Gary Numan and The Skaparis Orchestra collaboration announcement

I am absolutely thrilled and over the moon to announce that The Skaparis is collaborating with Gary Numan for his UK ‘Savage’ Tour in November.  I’ve been in contact with Gary since the very beginning of December ’17 and have met him twice since then, working furiously on putting all of this together.

We’re both so excited for this project as we will be making a Live DVD and Live Album at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on November 17th, performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London on the 19th and touring the UK. The amazing Kantos choir is joining us as well and I’ll be writing the arrangements and transitions with my co-writer throughout the next 7 months.

Tickets are on sale from Friday this week (6th April) at all of the venues including Cardiff St. David’s Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Newcastle City Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and The Royal Albert Hall in London.

As a Manchester UK based Orchestra, we’re extremely proud that our home city is one of those on the Tour route!

The Skaparis Orchestra’s website will also be going live from Friday 6th April where you can find information on all of the venues, how to purchase tickets, background information on the Skaparis Orchestra etc. and a special corner dedicated to Gary Numan that will include little known facts and figures, hosted by the wonderful Mr. Steve Tottle. Watch this space!!

15 thoughts on “Gary Numan and The Skaparis Orchestra collaboration announcement”

  1. I understand the Manchester and RAH Gary Numan shows will have “full version with strings, multi percussion and choir” and Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow “will be a smaller version with strings and harp” Yet we outside Manchester and London are paying the same price as Manchester and RAH.

    Can you tell me what constitutes “full version” and “smaller version”, the reasoning behind this and finally, who’s decision this was?

    Surely a smaller string section of say, 6 or 7 musicians won’t be able to re create the full version?

    1. Hello mac, thanks so much for your message and your questions, and understand why you’ve pointed this out. There are quite a few reasons behind my decision. When I sent Gary the orchestral demos back in January a few months ago, they were based on a full Symphony Orchestra and a full Choir. The Skaparis Orchestra normally runs as a Chamber Orchestra (25 – 30 players) so when Gary then asked me to put everything together based on the strength of the demos, I was ready to increase to 55 players and Choir.

      With these forces, it would match the demos for how they sounded so I was giving Gary a guarantee that what he heard could be replicated. I then spent the next week working on the budget and contacting the Musicians Union to check that I had the correct agreements for the specific type of work for my players.

      The findings were substantial and Gary, having never worked with an orchestra before, was surprised but keen to make this work.

      It took me a while to come up with a viable formula to keep the artistic integrity of the project alive as well as being pragmatic with regards to what was realistically possible. In the end, we managed to achieve 4 out of the 6 dates on the Tour with Strings and Harp and 2 dates with the extra Percussion and Choir. The String strength is 15 players, Choir 8 singers, and 1 Multi-Percussionist.

      The main focus of the Tour is of course each and every venue – however, there is a Live DVD and Live Album being made at the RAH in London. This is why the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester also has the extra forces because it is has to be a warm up to the RAH.

      I will say that it is my job not only as Conductor but also as the co-writer of the arrangements and transitions to make the differences between the shows as unnoticeable as possible (in essence doing two arrangements per track) so that you would come out of Cardiff believing the Manchester show was the same.

      I have also heard that some fans believe that this will just be a ‘backing’ track to Gary and the band. I can categorically say here that this will most definitely not be the case! The instruments (including voice) that are being used are as expressive as the guitars, keyboards, and drums being played by the band; so it’s my job to make sure that Gary’s songs are respected and enhanced by them.

      Gary and I are fully aware of the infinite possibilities that this series of concerts has given us and the incredible chance to make something utterly unique for everyone – and because this is out of the norm, we are asking you to trust us.

      Gary has also said that this Tour will have ‘Biggest Numan light show for decades’ so I hope that in itself would be a reason to attend any of the shows!

      I hope I get the chance to meet you after one of them.

      Kindest regards,


      1. Simon

        Many thanks for the prompt reply. So to clarify, the Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow gigs will consist of 15 players, 8 singer choir, and 1 Multi-Percussionist?

        With regards to the ‘backing track’ comments I don’t think they are referring to the strings in your orchestra and there seems to be no doubt that these will be played live.

        Got my ticket for Newcastle and hoping to hear some older tracks that would be a perfect fit for this project (can I be cheeky and ask you to listen to The Aircrash Bureau, My Breathing, The Iceman Comes, The Joy Circuit, complex, My Last Day, Please Push no More, Sleep by Windows and The iconic Replicas intro and outro from the Wembley farewell concert.) It would be amazing to hear those interpreted and reconstructed by an orchestra.

        Again many thanks for taking time to respond.

        1. Hi mac, thank you for your message. It’s been a very busy few days hence the delay in replying – No, that’s not quite right. Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow are Strings and Harp only. That’s 15 players in total. For Manchester and London, it’s Strings, Harp (15) Choir (8) and Multi-Percussion (1) making a total of 24 players in total.

          As to the other tracks from the catalogue, we will be keeping everyone in suspense as to what those might be until you hear them on the night…

          1. I’m interested to see you say you are the co-writer of the arrangements and transitions of these concerts. Can I ask who is collaborating with you as co-writer?

            Who is selecting the tracks, and what involvement do you and Gary numan have with regards to the arrangements and involvement of orchestra and band?

          2. Unfortunately the name of my co-writer cannot be revealed due to contractual reasons and will be made public in due course. With regards to the track selection, you’ll just have to wait and see!

  2. Simon Im hoping. to get tickets for the RAH today I,ve just read your explanation of the above and thank you for it

    I’m sure it will put Mac and many other peoples mind to rest I for one if I get tickets today will be very excited to see this collaboration Ive followed Mr Numan for a long time and I’m really looking forward to November I think you will create something truly magical on these evenings.

    1. Hello Craig, many thanks for your message and I absolutely share your excitement for the shows. It’s incredible just how much interest this has created, not just amongst the Numan fans, but from across the whole Globe. I’ve just started on the arrangements for the Introduction to the whole set 🙂 Hope to see you after one of the shows! Kindest Regards, Simon

    1. Hello Mark, I wish I could give everything away, but not much of the set has been cemented except most of the Savage album as it is still part of the Savage Tour.
      We have a tough job with so many amazing tracks to choose from in Gary’s substantial catalogue, but essentially we’ll be picking ones that have great orchestrational potential.

  3. Really looking forward to this!
    I have always believed that a lot of Gary’s music would lend itself perfectly to an orchestra.
    I can see new life being breathed into some classic Numan tracks, namely Down in the Park, Replicas and The Joy Circuit to name but a few, as well as his new album Savage.
    Hopefully if all goes well this will inspire Gary to think about the direction of his new studio album?

    1. Hi Rob – many thanks for your message, we’re both extremely happy that everyone is behind this collaboration, there really are alot of hard decisions to make as to what will make the final cut to the set! Which venue are you getting to?

  4. Wow. This looks amazing. Unfortunately I’m based in Australia so won’t be able to indulge. Can’t wait to hear the recorded results though. I’m sure it will be a roaring success and will echo what others have said in that there are a great many tracks from over the years that will lend themselves to this. I have a soft spot for the Bridgewater Hall. When I lived in UK I work on a primary school education program with musicians from Manchester Camerata who all trained at RNCM.

    1. Many thanks for your message John. It’s a shame that you can’t make any of the shows but the recording should really be something else. Kindest regards, Simon

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