Re­liv­ing the golden years

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music - Sara Fitz­patrick

EM­U­LAT­ING an icon is no easy feat.

Cameron Char­ters knows this well; he has spent the past eight months be­com­ing David Bowie.

Im­i­tat­ing the late Bri­tish pop leg­end pre­sented a slew of chal­lenges.

“I’ve spent a lot of time study­ing video clips, watch­ing how he moves around the stage and try­ing to get the same walk as he had,” Char­ters said.

“Bowie had a few dif­fer­ent al­ter egos him­self too, so it’s not just do­ing Bowie but Ziggy as well and the dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters he put on. Then there’s the look to per­fect and I had to lose a bit of the belly be­cause he was very skinny; I spent a bit of time in the gym and chang­ing my diet a lit­tle bit and even then I have to suck it in some more.”

The New­cas­tle mu­si­cian is no stranger to ded­i­cat­ing him­self to the job; he even taught him­self to play bass left-handed when he play­ing Paul Mccart­ney in Beatle­ma­nia on Tour.

“The hard­est part of be­com­ing Bowie, though, is re­mem­ber­ing all his lyrics,” Char­ters said.

“A lot of the lyrics that he wrote are very un­usual; he uses strange terms and phrases and just get­ting them all into my head took a fair while.

“For ex­am­ple, in Changes the lyrics are ‘but never leave the stream of warm im­per­ma­nence and’; it’s pretty weird that it fin­ishes with ‘and’, then there is a lit­tle break and he starts up again.

“The fact that Bowie was so un­usual makes it in­ter­est­ing for me and makes for a much more en­ter­tain­ing show.”

Char­ters be­gan his mu­si­cal ca­reer at age nine when he came home af­ter Anzac Day cel­e­bra­tions with the de­sire to learn the trum­pet.

“My dad took me to the lo­cal brass band and he learnt the eu­pho­nium while I learnt the cor­net,” he said.

“Within a cou­ple of months we were gig­ging with the lo­cal brass band.”

Cameron Char­ters as David Bowie.

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