Your chance to see a Starman celebrating the golden years of David Bowie
19th January 2019
David Bowie would have celebrated his 72nd birthday last week and as a tribute to the late great musician, the Bowie Experience will be performing their Golden Years tour at the Assembly Hall on Saturday evening. Here the group’s frontman Laurence Knight why Bowie’s music will never go out of fa-fa-fashion…
So tell us a little bit about your career in music so far?
I was at music college towards the late 90s and in the evenings and weekends I would go out with various covers bands playing the pubs and clubs. Most musicians like something from David Bowie’s back catalogue so we would often perform a song or two by him. Some band - and audience -members started telling me that when I sung his songs I sounded like him and that I should do something with that. I wasn't particularly keen at the time as I was writing and recording my own material and trying to perform and promote that.
How did you go on to become a David Bowie tribute act then?
To cut a long story short, it became apparent that although I believed in my original material, no one else did! And so, as a huge fan of David Bowie, the idea of doing some kind of tribute was an attractive notion. I put a band together and had a go and it seemed to work so I did another and then another and that's how it's been ever since. I must say, I didn't anticipate what a ride it would be; it's taken me to all sorts of parts of the world that I probably otherwise wouldn't have gone to and I've met some pretty interesting people along the way.
You’re considered to be one of the best Bowie impersonators in the world, what period of David's career do you favour the most?
I am a fan of David Bowie so I am fond of (nearly) everything he did but if I had to choose tracks for my sojourn on that desert island I would choose what they call his Berlin period namely the Low, Heroes and Lodger albums then up to and including the album Scary Monsters. Then it would jump to 1996 and his album Outside and go right up to his last; Blackstar.
What’s your favourite song to perform from the set with your backing band and why?
It’s difficult to pick but some songs do have something really particular about them such as Lady Grinning Soul (from Aladdin Sane) which is enjoyable because of the voice sound. I also like Hallo Spaceboy; Fame as it’s set to a great rhythm, and Sound and Vision which to me sounds like a sonic vision from a futuristic 1950s.
Tell us about all the costumes you wear on stage to reflect each of David’s different ‘characters’ such as Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke?
Firstly they are amazingly authentic and often there are audible gasps from the audience at each costume change. There are ten in total and at the end of the show we do a number that people can sing along to if they wish. When an audience really goes for it, it's so affirming. I feel we have truly connected.
You’ve performed as David Bowie at the Royal Albert Hall and also at his retrospective at the V&A. What aspects of his character are most fun to portray on stage?
Each one has such a rich seam to be explored, so to choose just a couple of aspects is like trying to unpick a woolly jumper! The fun comes in the shape of the pattern that emerges as you discover the more subtle sides of his imagination.
The Bowie Experience is on at the Assembly Hall on Saturday January 19th at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £24.50 from assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk