If you were wondering what to do to celebrate Bowie week, look no further than spending it at The Grand in Clapham. It’s a chance to dress up as your favourite Labyrinth character (and trust me – people do dress up!) and magic dance the night away. There is face glitter, Bowie cakes and even the odd Bowie cocktail. Everything you need for a night of wonder. Even Maria Primolan had brought her beautiful Bowie sculptures all the way from Italy!
If you know the Labyrinth film you will recognise the characters. There were lots of Sarah’s, both in jeans and a few in white dresses, many Gareth’s, babies in red and white stripped baby-grows and even the odd snail. Did I mention there is a competition for the best fancy dress? The winner was a very original (and very low cost) tee-shirt of blown up gloves – he was, of course, helping hands. Brilliant! I had even joined in with a homage to Sarah with jeans and a waistcoat and even the plastic bracelet to give to Hoggle. You can tell I adore this film. I was not alone. The film was very interactive with everyone dancing and singing and even die-hards shouting out lines from the film. It’s a much-loved classic.
After the film there is a short break while the stage is set up for David Live, the UK’s premiere Bowie tribute. Charlie Fowler came on in a full-blown Ziggy one-piece and red boots to complete the ensemble. Jammin’ good with him were a Woody, Mike, Trevor and Mick in tow. Far out.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Charlie, the lead singer from David Live, before the gig to ask him a few Bowie questions…
JS: This is a Labyrinth night. What do you think of the film?
CF: When I first saw it, I felt it was a bit young for me but it has grown on me more and more.
JS: Are there any Labyrinth songs in your set?
CF: The film plays before we come on so no – people have already heard Bowie do it.
JS: What is your favourite David Bowie album and why?
CF: It changes each week. This week it is Station To Station. I especially am enjoying Word On A Wing. – such a great track.
JS: What is your favourite Bowie Period?
CF: Visually it is Isolar II period – the Berlin look. I like the Be My Wife video.
JS: When did you first discover Bowie?
CF: It is all my sister’s fault. She had lots of Bowie albums. I was about eight or nine years old and used to sneak into her room to listen to The Man Who Sold The World and Ziggy Stardust. My first album was Hunky Dory.
JS: For someone who loves Bowie the way you do, this must be your dream job. If you weren’t doing this what would you like to do?
CF: I’d like to be a music producer. I’d like to make bands sound better.
JS: If you could duet with anyone who would it be and why?
CF: I’d like a female voice such as KD Lang, Joni Mitchell or Debbie Harry and it would have to be a Dave song.
JS: Finally, is there a song you wouldn’t sing?
CF: Lazarus – It’s too…well you know.
JS: Thanks for that Charlie. It’s good to know your Bowie tribute comes straight from the heart.
But back to the gig. David Live delivered in droves. A fantastic first set of 70’s Bowie, with fans singing and dancing along. Tracks included Hang on to yourself, Jean Genie, Rebel Rebel, Starman and of course Ziggy Stardust. The set finished on Suffragette City, which I was especially pleased with as I had mentioned to Charlie earlier that this was my ringtone. Fans ran to the front to sing with him and touch his hand. It really is a night of fantasy and David Live know how to give you a good time. After a short break David Live returned with Charlie as 'Serious Moonlight Bowie'. The second set list included Let’s Dance, Modern Love, China Girl, Fashion and one of my all-time favourites, Cat People. David Live finished on the all-time classic, Heroes. It was everything you would want from a tribute act. David Live are a class act. They are clearly professional musicians who execute the songs with precision and passion. They are really worth going to see and its no surprise they are rated as one of the best tributes in the world. The sets were over too soon and yet the night was not finished. A DJ played a range of old classics for the crowd to dance the night away. This was indeed the place to be for Bowie week and I cannot wait to do it all again next year!
David Live are:
Vocals: Charlie Fowler
Keyboards: Spencer James
Drums: JP Sutcliffe
Bass: Raphael Sutcliffe
Guitar: JM Sutcliffe
Events at The Grand, Clapham.