Culture

Review: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars concert

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KCOM business analyst Paul Dannatt reviews The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars concert at Hull City Hall on Sunday, 26 March.

When I first moved to Hull over 20 years ago, one of the first things I learned was that everyone was a David Bowie fan, particularly during the Ziggy Stardust era which featured Hull’s own Spiders from Mars – guitarist Mick Ronson, bassist Trevor Bolder and drummer Woody Woodmansey.

So when Hull 2017 announced a concert by Holy Holy featuring Woodmansey, the sole surviving member, and Tony Visconti, Bowie’s long-time producer, I knew it would be the hottest ticket in town and so it proved.

When the March 25 Hull City Hall concert was announced, organisers soon decided to add an extra date due to demand. Tickets quickly sold out for both nights.

I arrived in town around 6.30pm and the queue was already snaking round the city hall; mainly over 30s, buzzing with anticipation.

There was a cheer from the front of the queue as the doors opened. I headed to the bar, bought a drink and entered the hall, finding my seat in the middle of the second row.

The support band, a brother and sister duo, came on around 7.45pm and Hull gave them a very warm welcome as only Hull can. The music they performed was their own and they complemented each other beautifully as musicians.

Then it was time for Holy Holy, fronted by Heaven 17's Glenn Gregory. They came on stage to the loudest cheer I’d ever heard from a Hull City Hall crowd and you could see the band were overwhelmed.

Gregory complimented the audience upon their response and that they were very happy to be playing in Hull, then launched into the entire Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust album, without missing a beat. This was then followed by some Bowie classics, including a fantastic medley.

The atmosphere was amazing throughout and you are unlikely to hear a better live version of the Bowie back catalogue. I got a flavour of what it must have been like to have been around in Bowie’s heyday.

It’s hard to pick out a favourite tune from the night. But if I had to it would be Starman, sang outstandingly by Gregory and the whole crowd.

Holy Holy did a magnificent job which all the Spiders from Mars members would have been proud of. Hull certainly still holds Bowie and The Spiders from Mars close to their heart.

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