Photo via: SpaceOddity – DavidBowieTribute.com
Let me first state never, and I do mean never have I seen any sort of star impersonator’s show. I (quite mistakenly in this case) always envisioned a dude who half-way sorta sound like Elvis in a gold jacket, and that simply isn’t my cup of tea, bag of beans or box of truffles. I know that sounds incredibly snooty. I own my superior attitude about music and performers, especially when it comes to DAVID BOWIE, forpitysake. But just hold on for ONE minute.
While Big Brother Mark Zuckerberg was spying on my posts, Facebook posted an ad on my sidebar for “Space Oddity, David Brighton’s Tribute to David Bowie“ which happened to be coming to a venue quite nearby. I clicked on the link, which then sent me to a YouTube video that literally gave me goosebumps as I watched in amazement.
Let me preface this by stating I’ve had the thrill of seeing David Bowie twice in concert–The Serious Moonlight Tour in 1984, and The Reality Tour in 2004. I’m not your run-of-the-mill Bowie fan. Ask around–they’ll tell you I’m a Bowie freak, so I was quite skeptical and a bit smirky while this video of David Brighton was buffering on my slow-as-hell-laptop–then I couldn’t breathe–in the best way. Take a look, won’t you?
Okay? Am I coming in clear? I was immediately struck by not only Brighton’s vocals, but his liquid-sexy Bowie movements. Clearly, we have someone who has more than done his homework on the Legend that is David Bowie.
I was fortunate enough to enjoy a half-hour phone interview (which felt more like a lovely conversation) with David Brighton about his upcoming show here in the Seattle area. “Space Oddity, David Brighton’s Tribute to David Bowie” is coming to the grand and refurbished Admiral Theater in Bremerton, Washington, Saturday April 28th. ( It’s a mere ferry ride from downtown Seattle, and the historic theater is in walking distance from the ferry terminal, which is fantastic.)
David could not have been more gracious and engaging during our chat. We discussed his favorite persona of Bowie’s–which I had to pin him down on a bit, when he pulled the “they’re all great” on me. Of course they are, but we all have a Bowie-era that we relate to and love the most, don’t we? Turns out, we share a preference for The Thin White Duke, 1970’s “plastic soul” period.
Brighton went on to tell me a great story about Luther Vandross that I hadn’t heard before…and I thought I knew it all. Nope. We hard-cores do know that Luther not only performed backing vocals for Bowie on the “Young Americans” album (and “Diamond Dogs” tour), but Bowie asked Luther to open for many of the concerts.
Even though Luther was booed and endured the “we want BOWIE!“ chanting during his performances, Bowie continued to nurture Luther by pushing him to prepare himself for being onstage alone; he recognized the true talent working with him and helped Luther go out on his own. One of my all-time favorite songs is “Fascination” from the “Young Americans” album, which the two wrote together.
I asked David Brighton if he occasionally watches Bowie’s videos or concert footage in order to see if, perhaps there were pieces of Bowie’s mannerisms or phrasing he may have missed for his own performances. He replied,
“That’s a fair question. It’s an insane amount of work and you have to be extremely perfectionistic and obsessive–which I AM, then program yourself in almost an auto-pilot frame of mind, and I use the dancer “muscle memory”; but I do look at performances every now and again because I have so many other projects going on.”
To show another indication just how incredible David Brighton is, he worked with Bowie himself in an advertisement for a French bottled water, Vittel to play Bowie’s alter-egos who have taken over his house. This is AMAZING.
I’d like to share some reviews of David Brighton’s performances by some incredibly talented individuals who have worked with Bowie himself, as well as Bowie’s personal website, fan website and news and entertainment publications:
“Time and Space Oddity- As modern physics teaches us, time is relative. Time travel however is still in its theoretical stage. At least that’s what I thought before seeing Space Oddity. Fortunately I was near the front of the stage and had the luxury of verifying my senses from time to time. But for those sitting in the rear, it must have seemed to them, that they truly had been shifted in time and space.
David Brighton has the voice, moves and look to actually step in for David Bowie if he were unavailable and few would ever know. The band members are not only accomplished musicians, but they have nailed the original arrangements down perfectly. Experiencing Space Oddity made for a truly remarkable evening.”
– Harry Maslin, Producer (of David Bowie’s YOUNG AMERICANS & STATION TO STATION Albums)
“Well done! David Brighton recreates many of David Bowie’s personas with much style. If you get a chance to go and see his remarkable tribute act, the ever professional Space Oddity, do. This guy is cool…”– BowieNet (David Bowie’s Official Web Site)
“I served as president of the official David Bowie Fan Club in the 1970s. One great benefit was having the chance to catch several shows from Bowie’s famous Station To Station tour, as it wound through the US, England and Europe. It’s a memory that I have worked hard to keep fresh in mind. Now I won’t have to try so hard. David Brighton and the Space Oddity band’s recreation of David Bowie from that era, and from every other moment in Bowie’s colorful career, is as note-perfect and spot-on as you could wish. I can now simply drop in on one of Brighton’s band’s stellar Bowie performances and experience, right in front of me, everything I remember from those golden years. Count me a fan!”
– Michael Olsen – Official David Bowie Fan Club
“David Brighton’s Bowie tribute is an uncanny likeness musically as well as visually. I was blown away…”
– Rob Christie, Capitol Records
What I’m trying to get across to alla y’all is that if you live in the Northwest, there are some tickets still available via The Admiral Theater’s website HERE. And if you don’t live in the Seattle-area, I suggest you do your level best to see “Space Oddity, David Brighton’s Tribute to David Bowie when the show comes to a city near you. Be sure to check out the tour schedule on the official website.
Naturally, I’ll be writing my own review and posting photos after seeing David Brighton on Saturday. I’ll be wearing my red shoes.