AT just two years away from his 60th birthday and 37 years after shooting to the top of the pop charts with Are 'Friends' Electric, Gary Numan has finally been acclaimed as a pioneer of electronic music.

But Gary Anthony James Webb has not always been seen that way in a career full of fluctuations.

A series of career jolts saw him accused of being too stylised; nothing more than a David Bowie clone and being ridiculed for his Thatcherite stance while being dismissed by some as a silly rich nerd with a predilection for planes.

In the 80s with no internet, few music papers and fewer TV channels, each ridiculing story with a mass audience was toxic and by the middle of the decade he admits he was in the doldrums musically. 

But things have changed.

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Now in Glasgow to play songs from this first three solo albums, which Numan has previously confessed to loathing, he admits it is a return to where he says it all started; when he finally had realised he had made it.

It was September 20, 1979 - he remembers the precise date - at the now demolished Glasgow Apollo. Numan had just had his first solo number one in the pop charts with Cars; and Glasgow went crazy for him.

"I remember everything. It was one of the most important days of my life. It was my first proper gig. I had just become famous, everything you've ever dreamed of is all just coming together. And it all started there," he recalls.

"Coming out the gig afterwards, I had never had fans screaming at me and chasing me up the street. Police were outside.

"I remember seeing the balconies being on some kind of hydraulic supports and would move. They would actually move when the crowd were jumping. Phenomenal.

Gary Numan compares playing live to sex and says he has finally made peace with his history

"To have gone from absolutely nothing, doing little pubs with nobody in them, to doing something like the Apollo, when you have several thousand people going absolutely mental, it's an unbelievable experience. And I loved every second of it.

"It's such a cool thing. You feel incredibly lucky. The support of the people made you so emotional. For me, there is only ever one first of that kind of thing and for me it's Glasgow. It will always be special.

"It's such a shame they knocked that place down."

Today it is the sold out o2 ABC and despite Numan's past vocal distaste for the songs that made him a superstar, there has been a clear change in attitude as he struts through the A-Z of rock poses with pulsating variants of his classics. There is not a vintage synth to be seen.

His latter career has seen him reinvent himself as industrial synth rocker, with echoes of Nine Inch Nails - and with an eye-opening array of sucker punch tunes containing equal parts beautiful melodrama and dense corrupting noise.

Glasgow Times: STAR FOLLOWING: Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, who had an account with OiNK

Trent Reznor, the front man of NiN, is one of an array of artists from Kanye West and Prince to Foo Fighters who say Numan has inspired them.

He may have indicated he was avoiding new versions of the classics tonight, but this may have been kidlology.

His old school synth experiments made his late 70s to early 80s albums The Pleasure Principle, Replicas and Telekon stand out, catching the ears of some hip hop producers who have sampled his work.

But in Glasgow in 2016, Numan played industrial rock god twisting his famous songs with shards of noise and crunching guitars.

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In 2002, Are 'Friends' Electric found its way to number one again in the shape of the Sugababes' Freak Like Me, which heavily borrowed from the synth classic while Basement Jaxx sampled M.E. and This Wreckage for their 2001 chart hit Where's Your Head At.

But he says his view of the classics stalwart fans still crave did not alter until after the release of his last album Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) which in 2013 returned him to the Top 20 album charts for the first time in 30 years.

"I made it really big to begin with, massive to begin with, then i had trouble sustaining that for a very long time, and the career went up and down and up and down.

"That creates a shadow, it overshadows everything else you try to do from then on and I resisted that very strongly. You get labelled as an 80s artist, and I resented that as well.

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"I didn't like that pigeonholing, I think it's very damaging to a career so I wanted to keep my legacy at arm's length, I saw it as something that was damaging me rather than helping me.

"I didn't look back on my big successes and wear it as a badge of pride, or a badge of honour.

"I looked at it as something that was dragging me down and not letting me move forward.

"So I had this very awkward relationship with my own history. And I wasn't proud of it. In a way, you are, but I just wanted it to be disconnected from it.

"What happened that changed it, was when... Splinter came out in 2013, I had the best few years I have ever had by far.

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"People said it's the best album I've ever made; one of the top three albums I've every made. And with that, I finally felt as if I had moved out of this shadow. And it made a huge difference to me.

"So for the first time I was able to look back at my history, Cars and Are 'Friends' Electric, and be proud of it, and not feel this need to distance myself from it.

"It suddenly became something, not to shout about necessarily, but that I should be able to say f*cking, I did that. I did that. And I should be proud of it. And it is that that has enabled me to progress over the years to do what I am doing now."

Now a father-of-three and married to one of his keenest fans, Gemma, he laughs as he compares playing live to sex and then becomes serious as he insists the music industry is in a better state now, than when he broke through.

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He believes new bands now have a greater chance of a platform to showcase their music with the advent of the internet and sharing sites such as Soundcloud.

But is accessibility to artists online only fine if you are a big name? He doesn't think so.

"The only way bands would have got exposure before, is to deal with a major record company, that company would want to make them a priority, they might only take on seven or eight bands in a year. And if you don't do what the f*ck they tell you to do, they won't release your album anyway," he bristles.

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"They would sign you, make you start doing cover versions of Madonna, or f*ck know what they make you want to do... OR PRINCE, exactly [one of his self-confessed embarrassing moments]. You sell your soul to the devil or they take your marketing budget away. How is that a good thing?

"If you didn't get on Top of the Pops or Radio One, you didn't have any success. It was so limited. There was only one tiny avenue that you had, any one of us had to become successful.

"For me it was fine. But for the 2000 other bands trying to get onto Top of the Pops that week it was a disaster.

"Nowadays you have an alternative, if you don't have that, you've got Soundcloud and Spotify.  It might not be as good as, but it gives you something.

"It gives everybody the ability now to have a foot on the ladder, dip their toe in and start to get something going. Before it was just all or nothing; soul destroying."

But in the 80s leftfield artists such as Gary Numan were getting more of a mainstream platform and actually finding their way into the charts, weren't they?

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"I don't think leftfield music making the charts was that common back then either," he argues.

"Remember, I stood out because it was so different and unusual to see anything like that. You had the usual bland top 30 kind of pop music stuff week after week, and then once in a while, someone like me, or Frankie Goes to Hollywood, something would come along which was just lucky enough to get seen. And I was lucky.

"But plenty of people just as good as I was, if not better, didn't have that moment of luck and fell by the wayside. I think now, you don't have to fall by the wayside.

"I don't say it's easy, at all, it's still very difficult, but I do believe there are more chances now for people who really want to try and are really clever and really adapt to the current scene with what they're doing.

"And you have to work very hard, gigging, doing all the things you did before, but at least now there is a way of reaching out to people directly and you don't need a big company in the middle of it doing it for you."

Numan moved to the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles four years ago, but he still remembers X Factor, and can't help declaring his loathing, after initially feeling he cannot knock it.

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"It's not there to make stars. It's there for entertainment. It's there for whassisname to make sh*tloads of money," he said. "Let's not fool ourselves it is there for the good of music because it sure has f*ck isn't.

"It's a shame there isn't something that could actually be there for the good of music, for new bands, and really be genuinely trying to help and make music more diverse and encouraging people who are out there actually doing something different, to actually get somewhere."

As someone who in the early days fostered a withdrawn, remote persona it came as a surprise to find that he now talks with relish about meet 'n' greets for fans, and declares that he feels bands have to have a better connection with the people that go to gigs and buy his music.

"The fact record sales are no longer the primary source of income, it has made us think more creatively about how we make up for that loss of income. The key to it has been a closer connection with the fans. Offering things that you wouldn't dream of doing before.

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"We have people at rehearsals and I have a little boat party coming up soon which fans are coming on to. It's trying to create unique experiences for fans."

When asked what influences his music now, it is not other artists. Instead the self-confessed anorak talks with relish about how it is new tech that inspires him.

"I am very technlogy based, obviously, so whenever new software comes out, new equipment comes along, that has all these new capabilities and new sounds I am right in there with it," he enthuses.

"That's really helpful, because you can buy technology which helps you to do something different, to come up with new sounds and new ideas.

"It is like being given brand new tools every year that make your job easier, to move forward. That's inspiring as well."

He reveals that he had a chance to vote in the EU Referendum, but chose not to, regaling the amount of misinformation fed the public from both sides of the debate.

He says it "seems very wrong" that Scotland can vote one way while the rest of the UK vote another and are stuck with what Britain decides because "you are tied in with the rest of us".

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"Everything I read was so contradictory and so inflamatory.  I didn't trust half of what I was reading from those so-called experts," he said.

"What could you trust? I write songs for a living. I'm not an f*cking international financial expert. What the f*ck do i know about it?

"It came down to gut instinct. It felt wrong to me, so I didn't [vote]. I totally sat on the fence, because I didn't know enough to have an educated opinion."

Of the Brexit vote he says: "Who knows maybe it's all for the best."