Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Legendary Bowie bandmatesare performing David Bowie’s songs together again

Legendary Bowie bandmates, producer/bass player Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T.Rex, Morrissey, Paul McCartney) and drummer Woody Woodmansey, are performing David Bowie’s songs together again, having reunited for four critically acclaimed dates in September 2014; the first time they had played together since 1970. Fronting the band is Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17.

David Bowie’s seminal album ‘The Man Who Sold the World’, masterfully produced by Tony Visconti, was recorded in 1970. It is unusually sonically heavy and dystopian for a Bowie album; with lyrical themes including annihilation and a totalitarian machine. The sound combines a powerful rock rhythm section with futurist synth sounds, Bowie’s haunting vocals and Visconti’s innovative production techniques. 

The distinctive and robust guitar playing which contributed so much to the artistic success of this remarkable record was Mick Ronson, who sadly died in 1993. Mick’s daughter Lisa, and niece Hannah, will perform on this tour with Tony and Woody.

Tony Visconti on bass, Woody Woodmansey on drums and Glenn Gregory on vocals, will be joined by stellar supergroup Woody Woodmansey’s Holy Holy, on this tour, including:

James Stevenson (The Cult, Generation X, Scott Walker, Gene Loves Jezebel), guitar

Paul Cuddeford (Ian Hunter, Bob Geldof), guitar

Lisa Ronson (The Secret History, Mott The Hoople), vocals

After playing ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ album in full, the band will go on to play many of Bowie’s greatest songs from the 1969-73 era, including Time, Ziggy Stardust, Changes and Woody Woodmansey’s signature tune on drums, the iconic Five Years.

Glenn Gregory says:

“To be on stage with such fantastic musicians performing such amazing songs was, I thought a once in a lifetime experience… It seems, happily, I was wrong. We’re performing TMWSTW Live again. Don't miss it.”

Tony Visconti says:

"One reason I'm looking forward to playing ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ album in its entirety again is because lots of people ask me if I still play bass. I do, but I've since rarely played anything as ambitious and demanding as the music of that great batch of songs conceived by David Bowie. With Woody Woodmansey and Mick Ronson, two of the finest musicians I've had the pleasure of recording and playing with, we set out to create something both new and classic, we called it our 'Sgt. Pepper’. 

David gave us a chance to bring our unique talents to the table and we made up our parts within David's framework. Mick forced me to listen to Jack Bruce, however, and told me 'that's what great bass playing was all about'. I got it, lead bass playing, as a guitarist this came natural to me. With David as our charismatic front-man we were 'Young Turks' determined to spin heads and change the world of music. 

Well, we sold about 20 copies instead. But over the years members of the public finally got it and eventually the album sold a million or two. A great homage to us was to hear Nirvana perform the title track unplugged in the 90s on an MTV special, note for note. I'm sure Bowie picked up some new fans afterwards although a lot of people still believe that Kurt Cobain wrote it.”

Woody Woodmansey says:
“In September last year Tony and I had the pleasure of joining forces as a rhythm section for the first time since 1970 when we recorded TMWSTW album with David Bowie and Mick Ronson. At the time we were all looking forward to presenting it to audiences in a live situation as we felt it would be exciting for us and them. Unfortunately this never came to pass ….until September last year. From the first song in rehearsals, which was Width of a Circle, it was obvious that we were right about our earlier excitement. With Glenn Greggory on lead vocals and the rest of the band, each song had its own special magic, as Bowie songs do. We stayed true to the spirit and essence of the songs whilst adding a contemporary edge to them.

The audiences on the tour were amazing; every age group knew and sang all the words. I personally had never seen these songs as 'sing along’. There are oblique lyrics on some tracks but they sang them all. The Garage, Sheffield, Glasgow, Shepherd’s Bush, you passed the audition! Due to numerous requests for more shows we are back out in June and Tony, Glenn, Woody Woodmansey’s Holy Holy and I are more than excited. Hope to see you there for more great nights.”

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