Over the three years we have been together, we have built up a repertoire of over 40 songs, which combines many of the classic hits from the 70’s with other storming songs from throughout the whole of his career. We continue to work hard, both on the songs we already play and on new ones, to keep the set vibrant and interesting for the loyal fans who follow us, and to continue to improve our live shows. The addition of a saxophonist to the band near the end of 2019 has resulted in the reworking of much of the set to include the sax and learning some new ones which we’ve now included because they are heavily reliant on the sax part (Modern Love being a good example). In 2020, we’ll be introducing another 8-10 songs (or more) to our set list.
Andrew plays both acoustic and electric guitar in the band and also contributes backing vocals (occasionally in the right places!). Over the last couple of years, his guitar set-up has grown with the introduction of both new guitars and effects pedals. According to Andrew, “ Generally speaking, I will use a Gibson of some description for the rockier more upbeat songs and Fenders for the quieter melodic ones but recently, I have tended to use a Fender Stratocaster for the entire evening to avoid having to make changes through the gig. I was fortunate enough to acquire a Fender Telecaster at the time of writing this and fully expect this to become one of my go-to guitars”.
Andrew continues to see his role in the band as being one of trying to serve the song which sees both him and Mel taking on rhythm and lead parts. In those songs which contrasts acoustic and electric guitars, Mel has gravitated towards playing the acoustic parts with Andrew focusing on the electric / lead parts but the inclusion of Lady Stardust “provides me with a rare and welcome opportunity to explore my quieter side”.
Looking forward, Andrew says, “ Time has really flown since we formed and the recent addition of Alex to the band on saxophone has set us off on a whole new direction as we can now work on songs that really need that unique sound. We look forward to adding more of these to our sets during the course of this year”.
Mel is our guitarist, backing vocalist and general tech monkey. When she’s not running around with cables and twiddling various (highly functional) knobs, she’s strumming away and warbling her little heart out.
A self taught guitarist from the age of 15, Mel is now an established songwriter regularly gigging in and around Nottingham. Aside from Miss Bowie and the NKS, Mel’s musical endeavours include the indie pop group Vera Gull and the duo Bonbinôme she formed with lead singer Jane.
Mel on Bowie:
“I discovered David Bowie’s music when I first got to uni when I started expanding my musical horizons (my mum’s CD collection back home was boyband heavy). I first listened to Ziggy and was blown away – he was like no one I’d ever heard. His voice, lyrics and musicality were all so new to me and I loved it. I’ve maintained my love of Bowie since then though I wouldn’t call my knowledge encyclopaedic – his back catalogue is enormous. When asked by the band to join in as a backing singer, and general human harmony machine, I was reticent due to the sheer scale of the project – starting a tribute band from scratch is no easy feat – but they got me drunk and I agreed! To be honest, I haven’t looked back since.”
Mel plays a Duesenberg, a Fender Strat and a Martin D18 SS with a Boss ME-80 multi-effects pedalboard to get the varied tones and space agey sounds that are so quintessentially Bowie.
Phil is our Bass Player and is also handy with some backing vocals. Phil has played bass guitar since his teens, deciding on the bass because it looked easier to play! He has been playing in bands since then and has a wealth of live experience in pubs, clubs, and the odd festival. He has dabbled with other instruments (keys and saxophone) and plays acoustic and electric guitar as well as bass.
Phil is of a vintage to remember watching the ‘breakthrough’ performance of ‘Starman’ on TOTP…he is convinced that Bowie really came from another planet. Phil’s favourite bass player is the legendary jazz bassist Jack Bruce. Phil is the band’s graphic artist and web guru.
“I’m having a ball playing David’s songs and have discovered some real gems from the later catalogue – particularly ’Valentines Day’. My favourite bass line (so far) is the one to ‘Lazurus’. I play a Mike Lull and Maruszczyk basses through a Glockenklang Blue Rock amp and a Barefaced Super Twelve cab.
Allan is our drummer and band founder.
Allan says “I didn’t hit any drums in anger until 2009 well into my 40’s. Family and friends said it was mid-life crisis.”
“I’ve been a massive Bowie fan since the early 70’s when I first heard The Jean Genie. I saw him live twice, nowhere near enough, the man was a true genius and a unique musical talent. It’s been a true privilege to piece this band together, a fine collection of musicians, merry men and ladies one and all.”
“The journey to date, with this band, has been fabulous and we have knitted together and formed strong friendships that I believe will be lifelong going forward.”
“We have a great sound and hopefully those of you who come along and enjoy an evening of Bowie with us at one of our live gigs will agree we do his songs justice.”
Alex is our Saxophone player and newest addition to the band. She has played saxophone since the age of ten in various types of bands from classical, jazz, soul, ska and pop and has a degree in music. She has worked as sound tech and as an acoustician for seven years before the birth of her children and now works as a music teacher.
Alex first started listening to Bowie after a roundabout introduction via the Goth and Post Punk music scene, more specifically the band Bauhaus. Her favourite Bowie era tends to be the 70’s but loves the modern crossovers that have occurred with Nine Inch Nails.
Alex plays Yanagisawa Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxophones with a mixture of Berg Larsen and Claude Lakey mouthpieces. To achieve some of the heavily processed effects on piece like ‘Lazarus’ she uses a Zoom A1X Four Effect unit which has been developed specifically for acoustic instruments.
Jane is quite new to musicianship and performance, having first picked up a guitar at the age of 36 (6 years ago at time of print, cough), and having started performing at open mics in 2016. She did spend many a teenage and adult year, however, prancing around singing Bowie songs in the privacy of her own home, and she is thoroughly enjoying doing that now in front of other people.