Absolute Bowie – 50 Years of Bowie at The Guild Hall Preston Review

11 May 2018


Reviewed by Bernadette Booth and Andrew Musson

We arrived by car and parked at the car park which is above Preston Bus Station – there is then a covered walkway straight in to the Guild Hall venue. The car park charges £3.40 for 4 hours.

Box office staff and other venue staff were chatty and friendly which makes for a nice welcome to a venue.

We didn’t realise that the show was in a new (well, new to us!) part of the Guild Hall, called “Live” – this is a smaller intimate area (approx. 400 capacity) where live music is performed – be aware there is no seating, so is not ideal for those with mobility problems or for wheelchair users.

There is a large bar area in this venue, so you can drink during the performance, however we’d encourage you not to buy the wine – £7 for wine in a plastic glass seemed pricey to us.

The joy of such an intimate venue is that you can get ‘up close and personal’ with the performers, something you can rarely do in these days of big arena events!

When Absolute Bowie came on stage there was a huge response from the crowd. The band performed two sets. The first set covered Bowie’s music from early albums such as Ziggy Stardust and Hunky Dory. The band were absolutely superb, especially Chris Buratti on guitar and Fabio Cashio on bass.

It was fun to see John O’Neill as Bowie replicating some of the mannerisms and dance moves of the great man himself. Although O’Neill’s voice wasn’t a perfect match for Bowie’s, he did capture the spirit of Bowie with his costumes, make-up and stage antics.

The second set covered some of Bowie’s later music – for example Let’s Dance and Space Boy, covering the enormous range of music that Bowie gave us right up to his untimely passing.

It was difficult to hear the vocals clearly, this could have been a small problem with the sound system. Despite this, with so much excellent material Absolute Bowie could do no wrong in the audience’s eyes –every song was a classic and the band got the audience singing and dancing along.

How difficult it must be for a tribute band to capture the essence of a world-class hero such as David Bowie – Absolute Bowie made a valiant effort tonight.

This show confirms what an enormous talent Bowie was, and his music lives on in shows such as this.

Rating: 3/5

Absolute Bowie is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.absolutebowie.com.

For other shows at The Guild Hall in Preston visit www.prestonguildhall.co.uk or call the box office on 01772 804444.

The Guild Hall & Charter Theatre, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HT | 01772 804444

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