It’s hard to believe it’s almost three years since we woke to the news that David Bowie had died.
Possibly because that incredible, unique voice continues to be a regular feature on our radios, alongside acts such as Live on Mars keeping the memory alive as they did at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham last night.
The real David Bowie last played Nottingham with a low-key gig at Rock City back in 1997. Live on Mars is said to be Influenced by Bowie’s concert performances. I can only assume low-key is their intention.
Live on Mars fuses sound and vision to portray the essence of Bowie
Rather than stride on stage in full Bowie or Ziggy Stardust regalia, Alex Thomas and his band appear out of the darkness on stage, albeit in a trademark waist coat, as images of the real Bowie on the big overhead screen conclude
The tribute act is itself a strange thing to be, somebody else’s adulation, somebody else’s songs, and you have to be something pretty special to try to recreate the magic of a David Bowie concert. With such incredible back catalogue of songs to choose from, musically a Bowie tribute act is never going to go far wrong.
Alex has a resemblance to Bowie and a voice that’s close, but there’s little in terms of showmanship to hold your attention on stage when you’ve got footage of Bowie continually running over head. The performance and the video are synced perfectly but if you’re just watching the screen, It kind of defeats the object.
It’s best to view it as an evening of celebration performed by a live band rather than expect the build up it’s given in the promotional blurb which mentions the capturing of artistry, style and showmanship, alter egos and creative muse. Thankfully though all the hits are there, Five Years, Star Man, Life On Mars.
For the second set, there is no change of persona or costume, just another suit, as the hits continue, Rebel Rebel, Modern Love, Lets Dance. There doesn’t appear to be any order to the tracks as we jump backwards and forwards through the decades.
All the Young Dudes is the encore, rather than the predictable Heroes, which instead ends the second set.
The audience sit surprisingly still for a concert, right until the encore, they appear to be made up of a range of different ages and those who have seen Bowie play live,and those, like me who enjoyed his music but never got chance. An entertaining evening celebrating a pop icon, but for me, it needs some ch-ch-changes to make it great
By Tanya Louise
Photos by Chris Marsh