As its title suggests, Bowie Experience: The Golden Years is a journey through the music of the late David Bowie from 1970 till the late 90s. Leading the audience through this journey is lead performer Lawrence Knight, accompanied by a musical combo of talented musicians and vocalists.
The show opens with a Lycra-clad figure, guitar slung across his shoulder, striking the pose that makes him instantly recognisable. “Ground control to Major Tom…” and the show begins…
The repertoire continues, with the performers covering most major hits and other well known tracks. Ziggy Stardust makes his appearance a few tracks in.
There are many costume changes throughout the show. The first half – Lycra, a very dramatic cape and feathers – highlights the changes in persona during the early years of Bowie’s career. The second half sees high waisted trousers and shirts, a change of hair colour and to finish, a canary yellow suit.
Knight’s performance is well executed and his love for Bowie is obvious from the start. He has studied Bowie almost too intently as many of the poses and strutting detract from the singing, making it more of an impersonation than a tribute. His voice seems to weaken as if tiring towards the end of the first half. At times, he sounds rather more like Mark Almond.
Then come more costume changes, some done on stage, and colourful backdrops that change as we continue our journey through Bowie’s music.
The second half is a much stronger performance, both the band and Lawrence Knight seeming to enjoy themselves as they perform. The audience too seem to come to life – some singing along and jiggling in their seats, some having a wee boogie in the aisles, all are smiling to each other
Two more tracks – Fame and Heroes – are stripped from the chronology for the encore, together with a shortened version of the Bowie-written Mott The Hoople hit, All The Young Dudes. Not a bad night out!