Life On Mars? #DavidBowie

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Life on Mars?  ( don’t forget the question-mark!  )  by the inimitable Mr David Bowie has always been one of my favourite songs.    Although recorded in the early 70s its timeless,  ageless and some would say meaningless.

I’d say enigmatic, as what most people don’t get is that Bowie is painting a picture of a world gone mad, the girl with the mousy hair escaping her dull existence to see the same dull movie 10 times, people fighting for no reason, police beating up the wrong guy.

It really is the freakish show and he asks the question .. Is there life on Mars?

Is there any chance of escaping for this dull and chaotic existence?

Personally,  I like it because it just sounds and feels good.

Although Bowie wrote the song,  the piano was played by the classically trained Rick Wakeman,  two musical geniuses in my opinion who I could only ever dream to emulate.

On paper the song is written in the Key of F,   but thats only notional as it promptly forgets that and goes in and out of key at multiple locations.

Its probably the most complex song that I’ve learned and the below tab I’ve based it on doesn’t do the complexity of the song justice.   So I used this for guidance and filled the rest in from the Bowie songbook that I received for my birthday last week.

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/david_bowie/life_on_mars_chords_570195

I’m off work for a week and catching up with bits and bobs,  including getting a chance to mess around with the recording features of the Roland FP-90 Digital Piano that I bought last year.

Finally had the change to record this and convert it to mp3,  a fairly painless process.

In my version,  its a quick round of an 8 bar intro in a more classical style and then the song in more accompaniment style so that my mate can sing along with it without guessing where the lyrics sync with the music.

Hope I’ve did it justice. 🙂

 

 

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Light My Fire? @TheDoorsAlive

I’ve always been a big fan of The Doors,   I’m also a fan of tribute bands who often work harder than the real deal playing the songs you’d love to hear rather than punting the new album.

It’s true that nothing is better than the real thing and a tribute will always be a tribute.

But in the case of The Doors Alive,  who I try and see every time they play Glasgow,  I don’t think you can get a better tribute in terms of authenticity and accuracy with the music and style of the original band.

The song Light My Fire in particular,  its hypnotic,  trippy,  trance music,  with the keyboard playing both organ melody and bass beat over the rolling guitar solo.

It takes me somewhere else.   A couple of beers and I’m floating.

The time to hesitate is through ..   Can’t wait!


Previous and more detailed review

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/the-doors-alive/

 

 

Who’ll love Aladdin Sane? .. #DavidBowie #MikeGarson

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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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aladdin_Sane

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Garson

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/mike-garson/2017/o2-institute-birmingham-england-73e02e25.html

 

 

Fuck U .. #U2

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U2 are a colossal band,  humoungously large and presumably wealthy.

I went to see them last year with my bro and had a fantastic time,  they put on am amazing show.

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/never-ever-choose-the-seats-best-available-u2-glasgow/

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/u2-new-order-or-simple-minds-glasgow/

Earlier this year,   they toured with the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree album,   probably my favourite album of theirs with its hits of Where The Streets Have No Name,  With Or Without You Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and my personal favourites of Bullet The Blue Sky and the haunting Running To Standstill.

But here’s the rub ..

On their tour,  the band only played Dublin and London,  other arenas in the more provincial cities like Glasgow were omitted from their tour.

For me that implies that they are happy to take our hard-earned dosh when it suits them,  but only when it suits them.

Tonight,   a U2 tribute band play St Lukes in Glasgow,  a smallish venue of a 3-400 hundred souls, playing The Joshua Tree album in its entirety.

That will do for me.

So fuck you Bono .. you talk shit most of the time anyway.

There .. I feel better now!

http://www.stlukesglasgow.com/events/u2-2-joshua-tree-tour-w-the-noel-gallagher-experience/

 

 

 

Free Fallin’. #TomPetty

He’s gonna free fall

Out into nothing

Gonna leave this world

For a while

Now he’s free, free fallin’

Sad to hear of the sudden death of Tom Petty today. I can’t honestly say I was his biggest fan as he was a little before my time.

But good music lives forever, it’s melody and message touches people in ways they never expected.

Take me and the boys playing Free Fallin’, such a simple tune to play, repetitive but mesmerising.

It’s the kind of song that you get lost in and when you find your groove you never want to end and we’d play on well past any reasonable duration just because it feels good, looking at each other and knowing we’ve overdone it but don’t want to stop.

To create that magic so simply takes a special kind of talent.

Free, free fallin’.

Alone With #ThePretenders?

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Chrissie Hynde surveyed the room before her,  a sell-out of 3000 souls all seated expectantly in the Glasgow Royal Concert hall.

“It’s not the Barralands,  is it?”   She quipped before bursting into her first song Alone,  the title track from her new album.

My brother Duncan and I smiled at each other and with a quick look at the mostly grey heads in front and all around us,  we had to agree. Continue reading “Alone With #ThePretenders?”

A Prayer For The Living? #Oasis

 

I’m sure like me,  you have many songs that take you back to people and places in your life,  happy times,  sad times,  the best and worst of times.   Moments that we treasure and wish that we could live again and moments that we wish we could forget.

Sometimes,  years after the event,  we are getting on with our day,  the radio on in the background and a song comes on that reminds us of happy times,  it makes us feel good and we smile at the memories that come flooding back.

Sometimes,  it’s the opposite,  a song that reminds us of sad times.  That takes our breath away and puts a tear in our eyes. Continue reading “A Prayer For The Living? #Oasis”