When David Bowie died in January 2016, the world lost one its greatest musical and cultural icons. Bowie’s creative restlessness led to a career of almost unparalleled change, from the psychedelic Space Oddity, to the driving rock of Suffragette City, the soul of Young Americans, the anthemic Heroes and the poignant Lazarus. Then there’s Let’s Dance, Moonage Daydream, China Girl, Fame, Starman, Ashes to Ashes and for many his finest work, the epic Life on Mars.
On Saturday April 7, Pop-Up Bowie starring the award winning Paul Antony come to the Borough Theatre, Abergavenny to celebrate the life and work of this legendary artist.
Their two hour show features 30 of Bowie’s best-loved songs, spanning the five decades of his extraordinary career. We caught up with Paul ahead of his visit to Abergavenny.
When did you first become aware of David Bowie?
Like many Bowie fans, I saw him performing Starman on Top of the Pops in 1972. It was like his music was in Technicolour.
Did you ever meet him?
Unfortunately not. I always thought I would one day, which made his death all the more sad. Thankfully we have his songs and his records, so his music will always live on.
What is it that makes Bowie stand out as an artist?
His willingness to experiment with different genres … and he was consistently a great songwriter.
What is your favourite Bowie song – to listen to and to perform?
I always feel better after listening to Sound and Vision, while I love singing China Girl. Vocally it is both delicate and powerful, while the pop melody conceals a strong message.
You bear an extraordinary likeness to Bowie, especially on stage. Was this the motivation for starting Pop-Up Bowie?
I’ve always performed Bowie’s songs. The first one I learned to play on guitar was Jean Genie. Pop-Up Bowie evolved over the years.
What can we expect from a Pop-Up Bowie show?
A Pop-Up Bowie gig is primarily a celebration of the music. Bowie fans are incredibly passionate. They cut across age barriers and it is always fascinating to see which era individual members of the audience respond to. For some it’s Ziggy, while others love the Berlin Trilogy, the Let’s Dance/Serious Moonlight period, or Bowie’s final albums.
Have you played in Wales before?
We’ve played in Newtown and at The Riverfront in Newport. In 2016 we performed at Rock the Castle, in the grounds of Pembroke Castle. It was July, but there was an icy gale blowing. Fortunately the rain had stopped by the time we went on stage. There were still over 1,000 people determined to have a good time. The Welsh are a hardy lot.
- Pop-Up Bowie are at Abergavenny Borough Theatre on Saturday April 7. For ticket details to Box office telephone 01873 850805.