Bowie Experience Review at Bristol Hippodrome 2018

Bowie Experience Review
Bristol Hippodrome
07/05/2018

Bowie Experience Stalls Bristol Hippodrome
View from Stalls AA5 Ticket price £27.50

I’m not a fan of tribute shows. I do like certain eras of David Bowie, who doesn’t? There’s something for everyone in his astounding career which spanned some 50 years. But I found myself at the Bowie Experience at the instance of my seven-year-old who is going through a Ziggy Stardust phase. That someone so young should be into songs released from 1969 isn’t that much of a surprise. The music, production and style of David Bowie is unique and timeless.

That was something that was encapsulated by Laurence Knight, performing as Bowie at the Hippodrome last night in the well toured show the Bowie Experience. It was two-hours of much loved Bowie hits opening perfectly with the mystery of Space Oddity.

This is a well crafted show which transitions through each facet of Bowie’s career with swift costume changes.  Impressive costumes they were too.

Knight had the voice and the spirit of Bowie, managing to give a whole performance rather than a two dimensional impersonation.

It was interesting to note how the audience politely interacted with the show. There were clearly the die-hard Bowie fans, but interestingly, you could pick out people who found and connected with the singer during specific eras and styles.

For my daughter it was all about the first half. She was so excited for Space Oddity, Man Who Sold the World, Starman, Ziggy Stardust and Life on Mars amongst others. She was thrilled to see a video featuring illustrations of Bowie’s face throughout his career projected onto the back of the set. Considering I rarely play music at home in the evenings, it shows how deeply Bowie’s music is ingrained in popular culture.

I had to smile when Knight introduced Man Who Sold The World, and acknowledged it was a song that had been covered by Nirvana and Lulu. It was Kurt Cobain’s Unplugged version that led me to Bowie, we all have our pathways in.

Knight was backed by a seven piece band who faithfully and energetically recreated the sound. An Act Two highlight was Under Pressure. Percussionist Charlotte-Elizabeth Talbot, apparently has an amazing voice which she showcased when stepping out to complete the duo.

There is some difficulty with concerts in a traditional theatre. People want to dance but can’t really do so unless everyone stands up. At times, this affected the dynamic within the audience, not of the performance.

I was surprised how good the show was. It describes itself as a celebration of David Bowie and that’s how it felt. Laurence knight pulled off a great performance, in fabulous costumes, backed by a brilliant band. A pretty good way to finish off a bank holiday weekend.

Next morning the performance sparked a fierce family debate on the school run about which Bowie songs were best, in which order and why. Good going for a show I wrongly thought was just going to be another tribute act.

For more information about the show, visit: www.bowieexperience.com

 

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