In memory of David Bowie
I only got to see David Bowie live in concert once. Slane 1987, and it was the much derided Glass Spider Tour. I was sixteen years old and it was only my fourth concert.
At that point I was aware of there being more to Bowie than the slightly iffy album that I’d bought ahead of the concert and was genuinely excited about seeing someone who even then was being recognised as an icon of music. Back then you could still buy a ticket in a record shop and I remember getting my beautifully printed concert ticket from Number 1 Records in Larne, from memory I believe the ticket cost was £17.50 and the bus ticket was an additional ten pounds. A pittance when compared to today vastly inflated ticket prices.
Support on the day came from the wonderful Big Country. Sadly lead singer Stuart Adamson is also no longer with us and they put on a genuinely fantastic performance and I can remember Stuart being in awe by the warmth of the reception he and his band received from the Irish audience.
Looking back now at the Glass Spider tour its easy to write it off as being a mess, and yes, it was over blown in places, too theatrical in places and due to the curfew law in place at the venue the lighting effects were sadly wasted that day. However, what I remember and took away was an enduring memory of a professional and dedicated performer. The set list was heavy on his pop material of that time, but i challenge anyone to come with a better pop song than ‘Modern Love’. Nods to the past came in the form of ‘Rebel Rebel’, ‘Time’, ‘Young Americans’, ‘Heroes’ and a cover of The Velvet Underground’s ‘White Light/White Heat’.
No matter what Bowie did, he gave it one hundred percent and on that tour he did exactly that. It was a mammoth performance, featuring up to ten people being choreographed on stage at once. Personally I would have preferred a more stripped back performance, but the audience loved it that day and ultimately that’s all that matters.
Bowie was a maser of re-invention and everyone will have their own favourite period of his career. He was creative, talented and unique musician and I doubt we’ll ever see the like of him again.