Blog 27: 5 Years – what it means for us

Five Years – The Song

Five Years – since the Rise of Miss Bowie and the New Killer Stars… and 55+ gigs later

 

The Song

Recorded in November 1971 at London’s Trident Studios, Bowie performed Five Years on the BBC’s The Old Grey Whistle Test on February 8 1972, five months before the album’s release and an almost unbelievable 50 years ago next month.

It opens with a haunting drumbeat, depicting the despair and agony people were feeling at the announcement that the world will end in five years’ time because of a lack of natural resources. It goes on to describe a frenzied aftermath of sorrow, regret, and frustrations people have when given a clear indication of how short their lives are. It observes the start of the collapse of civilisation in a world that has been turned upside down. People cry, fights break out, an injured soldier gets jealous about wealth fixing “his stare to the wheels of a Cadillac”. A cop turns to religion and kisses the feet of a priest and a gay is repulsed by the sight of that.

Bowie chose five years as the length of time following a dream he’d had in 1971 in which his late father came to him and told him that he had only five years left to live and that he must never fly again. But of course, it’s also the prologue track on The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, a fictional androgynous and bisexual rock star who is sent to Earth as a saviour before an impending apocalyptic disaster. We have played this song live on numerous occasions, often as the opening song of our set and it certainly gives Jane a great chance to get her vocal cords warmed up as the tempo climbs the power scale.

 

5 Years of Miss Bowie and the New Killer Stars

January 12 2017. Bowie had died a year earlier and the weekend had seen a host of 1st anniversary tributes all over the media which of course like many of you reading this, I devoured. Like I’m sure many Bowie fans around the world would agree, I dare not declare here the number of times I cried that weekend, it felt like the loss of a sibling to me or a very much-loved young uncle.

So on that same evening, a thought arrived and I posted my ad searching for like-minded Bowie nuts to help form a new band. 2 days later, the man we affectionately call the “Tower of Power”, Phil ‘The Bass’ Hughes, dropped me my first reply and the ball had started rolling. 8 days after that, 22nd January, the first line from Jane’s reply to my ad read ‘’Wow, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for’’ and Miss Bowie’s embryo became visible on the scanner.

On 30th January, the three of us met up and had our very first musical get together in a Nottingham rehearsal studio with a few others, including an old friend of mine, Ben Hunt, who helped us out for the first year or so whilst we continued our search for Andrew ‘’Posh Boy’’ Baker on lead guitar, the bedroom guitarist extraordinaire who had rarely played live in 40 years of playing with his instrument.

At around the same time, our lovely Jane had met the equally lovely Mel and love was in the air. We all soon realised we wanted this talented young lady in our band and on one particularly boozy night in The Stratford Haven in West Bridgford, she finally relented and agreed to join on backing vocals. A first-rate guitarist, vocalist and technician in her own right, following Ben’s departure, Mel also took on guitar duties and the band was just about complete. We did find that we had become restricted from doing some songs because of a lack of sax appeal so when Alex popped up a couple of years later (at her “audition” there was absolutely no doubt that she was the one) our wishes came true and the final piece of the Miss Bowie jigsaw just seemed to fall into place – a modest slip of a genius on her brass breathalyser.

It’s been an amazing five years with this wonderful group of people and we feel that we have created something very special, a fabulously delicious and extended family unit with some great and supportive friends /fans/followers who just love sharing our journey with us. Can you please all raise your glasses to the next five years and join us if you can on Sunday 30th January 2022 where Miss Bowie will be playing the Main Stage at Rock City in Nottingham where The Starman himself played in August 1997. We hope to see you there!

55+ gigs later

Having played our first full gig in August 2017, we have now surpassed our half century. We have certainly had our highs and lows but amongst the most notable gigs for us have been: –

New Year’s Eve 2017 at one of our favourite venues, the much-loved Lion at Basford, Nottingham where we have played five times in total……that number 5 again!

Christmas 2018 at Nottingham’s Jam Café – a squeeze if ever there was one but a wonderful night.

January 2019 at Supersonic in Paris headlining the French David Bowie convention. Miss Bowie finally goes international. What a weekend that was!

8 January 2022 at The Bodega in Nottingham playing to a near sell-out crowd celebrating what would have been Bowie’s 75th Birthday. 

Other towns and cities we’ve played include Leeds, Sheffield, Leicester, Market Harborough, Derby, Castleford, Barnsley, Worksop, and Ilkeston which is Jane’s regular home-town gig. We have also been fortunate to support charitable events over the years and we have regularly supported the amazing Oxjam event in Beeston, Nottingham both live and virtually.

And so with our 58th gig on the main stage at Rock City to come next week, life is looking pretty damn good for Miss Bowie and her New Killer Stars and we hope to see you all soon.

Allan ‘’The Sticks’’ McKie