Not content with just the Ultimate Bowie band, featuring Ed Blaney, at Latititude, I went last week to see The Glass Spider Band with a few friends in a club bizarrely situated in Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club. I always get a frisson of entering enemy territory when I go to the Bridge, even though it’s usually for an enjoyable meal or a game courtesy of my good friend dc. Just that football rivalry. Time was when I really liked Chelsea. 1970-71 I think!
Anyway, six of us assembled, had an excellent meal at the Marco Grill – there are couple of hotels and a few restaurants in the Bridge complex – and then headed to the Under The Bridge club for a bit of Bowie nostalgia.
The Glass Spiders are fronted by a singer called Simon Westbrook who, according to the band’s website, has also done a stint as George Michael in a band called Club Tropicana. Versatile! A couple of the band – Erdal Kizilcay (bass) and Rich Cottle (sax) – played with Bowie in the eighties. As the band’s name suggests, the focus is on eighties Bowie, but also the electronic and dance tunes of the seventies. So we didn’t get any Ziggy, but we did get “Young Americans”, “Fashion”, “Fame”, and “Heroes”. We also got “Rebel, Rebel” and “Jean Genie” to keep us rocking. There was an intriguing version of “Heroes” track “Sons Of The Silent Age”. Naturally “Let’s Dance” got a good look-in, not only the title track, but “China Girl” and “Modern Love”. There were a couple of less well known eighties songs thrown in too. An adventurous selection.
The club was quite full, but not packed to the rafters. But the lighting and decor, along with the music, made for a really good atmosphere. There was also a brilliant photo exhibition, of rock stars from the seventies and eighties, with a strong focus on punk and new wave. Perfect for us!
Simon Westbrook didn’t try to look like Bowie, though his voice was a good fit. I’m not sure his all-red outfit really suited him, but credit for trying. The band were slick and the dancing girls looked like a throwback to Bryan Ferry’s halcyon days. I did wonder if Roman Abramovich had had a hand in their selection, given our location….
Definitely a band worth checking out if you like Bowie’s dance and eighties incarnation. We had a great night.
A few of my hastily shot iPhone 3 pictures…
The band’s website has a few videos from the gig, if you are interested. Here’s “Fashion”.
good review- best song rendition for me was young americans with spandau dude guesting impressively on sax.
Agree – Young Americans, Fame, Fashion. Come to think of it, why didn’t they do Golden Years?
Looks like a good time!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, John!
You too! Back to Toronto?
I’m in Toronto, now!
John, thanks for the Glass Spider piece. (And your Christmas greetings from Westfield, you capitalist roader.) I agree on all counts on the gig. The band were excellent, the singer – the Large Red Dude? – sufficiently confident to avoid striving for imitation, and the song selection very good indeed. It was obvious they had to acknowledge the two guys’ work with Bowie, but fortunately they kept those (seldom-aired) ditties to a minimum. And they did a great job with the classics that they covered.
The venue was indeed a delightful surprise. Great atmosphere, lighting and sound; the stage totally accessible, the crowd nicely laid-back, and no queues for drinks. Puts many others to shame!
So thanks to you for the write-up, and to dc for organising. A brilliant night out.
We must look for Ultimate Bowie in London. And avoid any possibility of witnessing the Tin Machine revival!
Indeed, I’ve been looking out for some Ultimate gigs after your Latitude plug, but nothing’s announced for 2014. His own website is hopelessly out of date, but he is at least registered with a couple of agencies. Let’s hope something crops up.