Star man We could be Heroes again, just for one night
INNOVATIVE, influential, iconic – they go at least some way to describing David Bowie. And for more than two hours, his remarkable legacy lived again, thanks to a stellar display by the Bowie Experience, a remarkably authentic homage to the man who gave us Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane.
Headed by star man Laurence Knight, the eight-strong band traced the Bowie story from the late 1960s until the mid-1980s, although the deliciously wistful Where Are We Now? from 2013 was also granted a look-in.
They swept everyone along on a whistle stop tour of no fewer than 34 of The Thin White Duke’s biggest hits, along with a few songs that barely charted.
Having resolved a few early sound balance issues, the chameleon-esque Knight captured all the style and man
nerisms of the Picasso of Pop, morphing from one persona to another, with those many psychedelic outfits readily keeping pace.
His voice displayed a considerable range and convincingly recreated that distinctive Bowie twang, from the classic opening Space Oddity, complemented by striking back projections straight out of NASA’S images archive.
This concert was clearly a complete works affair.
Not surprisingly, Ashes to Ashes tried its hardest to recreate the legendary video with Knight suitably draped in silver Pierrot costume, before donning a chic yellow suit to usher in Fashion and Let’s Dance.
The stewards were clearly under orders to ensure nobody did. Oh, well, you can’t have everything.
Suffragette City proudly honoured the ladies, while Boys Keep Swinging ensured the men were not left out.
The pulsating Rebel Rebel and Jean Genie maintained the momentum, the partisan audience was in fine voice during Sound and Vision, but the standout performances were Modern Love, Changes, the stirring Life on Mars and Under Pressure, with the amazing voice of Charlotte-elizabeth Talbot standing in for Freddie Mercury.
The Man Who Sold The World, China Girl, TVC 15 and Fame kept it all on track, indeed I began to wonder if it would ever end.
But eventually they signed off with Heroes and the ground-breaking All The Young Dudes, a worldwide hit for any number of acts, except the master of reinvention himself.
But that pretty well sums him up: a musician and artiste for all people and all time.
Just for one night, however, we had savoured a reminder of the phenomenon that was the incomparable David Bowie.
We even had an intermission with ice cream. Now there’s a throw-back to the good old days.
Laurence Knight as David Bowie