28 November 2010

The Thin White Duke gets Petersham singing

Another conversation with another mate in another pub (Willoughby Arms) led me to see The Thin White Duke at the Fox and Duck in Petersham where they delighted us with highlights from David Bowie's long, illustrious and varied career.

Bowie had the advantage of changing bands every time that he changed moods but The Thin White Dukes does a pretty fine job of imitating those styles with a single line-up. There is a tendency to go for the later, funkier versions of songs like The Jean Genie and Rebel Rebel but there's nothing wrong with that.

The set list is stuffed full of Bowie classics, like a teenage girl's handbag, and over a couple of hours we were treated to songs like Ashes to Ashes, Life on Mars, Changes, Fame, Fashion, Let's Dance and Heroes.

But there were a few surprises in there too, like Time, The Man Who Sold the World (a hit for Lulu!) and Five Years.

A surprise omission was Station to Station which is where the term "the thin white duke" comes from but it would be churlish to criticise them for this when there are so many good songs to choose from that many favourites were bound to be left out.

The songs were delivered with precision and infectious enthusiasm and it was not long before we were all singing along; even me, and I don't do singing.

The set ended with Starman which is where Bowie and I started with his Top of The Pops performance back in July 1972. From there it was a short step to Ziggy Stardust, the farewell tour, a lifetime of buying all his albums and finding things to appreciate in all of them, even Tin Machine!

The Thin White Duke compress all that love and excitement in to a couple of magical hours.

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