Urgh! A Music War (1981). This concert was recorded at just the right moment to catch the "new wave" music at its most interesting. Retaining influences from the punk movement that preceded it, and not yet having been co-opted by major label boredom, the bands represented here represent quite a wide net. The Dead Kennedys' political hardcore punk. Joan Jett's straightforward guitar rock with attitude. The standard new wave pop of Gary Numan (cars), GoGos, and Devo. The oddball falsetto of Klaus Nomi. The gleeful juvenility of Surf Punks. Perhaps most important of all, the formative post-punk of Gang of Four, Echo and the Bunnymen, and The Cramps.
Eighties excess is no more evident than in the unbelievable perfomance from none other than the general of the Tubeway Army, GARY NUMAN. There's a huge stage set that loooks a lot like a disco, with a synchronized light show, a huge light-up "T" backdrop, and a completely fog shrouded stage. "Down in the Park" kicks in and Gazza is nowhere to be seen. The he appears, singing seated from the inside of a mini-car that totes him around the stage for the duration of the entire song! It spins and rotates around during the lengthy instrumental parts, while Numan does absolutely nothing but look suitably pissy. The thing even has fucking headlights, which is lucky considering the amount of fog machines that appear to be in use. Completely unbelievable. As the song ends Numan disappears into a mini-carport beneath the drum riser, and the crowd goes apeshit as darkenss falls. The Sundance
+ Sky channel airs it on the rare occasion, but minus the Numan footage, Apparently Gazza wanted too much dough for the right to use his impressive performance.