• Gareth Crook

Gary Numan: Android in La La Land (2016) - 8/10

Released in 2016, t no his Documentary now feels like a jumping off point for the Numan’s current story. It’s charts Gary’s life and career amazingly well. It’s not easy to pack this much into a documentary and do it well, but this really is beautifully put together. Gary Numan is an unlikely star really, but a deserving one and if you’re not utterly taken with him by the end of this film, you really are missing something. Numan is now in a late career purple patch, but here we get a detailed run through how this has been possible. It charts a period where he and his family are looking to relocate to America, with a view to break that market, reignite his career, maybe get into soundtracks. There’s plenty of history too though to give context to this new venture. Numan was a pioneer. Those early hits, the look, but stumbling on such an era defining sound and the fame and fortune at just 21, well we all know how that can go. Big houses, fast cars, it was all a bit much for fairly reclusive Gary. Struggling with the fame though wasn’t going to be a problem forever. Music culture moved on and left him behind, but he never stopped recording, self releasing and now finds himself in a better place. Musically and personally. Here though he’s recording Splinter with a label, the 2013 album that’s kick started his career with a bolder darker sound. His writing process is fascinating. Both methodical, but wide open for experimentation, happily making mistakes, finding his way through to something that clicks. It’s certainly a story with some dark moments. An Aspergers diagnosis, misunderstood and mistreated by the music press, mounting debts, troubled pregnancies, depression. It makes it all the more enjoyable to think of the current success and the stability and love that the family clearly have. His wife Gemma is a pivotal part of the story and Numan’s life. The organised anchor to his more blinkered world view. They’re a team, a bloody good one and she quite rightly gets the screen time she deserves. It’s a packed 90 minutes. A captivating life, told with a real heartfelt honesty. Numan’s released several critically acclaimed albums since the one documented here, including the last two that have seen his star rise even further. He’s touring this year. I’ll be there. I’m very excited. Watch this, you’ll want to be there too!


8/10