop star). While this is probably the best way to listen to Numan (his studio albums tend to have lots of filler tracks) it unfortunately includes a pompous, recent remix of Cars and doesn't have his wonderful rendition of On Broadway (a personal favourite).
Rating : 3/5

Max magazine and HQ

The November edition of Max magazine has a few lines on Gary on Page 100. They say a few general things about what he's up to, without specifically mentioning Exile, and they also say he's not human. HQ's "electronica" section mentions Replicas and Random, though the latter does not credit Gary at all (as per Beggar's Banquet instructions I expect).

Review of Random in Digital

Aussie music bible "Digital" has the following review of Random in its current issue.

Various Artists - Random (Beggar's Banquet / Shock)

A 2CD set tribute to Gary Numan, in which the '80s squelchy synth popster's tunefully dramatic songs stand up surprisingly well. Though some of the contributors simply approximate the author's gurgly, grinding and riffy synth manoeuvres, most find fresh to different ways of dealing with Numan's songbook.

Strong pop to heavy grunt is supplied by the likes of Dubstar, Amanda Ghost, Kenickie, Gravity Kills, Bis, Pop Will Eat Itself, Republica, EMF, Jesus Jones, Chris Holmes, and the Moog and vocal sharing team-up of Matt Sharpe and Blur's Damon Albarn, while The Orb, Sukia, St Etienne, Peck Slip, Earl Brutus, Underdog and Dave Clarke remodel proceedings as groovier to hypnotic electronic fun.

Among many highlights are a spectral solo acoustic piano take of 'Are Friends Electric' (three wildly diverse versions aboard), Jimi Tenor's oompah band at the fairground 'Down In The Park', Magnetic Fields' breezy banjo and cello soaked 'I Die: You Die' and Towering Inferno's whooshy machine-driven epic rebuild of 'Metal' (with guest vocals from Sadenia and Dubstar's Sarah Blackwood).

All up, a mostly fantastic collision of spirit and reinvention.

Performance : 8/10
Production : 7/10

Reviews in the Sunday Examiner

The Sunday Examiner (from Launceston, Tasmania) had damn-nice reviews of Random and Premier Hits in its issue of 19th October 1997.

Tributes can often be a case of blowing off the dust and rehashing but the two-disc tribute to the super-wierd Gary Numan, RANDOM (Shock), is alive and refreshing.
Maybe it's a testament to the talents of the Englishman who made synthesisers, robotic dance, the new romantics and the Bogart-styled Trilby fashionable during the '80s.
Numan was off-the-wall but maybe it was the often unappreciative listening public that was behind the times. The styles on the tribute vary just as much as the artists.
The opening song, Stormtrooper In Drag, is a trance-dance number from St Etienne, followed by the heavy Poetry and Power performed by Gravity Kills.
Bands like EMF, Jesus Jones, The Orb and Pop Will Eat Itself pump out various sounds ranging from electronic numbers to a piano version of Absolution by Amanda Ghost. All the Numan hits are covered by some 26 artists. The collection is brilliant.

And Numan's brilliance is captured by the London boy himself on the best-of CD PREMIER HITS (Shock).
Top-10 hits like Cars, Are Friends Electric?, We Are Glass and Down In The Park (a cover was done by the Foo Fighters) all appear on the 18-track CD.
Lesser-known songs like Sister Surprise and This Wreckage also appear. Both CDs should evoke flash-backs for those who experienced the 80s and would be a historical trip of how 90s music came to be for the adventurous.

The reviewer, an obviously enlightened guy called Brian Semmens, gave both albums 3 stars out of 5 (perhaps a bit stingy considering how positive the review was!).

Article in International Express

The article printed in the UK's Daily Express is in this week's International Express, the weekly distillation of that newspaper aimed at UK expatriates. It includes the 3 photos.

Another sighting in Australian Rolling Stone

Australian Rolling Stone issue 540 has an article about the Chemical Brothers and their influences. Gary is mentioned and there is a small picture of him. And he doesn't get a slagging this time.

Random review in Australian Rolling Stone

Australian Rolling Stone issue 539 has a review of Random. However it's basically just a slagging of Gary and the album, so I'm not going to bother keying it in. Wankers.

Random publicity

On Saturday 23rd August 1997, Sydney's "Pure Pop" club was the site of a Random launch. This was advertised in the music media, as part of a full page advert for the club.

In addition, when I recently went into the excellent (if expensive) Red Eye Records shop they had a monster great Random poster displayed in a prominent position. They also had several smaller adverts around the shop - these turned out to be clipped from music papers. I asked if I could have one of these to scan in for Outland, but they told me to get stuffed (well, more or less).

"Cars" sighted on Channel 9

Channel 9's "Money" program on 20th August 97 began with a story about dodgy car contracts. During the intro they played "Cars" in the background, though with Gary's vocals edited out (karaoke version?). Every little bit of exposure helps. Now, if only we could get Carling to start advertising lager Down Under.

Random is Triple J's album of the week

Triple J is Australia's biggest radio statio for alternative music. By alternative I mean anyone other than Kylie Minogue, the Eagles, and all-boy accapella groups. They recently broadcast an interview with Gary (text hopefully to appear soon on Outland), and this week (today is 19th August 1997) Random is their album of the week. It is therefore on very high rotation - in fact they are playing the shit out of it.

NuWorld in "Weekend Australian" 13th July 1997

The "Weekend Australian" newspaper has an Internet section called Syte, which has a weekly list of recommended web sites. The second item on this week's list is :

NERD GOD REVISITED NuWorld: The Official Gary Numan Website
Somehow it comes as no surprise that Gary Numan, the late '70s singer with the persona of an android, should have his own state-of-the-art Web page. Now 38, Numan makes a nice living thank you on his royalties, which enable him to indulge his hobby as a demonstration pilot at airshows.

Random review in TV Week

Who would have believed it? Gary's profile in Oz again lifted to be a millimeter above zero with the following review in good ol' TV Week.

First there was the Gary Numan best-of collection, Premier Hits. Now his electric friends (including Jesus Jones, EMF, The Orb, Bis and Pop Will Eat Itself) have delivered a double-disc tribute album, containing no fewer than three versions of his 1979 breakthrough smash, Are Friends Electric. The stand-out is An Pierle's haunting, Tori Amos-like piano version of the song. Numan fans will love this work - and look out for his autobiography.

The reviewer gives the album 2 stars (out of 5).

Premier Hits review in TV Week

TV Week, Australia's huge-selling guide to the week's viewing on the Brain Bypass machine, has a review of Premier Hits in its issue dated 14th June 1997.

Remember Gary Numan? Nowadays he spends most of his time flying planes, but at the end of the Seventies and start of the Eighties he was flying high on the pop charts with his quirky electro-pop (Are Friends Electric, Cars, We Are Glass). Premier Hits is a collection of 17 Numan singles. A timely release, given the current electro-rock success of the Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers.

The reviewer gives the album 2 stars (out of 5).