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Bowie’s Back

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I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I’m living on. …David Bowie

Indeed, David Bowie lives on. His influence on music and culture is so immense, that it wasn’t too long before a group would coalesce to carry on his energy and art.

Alex Thomas is the lead singer of Live on Mars, the Bowie band that had a successful UK tour in 2018 and is currently making its first tour of the United States. Influenced by Bowie’s legendary concert performances, LIVE ON MARS gives an electrifying show with music ranging from Space Oddity to Last Dance; the best of Bowie with a fabulous light show and animation.

I spoke to Mr. Thomas, the lead singer, who has received rave reviews as David Bowie. When I asked him about his approach, he said that he wants to give the effect of Bowie with his looks and voice, without costumes and wigs. He respects his iconic hero too much for that ‘tacky route’.  “Bowie got  away with costumes and it worked…I can’t pull off the  make up , doesn’t work with my face at my age.”

N: How difficult is it to take on such an icon?

A: It’s a lot of pressure, incredibly good fun. I’m a huge Bowie fan and don’t want to ruin it for anyone… People enjoy it. The reaction is amazing with people getting carried away, sometimes in tears. I don’t take credit for this.

Mr. Thomas was too young to have seen Bowie perform live but has always been told he looks like him and sounds like him, even changing his voice to pattern the range change that Bowie exhibited during his lifetime.

A: It was a challenge, early on he had a much higher voice; he gets lower and richer with more vibrato later on. I had vocal coaching and moved the sound from throat to chest.

N: Do you channel him? How do you get into it?  

A: It’s all in movements, the music drives it. I wear a suit that resembles him the movements come naturally. The early stuff is more camp—the older stuff, traditionally masculine.

Before this exciting gig, Alex did more experimental stuff …noisy psychedelia with a group called Great Pagans. But he always loved Bowie.

N: What is Bowie’s greatest musical influence?  

A: The synchronization of experimentation and bringing it into the pop sound. He was influenced by Brian Eno and experimented with gender and androgyny.

N: What does he continue to say to the culture?

A: His legacy is one of the biggest. He is untouched by scandal which is a surprise coming from the generation he did. What I like is that he championed people who were over looked and abused. Abused is perhaps the wrong word.

N: What do you mean?

A: Bowie was interviewed in the  mid- 80 and berated the MTV  host for not having as many black music videos on primetime tv .He was forward thinking…also with androgyny. He had a lasting influence.

Clearly, Alex is an enthusiastic fan which can only help drive his performance. And he expressed equal excitement at performing in this country, with a first stop in Ohio.

N: What city are you most excited to play in the US?

A: I’m really looking forward to Miami. And of course, New York.

New York State schedule
Fri 31 May Rochester NY Auditorium Theatre

Sun 2 June Westbury NY NYCB Theatre

Wed 5 June Syracuse NY Crouse Hinds Theater 

 Sat 8 June Lewiston NY Mainstage Theater


Written by nancykoan

May 31, 2019 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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