Absolute Bowie

This thin white dupe is no scary monster

By West Briton  |  Posted: July 26, 2012

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Absolute Bowie Princess Pavilion, Falmouth

Review by Lee Trewhela

ANYONE who has read my musings over the years will be aware I'm no fan of covers / tribute bands – okay down the local pub for 30 minutes but if you want to hear the hits go and see the originals.

The problem for us Bowie fans is the original appears to be in a state of hibernation, rumoured to have retired after undergoing emergency heart surgery while on his 2003-04 world tour, becoming a full-time parent to his 11-year-old daughter. With barely any professional appearances since – charity gig with The Arcade Fire, singing with David Gilmour at the Royal Albert Hall and backing vocals for Scarlett Johansson (not the greatest way to go out) – perhaps those rumours are true, though being Bowie he could surprise us all.

So if you want to hear that astonishing body of work these days you have to rely on the growing number of tribute acts, most of which focus on the Ziggy era.

Absolute Bowie, who bill themselves as Europe's premier Thin White Duke tribute band, start off in Ziggy mode but move right up to the Let's Dance period of the early 1980s. Unsurprisingly they don't bother with material from his under-appreciated 90s/00s albums (both Outside and Heathen being the equal of any of his much-heralded 1970s output).

But that's a hardcore fan's niggle as the masses want to hear the hits and they come on a wave of phase.

Walking in to the Pavilion with Ziggy and Ronson on stage, albeit in wigs, was slightly odd; laughable at first but come a staggeringly good Moonage Daydream, it occurred this was a reminder of what it must have been like to see the alien boy at small venues in Aylesbury and Dunstable back in '72. The band were superb – the guitarist ably tackling the late Ronson's memorable lead lines while "Halloween Jack", the singer, while not aping Bowie's every cracked syllable did a mighty fine job on the likes of Life On Mars and Space Oddity; a fantastic singer in his own right.

They are obviously big fans – Bowie vocal ad-libs from past tours, beloved of us obsessives, were incorporated and Rebel Rebel was the overhauled version from the last world tour just to please anoraks like me.

After a break they were back in Bowie's final guise circa 2002, all shiny suit and youthful blond shaggy bob. Now, "Jack" looked and sounded uncannily like him (but resembled Morten Harket more), no more so than on a towering Young Americans.

I was cynical to start off with but they were the diamond dogs' bollocks. They'll do for now … until the great Dame returns. And he will.

Read more at http://www.cornwalllive.com/white-dupe-scary-monster/story-16596991-detail/story.html#fr4AzJ1xeRAXD1RV.99



Bowie – Waterside Arts Centre, Sale
Absolute Bowie

Absolute Bowie – Waterside Arts Centre, Sale

Reviewer: Matt Forrest

The phrases ‘icon’ and ‘legend’ are banded about far too much these days: it would seem you only have to appear in some God-awful reality TV show, and you jump into “legend” status. However, on 10 January this year, the world lost a true icon, and legend of popular culture, when David Bowie passed away.

It has to be something special to try and recreate the magic of a David Bowie concert, and Europe’s number one David Bowie tribute band Absolute Bowie certainly are up to the task. Arriving onstage in full Ziggy Stardust persona, John O’ Neill, instantly grabs your attention. The rest of the band is in full Spiders from Mars costume, with guitarist Chris Buratti donning a rather fetching blonde wig, as he does his best Mick Ronson impression. The band certainly looks the part, but more importantly, do they sound anything like their hero? The simple answer is yes.

They work their way through an hour-long set of Bowie hits, drawing from his classic albums, Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and Aladdin Sane.This part of the show is outstanding, hit after hit. Stand out tracks includeThe Man Who Sold the World,and a full-throttle rendition of The Jean Genie, which has everyone up singing and sees the band demonstrating just how talented they are. Suffragette City and Changes don’t quite match the dizzy heights of the originals but this a minor quibble. The set draws to a close with a barnstorming version of Queen Bitch, the highlight of the night, and a cracking rendition of Life on Mars?

Following the interval, the band return: There is a change of persona as O’Neill, arrives on stage – the Thin White Duke character. The band plays a few numbers includingGolden Days, Fame, and Fashion. The band seems to have lost some of the momentum gained in the first half, as this part of the show lacks oomph. Just as interest is waning slightly, there is a change in tempo and they launch into Let’s Dance and China Girl, which turn things around and gets the crowd dancing and singing along. Following a brief break, the band arrive on stage for the encore, which is a blistering version of Diamond Dogs and crowd favourite Heroes, which is a suitable way to finish the night.

There will be many in the crowd who got to see David Bowie perform live and many more who didn’t and will never, so Absolute Bowie is the next best thing to seeing this true legend live. Definitely worth a watch.

Reviewed on 5 March 2016 | Image: Contributed

Very Popular Contemporary Art Gallery in Dublin Ireland. Great selection of paintings and prints by well known Irish and International artists. 
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