The Jean Genie is out of the bottle...so let yourself go and don’t miss The Man Who Sold The World live, writes Graham Walker.
This two-hour show, with David Bowie band legends performing his third studio album in its entirety for the first time, is simply magical and unmissable.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our exclsuive interviews with Heaven 17s Glenn Gregory, who is on vocals, legendary Bowie drummer Mick “Woody” Woodmansey and Morgan Visconti, son of Bowie producer bassist Tony and Mary Hopkin.
Fans at Sheffield’s O2 Academy, one of only four venues, will surely testify it was worth the entrance fee alone to catch Bowie producer bassist Tony Visconti and glam rock days drummer Mick “Woody” Woodmansey, reunited for the first time in 40-years.
Bowie himself, who is now something of a musical recluse, is replaced on stage by Sheffield’s own Heaven 17 star Glenn Gregory, who doesn’t so much impersonate the master as breathe new life into his songs, with a fantastic range and perfect pitch.
When he sings the similarities are oh, so obvious. They share a sense of interpretation and phrasing, with the same timbre in their tones. They are both showmen, full of theatre in their delivery.
Then there’s the rest of this supergroup, including Spandau Ballet guitar and sax player Steve Norman, plus other musicians associated with Bowie and greats from the glitter, makeup and platform-shoes era.
It’s a heavy, twisted and deranged, maniacal sound, with lots of raw to the bone guitar solos. Visconti and “Woody” are still the heartbreat and they bring it all thumping back to life.
There’s nothing too radio-friendly here. The songs are full of self-searching poetry. The title track deserves a special mention - one of Bowie’s first classics. It’s terrifically odd and menacing, with haunting, ghostly vocals.
Other standouts include All The Madmen, with its catchy chorus and superb guitar work, The T-Rex style Black Country Rock and the freakish folk of After All.
The album’s nine, twisted hard-rock tracks, are followed by other Bowie crowd pleasing hits of that period including Life on Mars, Ziggy Stardust, Starman and Jean Genie.
South Yorkshire’s St Elmo’s Fire rocker John Parr joined them in Sheffield as guest support on Watch That Man. He also played a short solo support set, showcasing his amazing guitar work, as did Visconti’s super talented singer songwriter son, Morgan, whose mum just so happens to be Mary Hopkin.
Beg, borrow, or sell the world for a ticket - just don’t miss this epic, historical show. A must for every Bowie fan and rocker.
The Man Who Sold The World plays Glasgow 02 ABC on Saturday, September 20, and London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Monday, September 22,.
Sheffield O2 Academy Set List
Introduction: Ode To Joy, Beethoven’s 9th (from A Clockwork Orange)
PART I: The Man Who Sold The World
1. The Width Of A Circle
2. All The madmen
3. Black Country Rock
4. After All
5. Running Gun Blues
6. Saviour Machine
7. She Shook Me Cold
8. The man Who Sold The World
9. The Supermen
PART II: Early Hits
10. Life On Mars
11. Hang On To Yourself
12. Ziggy Stardust
13. Watch The Man
14. Cracked Actor
15. Lady Stardust
18. Five Years
19. Moonage Daydream
20. White Light, White Heat
21. Jean Genie