Reliving the golden years
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.