Saturday, 30 April 2016

Earl Slick & Bernard Fowler play David Bowie's "Station To Station"

Strangers who have died that have made me genuiely upset: Kurt Cobain, Rik Mayall, and David Bowie. David Bowie's was the one I felt the most I think as it came almost immediately after releasing his superb final album, Blackstar. His was the first gig I ever went to, in 1987: The Glass Spider Tour. It's not seen as Bowie's greatest period, but having said that, it's still underrated, and I would still recommend that people check out the live DVD of that tour.

The highlight for me, after waiting for so long in the old Sunderland football stadium, Roker Park, for most of the afternoon watching The Violent Femmes (who I hadn't heard of) and Big Country (who I had but couldn't stand), was hearing David start the show by saying "HELLO NEWCASTLE!" followed by the biggest good natured crowd boo I've ever heard.

I bought a ticket to see long time Bowie collaborator, Earl Slick, playing alongside Rolling Stones backing singer, Bernard Fowler, performing the entire Station To Station album, which is definitely in his best 5 albums, if not THE best. It was a great show, and I had a spare ticket, as my mate couldn't make it, and perversely I couldn't even give it away!

I got close to the front but man, it was packed. I got chatting with an older guy who was even more excited than me. He regaled me with stories of seeing Bowie in years gone by.  A big guy pushed past us, saying "Excuse me", so I decided to follow, literally in his wake.

Somehow I got to the front and had loads of room. After a while I realised I was in front of the rope, and not long after that I was told I was standing in front of the disabled area and getting in the way. I apologised to both the security and the guys in the wheelchairs and
stood next to the bar. Bad, bad Andy!

But still, now I had loads of room! Anyway they played the entire Station to Station album all the way through, pausing for Bernard to tell us that this isn't a time to think about death, but to celebrate life. We all cheered and  we all were on the same page. After the album ended, there were renditions of Diamond Dogs, Valentine's Day and Win. What a night! They then went on to play some blues stuff by Buddy Guy, and although I'm sure the rest of the gig was fantastic, I felt I had all I needed. Sure, they may have tricked us by playing more Bowie later, but I was happy to slip away, having seen exactly what I came for.

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