A relaxed David Bowie during yesterday's soundcheck at
Hammersmith Carling Apollo. Picture by Total Blam Blam.
We played our songs and felt the London sky...
Sorry for my tardiness in getting this report to you...Bad computer day...Grrrrr. Anyway, you've probably seen the online reviews for last night's Bowie show at Hammersmith, including:
We're using a member review here today. BowieNetter LizSK2 has kindly sent in her excellent review which we have reprinted in its entirety below. I've also included a few of the shots I took last night - They're a little bigger than usual, hope you don't mind? - I'll be posting more of these over the next couple of days. Before I leave you in LizSK2's capables, here follows the songs David played in his incredible two hours, forty minute set:
Life On Mars?
Ashes To Ashes
Look Back In Anger
Speed of Life
Be My Wife
I?m Afraid of Americans
5:15 The Angels Have Gone
I?ve Been Waiting For You
Heathen (The Rays)
I Would Be Your Slave
A New Career In A New Town
Everyone says 'Hi'
The Bewlay Brothers
Sound and Vision
Over to LizSK2, aka Liz Tray:
David Bowie at the Hammersmith Odeon, October 2nd, 2002 by Liz Tray
David Bowie and friends in the beautiful surrounds of the
Hammersmith Carling Apollo. Picture by Total Blam Blam.
There was a particular feeling pervading the former Hammersmith Odeon last night: privilege. The buzz, the whispers, the excitement; rarely has a performance been as easily anticipated as this one. As a veteran of only three previous Bowie concerts, this was it. The one to tell people you attended; the one to boast about.
The arrival of Bowie on stage felt like the ultimate in fevered anticipation. As Methuselah himself strolled out, sat behind his piano and launched into the familiar opening of Life on Mars we strained to catch a glimpse. And then, there he was. Outfitted in a blue silk suit, with (tied) tie, he sauntered, in that particular way of his, to centre stage as the theatre erupted. And from that moment you knew it was going to be a night like no other. That long, cold night on the concrete outside the venue last Friday was going to be worth it, as we always knew.
"If I can smile a crooked smile..." Picture by Total Blam Blam.
Before we could blink he was off - Ashes to Ashes, Look Back in Anger and the "first cowboy song of the night", Cactus followed. The set was a blur as the songs came thick and fast. I'm sure someone will have written it down but I sat in awe as David thundered through the songs that have defined and accompanied all our lives. His trademark energy puts us all to shame - how can this man, if you shall pardon the phrasing, keep it up? His boundless, ceaseless zest for all the material was astounding.
The Heathen tracks sat beautifully next to the other songs - 5.15, Slip Away, Afraid, I've Been Waiting for You took their rightful place alongside Fame, Fashion, Breaking Glass and so on. The welcome addition of Absolute Beginners was a surprise and I don't think I'm alone in being envious of the wonderful Gail who danced around the stage with David as the song ended. Not to be outdone he then uttered the famed phrase "not only is this the last show of the tour." The crowd sank to a hush then a cheer as he repeated the line he had once said many years before then he added "but this is the last show we'll ever do." then a pause for dramatic effect before adding "on the day of a fucking Tube strike!"
"Shit! I can't get back to my lyrics in time...what's the next line again kidz?
Twinkle Twinkle little what? Anybody know?" Picture by Total Blam Blam.
A cheeky stripped down version of Rebel Rebel had the crowd in paroxysms of delight and the gorgeous title track of Heathen ended the first part of the show. Everyone sat, simply stunned in submission by what we were watching and before we could catch our breath he was back again with the sublime Sunday. If the exact song order is sketchy it can only be because it was hard to centre oneself after such a night. Then came the moment I had been dreaming of for as long as I can remember. The most worn part of my Ziggy Stardust tape and my Madison Square Garden 50th birthday tape. He was actually going to do it.
"I'm an alligator." My heart jumped a hundred feet. "I'm a rock and rolling bitch for you." He did it and did it right; the first verse accompanied by the sexiest moves you've ever seen. If the gig had been 99.9% perfect until now this was the missing link. I never thought in any wild dream that I would see him perform Moonage Daydream let alone in this venue. Before (or after, still hazy on specifics) someone threw a black and silver feather boa on stage which David picked up and draped around his neck as he had once done before on this same stage - it was pure fantasy straight from all our dreams. This has been hard to write, as usually a review must have balance, the parts liked with the parts not as much. This was impossible as, genuinely, as all the moments had been just as I imagined every night before this. Now it had been made real.
"I think I left this under a seat here back in '73." DB almost
smothered by black feather boa. Picture by Total Blam Blam.
Then as if it was the most casual announcement it came: "We've only ever performed this song once before.". I think my heart actually stopped as I thought, no chance, he isn't actually going to do this song is he? A song that's, arguably, the finest song from Hunky Dory? It just wasn't possible - that we could witness only the second ever public performance of. "This one's called the Bewlay Brothers." It was like an Aladdin Sane lightning bolt to the heart. He thought no one would know it but the vast majority if the crowd knew exactly how much this one meant. It was word perfect. Can't wait to get the bootleg.
I was stunned after that; to be lucky enough to hear this song performed live was something that left me speechless. It was a wonderful blur - Everyone Says Hi, Starman, Changes, I never wanted it to end. But it must and what better way to make grown men weep than with a roof-raising rendition of Ziggy Stardust. He has so far to go, so many great moments yet to bestow on us. The night that had begun as people remembered the past ended as people looked forward to a better future.
Mr Stardust says goodbye to Hammersmith again! Pic by Total Blam Blam.
Tune in again tomorrow for loads more pictures from last night's show...and possibly more!