Posts Tagged ‘ Kraftwerk ’


Gary Numan: Android in La La Land
Admittedly I have never been a huge Gary Numan fan; the sub Bowie posturing always felt second-hand and dated while his music, although electronic, seemed to be one-dimensional, clunky and droning as opposed to the liquid fluidity, crisp conciseness and melodically organic works of Kraftwerk.
Some of my disdain may have come from the universally and unrelenting awful press he received at his peak- let’s not forget how huge he was at this time- where he was slated almost on a daily basis but Numan did little in interviews to change my views coming across as arrogant, stiff, overly serious and lacking in humour with conservative- and Conservative- views. The fact that he married his number one fan did little to endear him any further merely confirming him as a little sad and desperate.
It transpires that this aloofness was in fact due to him being a lifelong Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer prone to bouts of panic and extended periods of depression and within the opening minutes of this film I am surprised to find myself warming to him as he presents a far more human, warm and compassionate person than I could ever have imagined.
This film by Steve Read and Rob Alexander finds him in a period of transition about to release a new album while also negotiating a move to Los Angeles with his wife and three daughters. It is also a period where him and Gemma have both recovered from extended bouts of depression and are piecing their lives and relationship back together again.
There is not much focus on Numan’s past successes and instead the film deals with the present day and how Numan needs to make a mark on the current scene in order to survive.
In this instance a move to America is a canny move as he always had more acceptance there as his music , not dragged down by his android image, found a new audience too young to catch Bowie and a hip hop crowd who found his robotic beats and sounds perfect for sampling; providing the perfect soundscapes for their futuristic ideals. Fans such as Trent Reznor also played a part in his resurrection, making him more acceptable to a younger audience.
Both Numan and Gemma come across as warm and comfortable with each other and it is this which makes the film watchable even if they overplay the depression angle a little too repeatedly. At the end of it I would even openly admit to liking such Numan tracks as ‘Cars’ ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric’ and ‘Me, I Disconnect From You’ –which I would never have conceded back in the day- and found myself wanting to check out his new album.
Gary Numan: Android in La La Land is on at Cineworld on Tuesday 21st June at 20.50.


Just An Observation Friday July 12th


 It would appear that after too many years of false starts, false promises and false hopes that Scotland is actually having what could be termed an actual ‘summer’. Soaring temperatures , sunny days and the sight of peely-wally bodies aka the Leith tan-‘ Sun’s out,  so tops off and shorts on would appear to be the Caledonian Braveheart war cry- have been the norm for over a week now. Not wishing to tempt fate I will not linger too long on this subject apart from to say ‘Long overdue but welcome back!’

Also long overdue was Andy Murray’s triumphant win at Wimbledon last Sunday which dominated headlines and conversations for a great part of the week. Congratulations are deservedly due but the fact the event was proclaimed and reported as the first British-let’s not even start on the Scottish/English debate here-win for seventy seven years since Fred Perry in 1936 was wildly incorrect. In fact the last British winner was Virginia Wade in 1977 – Dorothy Round Little in 1937, Angela Mortimer Barrett in 1961 and Ann Haydon Jones in 1969 all took home winning trophies for Britain in the intervening years- but seems to have been eradicated from history for being a mere woman.

 This kind of reporting shows an inherent sexism is still alive in our society despite years of sexual equality and equal rights for all. It is not just lazy and incorrect journalism it is also deeply irresponsible. To write female victories out of the history books-perhaps what is needed is a parallel version of historic events named ‘Her-story’ to even out the male bias and perspective- undoes all the strides forward our culture has undertaken in recent decades.

Apart from a few notable exceptions, when obviously they cannot be ignored, women have been erased from our histories and despite there is no question that each and every person on this planet originates from the female body this is a shocking omission. The term anon in poetry and attached to many familiar folk songs passed down through centuries are believed to have also come from women but because they were not recognised as making any worthwhile contributions their works were attached with this stigma and thus they remained anonymous with no recognition of their efforts.

 Despite this congratulations are due to Andy Murray in what must surely be a great week for Britain on the international stage whether you are male or female, Scottish or English (or even Irish or Welsh for that matter).

 I watched the tennis under a cloud of the previous nights partying at the first night of Rammed in the Voodoo Rooms last Saturday night. A successful night saw this intriguing prospect kick off in style attracting an interesting and up for it crowd. Homesick Aldo won hearts and devotees in his usual fashion and the two DJ’S The Baron and Anna Kissed rocked the floor with their delectably excellent choices. I actually danced so much in the latter stages of the night that on the following Sunday and Monday I could barely walk; must get into training for the next one which will be announced in the coming weeks.

 This sunshine we are having is going to render T in the Park almost unrecognisable this year. It is certainly an unrecognisable event from last year which saw the tent site being swept away in torrential rain and floods being re-named T in the Swamp by myself. When the chance to go this year and see Kraftwerk I decided to bail out and not take the risk of letting anyone down at the last minute due to my weak constitution and lack of outdoor ‘making do’ skills.

It is not a decision I regret however-despite the glorious weather- as I still maintain outdoors is my least favourite way to listen to live music. I prefer an indoor sweaty environment where the sounds overwhelm you, the electric guitars jolt your body into being and you can not only smell the sweat but actually touch it. Now that is rock and roll. What it is not is being in a crowd of 20,000 plus all waving banners and singing tunelessly along. Hope  everyone going has a good time though and that the sun keeps on shining.

Here to round off today is a video of the Teutonic Techno-Meisters’  biggest hit ‘The Model’.