Gary Numan, Dome, Brighton
Paloma Faith, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

Once alienated from much of the music scene by his Asperger's syndrome, Gary Numan is bringing himself back in from the cold

Sigmund Freud's term for the unmoderated pursuit of gratification which characterises the id during childhood was always a peculiar title for a Gary Numan album. The Pleasure Principle didn't fit the mood of the record, and it certainly didn't fit the image of the man who was locked out from – or locked himself out from – the hedonistic Like Punk Never Happened party of early 1980s pop.

Two decades later, Numan would self-diagnose as Aspergic, and retrospectively make sense of his whole life. In 1979, two years before anyone in the English-speaking world had even heard of the syndrome, it was difficult to pin down exactly why Numan's work felt so unsettling. And, to many, so powerful.

Anyone who has ever experienced alienation or felt a stark disconnect from the rest of humanity can find resonances in The Pleasure Principle (the record he's performing in full on his current tour) or, indeed, Replicas, released earlier the same year. Whereas The Smiths were all about self-consciously flaunting one's insecurities, Gary Numan couldn't help but externalise his.

This lack of guile is exactly why Gary Numan gave me one of the best interviews of my career, for the Rebellious Jukebox section of Melody Maker magazine, in which he revealed more than any more cool-conscious individual would, about being snubbed by his heroes and generally making a fool of himself. It's out there online, currently hosted on The Quietus website, and I urge you to look for it.

It's also why he was left out in the cold for so long, releasing rarely heard records on his own Numa label to a devoted but unfashionable army of Numanoids while his pop peers went superstellar and bought yachts. The brash capitalist confidence of the late 1980s could never accommodate something as awkward as mental disorder.

And that's where he stayed for an epoch, until – without really trying – Numan made a slow return to relevance. It started with Random, the mid-1990s tribute album and continued with Basement Jaxx sampling his "M.E." on "Where's Your Head". But it was Richard X, with the Tubeway Army/Adina Howard mash-up which he mutated into a chart-topping single with Sugababes' "Freak Like Me", who really brought Numan in from the cold. This year, he's hipper than ever, with The Mighty Boosh inviting him to headline their festival.

In the meantime, however, unlike most other 1980s survivors, Gary Numan – these days looking a lot healthier than the awkward youth he was – has refused to re-enact his past, which is to be applauded, even if the stylistic direction in which he moved, medium-heavy gothic-industrial rock, might have alienated fairweather fans (a few of the hardcore, too).

In the past couple of years, though, he's relented and given people what they want, touring Replicas, Telekon and now The Pleasure Principle. There may be a few purists who complain that the original Moogs aren't being used, but Numan's band use modern synths to emulate the sound of the record to near perfection. Well, apart from a stuttering first-night attempt at "Conversation", after which he admits, "That was a bit rubbish, actually."

The most chilling moment comes with "Asylum", the horror-movie instrumental from the B-side of "Cars". The most moving comes with the stately grandeur of "Complex", a song which Numan didn't play live for years, maybe because it's too close to the bone: "Please, keep them away/Don't let them touch me/Please, don't let them lie/Don't let them see me ..." Tonight it's dedicated to former bandmate Paul Gardiner, who died of a heroin overdose in 1984.

Next, Numan's band push the synths aside for a career-spanning encore including "Down in the Park" and a partially piano-led "Are 'Friends' Electric", and indulge the present tense with 2003's "Jagged" and the new "Pure". It's nothing but a pleasure.

"I think I'm a little bit in love with Paloma Faith." That's how Noel Fielding, on a recent Never Mind the Buzz- cocks, reacted to a few minutes' exposure to the eccentric charm of the 24-year-old from Hackney.

Björk-style theatricality comes naturally to this former burlesque performer and magician's assistant. She struts out in a big white dress doing a fan dance, scales the speakers, kicks her legs above head height, serenades a male model, and drizzles pinky-red powder all over her outfit. And that's all within the first three songs.

The songs themselves are sometimes flawed, and that dread word "kooky" comes to mind a little too often, but mainly she keeps it in check. She's at her best when telling tales of being attracted to dangerous men who break her heart ("New York"). The ballad "Broken Doll" might be a song of all-time importance.

One guy at the back is overcome with emotion and shouts a quavering "I love you!" Carry on like this, and it won't be long before the whole of the UK is at least a little bit in love with Paloma Faith.

Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?