Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Life of Live - The Glass Spider








Although I was living in the metropolis that is Leeds, my days of catching a coach to a concert weren't quite over. I was a massive David Bowie fan and although I'd defended him through the dark days of "Tonight" ("Loving the Alien is a great song" was the main defence) I was struggling with he awful blandness that was the "Never Let Me Down" lp. However live surely he could do no wrong?? So it was that one Saturday morning in summer I dragged myself down to outside the poly to catch a bus to Manchester Maine Road to see the Glass Spider tour and my first and last concert in a football ground. Me and the two friends I went with were in one of the stands so it was the usual squinting into the distance to try and make out what was going on. The support was Alison Moyet(who got the biggest cheer when she did a couple of Yazoo songs) and Terence Trent Darby. I cant remember what he said to annoy everyone but people starting booing and throwing stuff after about the 2nd song and kept going until he finished. (It seems weird that for a time he was "a contender")



Eventually the set was revealed (see above) it was meant to be a giant spider and did when it got dark but for most of the concert it largely looked like a mess of scaffolding. Bowie appeared lowered from the heavens in a chair singing into a phone. He was wearing some kind of red jumpsuit and well I was shocked to see he seemed to have some kind of mullet going on. The music was dominated by never ending guitar solos from Peter Frampton that also drowned out any other instrument. Each song featured a cast of dancers (including one apparently called Spaz) acting out some no doubt very meaningful scenarios but from my seat it just looked like alot of people charging around and on the video screen just an excess of comedy miming and gurning.


I'm sure there were some highlights but I'm struggling to remember them. This is still not the worst concert I've been to but certainly the biggest disappointment. I would see Bowie 3 years later after which all was forgiven but that is for another post.


It is the popular myth that Bowie's late 80s were barren years and it wasn't until "Heathen" that he got his act back together. However this ignores some great one off singles he did. Loving the alien is still a great single and the sound track to Buddha of Suburbia is worth checking out. I may be in a minority but Absolute Beginners and This is Not America are among he best songs.


Here is the only redeeming feature of "Never Let Me Down"


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