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Starman in Streatham: David McAlmont climbs the Wall To Wall Bowie

Former Blitz kid and Animal Nightlife singer Andy Polaris checked out an annual celebration of David Bowie’s music at Streatham’s Hideaway wine-and-dine venue in south London. 

With new arrangements, jazz twists and an imaginative approach, musical director Janette Mason lead special performances from fabulous performers David McAlmont and Sam Obernik for what is always a serious musical treat for both Bowie and jazz fans alike. Here’s an excerpt from Andy’s review at his website apolarisview . . .

We were told Wall to Wall Bowie was a celebration, not a wake, as vocalist and songwriter David McAlmont unleashed a varied selection from Bowie’s back catalogue with an accomplished backing band. Dressed almost low-key in dark shirt and trousers, he opened with Watch That Man and immediately we realised these would be interpretations, not pure Xerox copies, and all the better for it.

David McAlmont (centre) live at Hideaway this week: pictured with Simon Little on bass, vocalist Sam Obernik and Emlyn Francis on guitar

Suffragette City followed, then Sweet Thing, one of the first stand-outs of the night from Diamond Dogs, elegantly capturing this favourite moody gem, stripped back to reveal the solemn beauty of the lyrics.

Starman dazzled despite McAlmont’s irritation at suffering from a cold. Partner in crime Sam Obernik poured herself into a leopard print rubber dress and joined him for vocal duties on theatrical renditions of Changes and Life on Mars.

The jaunty duet of Let’s Dance and an almost louche Turkish-infused lilt to The Man Who Sold The World made me imagine them as the house band for David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.

The Jean Genie invoked an almost conversational delivery of the character’s peculiarities, part Grace Jones, part Gil Scott-Heron.

Heading to half time, a slightly buoyant duet of Under Pressure was the closest to its original composition and closed the first part of the set.…

Continued at apolarisview

A Wall to Wall Bowie five-track EP featuring McAlmont and Obernik is available via musical director Janette Mason’s shop

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