Sunday, January 15, 2017

Spider's out to get ya

I pretty much thought the 70s Midnight Special program on NBC was as cheesy as most of the pop rock they presented from that musically sorry decade, but they did raise their game once to glorious heights by presenting a mini-concert of David Bowie and band, in full glam regalia, on their show. Recorded at the legendary Marquee Club in London's Soho, it is Bowie at his most compelling and bracing. The first song in particular , 1984, is especially notable, a lean, stripped-down hard rock version that has all the things Bowie's tunes have for us, nicely turned changes, suddenly menacing riffs, a combination of industrial grind, gay disco and hard rock brutalism. The drummer was Aynsley Dunbar, who plays like man determined to make that kit he has is never played again; hard, furious, fast, he has the power of Keith Moon and the efficient virtuosity with the tricky time signature. Bowie, of course, is odd, compelling, still something to look at all these decades later, a presence with talent to match his audaciousness.