Who’ll love Aladdin Sane?
Mike Garson does as did a few thousand souls including myself at last night’s homage to David Bowie’s finest album ( in my humble opinion ).
The reason that I think it is Bowie’s finest work and superior to the rest including Ziggy Stardust is largely down to the piano dexterity of one Mike Garson.
Garson is ( was ) Bowie’s longest serving band member, playing in over 1000 concerts together including Bowie’s first and last concerts in the states. See wiki for more details.
Personally, I just love the way he plays his avant-garde crazy piano music, both in and out of key over a rock rhythm. The cacophony of sounds happening in different layers stimulates something in my mind which I don’t really understand, but love all the more.
As a wannabe-piano-player, self-taught over 15 years and playing every day, this is a whole different level, something that I both aspire to but know that I’ll never achieve. My own poor-man’s version of Lady Grinning Soul hits all the right notes at all the right time, its recognisable but Garsons’ piano skills have so much depth, flawlessly rolling up to the higher octaves and back seamlessly.
His band were particularly tight compared with most bands I’ve seen ( and I see a lot), recently played on the Iggy Pop tour. Special mention to saxophonist and the lead guitarist who had the difficult job of covering the Mick Ronson’s part.
Last but not least, lead vocalist Gaby Moreno, dressed in an emerald green jump suit with her cork-screw hair, both prowled and commanded the stage.
I had been concerned before the gig that no-one would be able to carry Bowie’s vocal, particularly against such classic songs, but she did and is probably a better singer than Bowie. Most noticeably on the quieter bonus song Wild Is The Wind.
It was mesmerising.
It was a fantastic gig, well worth seeing and with the additional benefit of an appearance by the legendary Steve Harley for a rendition of Space Oddity and his own song Sebastian.
This was a real Bowie fan gig, most of the audience around me were singing every word of music which obviously is a part of their life.
At one point during Wild Is The Wing, I wished the guy beside me would just shut up, but an accidentally on purpose dig in the ribs seemed to do the trick!
If you get the chance to see Mike and the band .. don’t think, go.
More info including a similar set-list from the recent Birmingham gig.