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Art, Autographs and ASTORIA!!!!
Review by SpaceFace

December 2nd 1999 - yet another 'red letter' David Bowie day.

A tearful farewell to my kids, and onto the early train for London.

First call was The Royal College of Art at Kensington Gore for the postcard show. It was a lovely sharp, sunny, winter's day, and I walked across Hyde Park from my hotel. I knew that sales had started early that morning, so the db ones would almost certainly be sold, but I liked the whole idea of the show, and planned to make a purchase anyway.

In the event, about 60% of the cards were already sold, including all the likely db ones. I chose one anyway, and am looking forward to it arriving - maybe it will be by someone special? I bumped into 'Rednik' and 'SteveK' at the gallery and 'Electric Blue' and 'Britboy' also joined us.

Next stop was the Virgin Megastore for the signing. All the tickets were allocated, and the queue was full of the usual suspects. 'Helen2' came over and gave me a hug, and 'Simone' was there too.

The store was packed with hopeful db sighters and they were well rewarded. There was a huge set decorated with giant 'hours...' posters, and about 50 paparazzi waiting, festooned with enormous cameras. A great cheer went up when David appeared. A real megastar in the Megastore (groan...)

The evening gig was the hottest ticket London has seen for many years - possibly ever. Many, many celebrities were unable to get tickets, so if you missed out on this one, you were in excellent company! Those who did make it inside included Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, Pete Townshend, Bob Geldof, Boy George... the list goes on!

The crowd were treated to an all out, no holds barred, virtuoso performance. The atmosphere was truly electric - we all knew we were about to witness something truly exceptional. The set list was just perfect. An intoxicating mixture of old and new. Just as you recovered from an intimate ballad with lyrics that crept inside your brain, you were assaulted with a devastating hard-edged rock out.

Life On Mars
Word On A Wing
Thursday's Child
Ashes To Ashes
Can't Help Thinking About Me
China Girl
Always Crashing In The Same Car
Something In The Air
Drive In Saturday
Rebel Rebel
The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell
Cracked Actor
I'm Afraid Of Americans

Highlights for me included a raw, emotional, howling version of 'Something In The Air'. David attacked this pain-filled, despairing, ode to a failed relationship in a way that made it hard to believe these experiences weren't his.

Someone threw a black feather boa onto the stage and he wrapped it round his neck a la 'torch singer' before launching into 'Drive In Saturday'. The house lights came on here, illuminating a sea of arms stretched forward and waving in time to the lyrics.

'Changes' - well what can I say? If there was a person in the Astoria that night who didn't sing along to every word, I couldn't spot them. For me, this song more than any other epitomises the spirit of db's musical oeuvre. 'Turn and face the strange changes' - David you did, AND took us with you.

I had been achingly looking forward to hearing 'Cracked Actor ' live for the first time in many years. This was a fantastically camp and squirmingly sexy rendition... (dear me, David - I am very old now you know, I didn't think my pulse rate could still get that high!... teehee).

Last up was a very recent addition to the set list, just to remind us of the power and strength of the 'Earthling' album, 'I'm Afraid Of Americans'. This one took me right back to the ground breaking 1997 tour. Could you believe that you were really seeing db in such a small venue? I know I kept having to remind myself that it really was 'him' up there.

The applause was unbelievably loud and long, but really I think we all knew that this performance was complete. We had been privileged to be there to see a truly legendary performer who had marshalled all his talents to give us an unforgettable experience to end the millennium.

We Kiss You, David!

Happy New Millennium!! :)

By SpaceFace (Karen)
3rd December 1999.

David Bowie Wonderworld: Home Top Absolut Secret Art Exhibition 99
Created: Jan. 2000 © Paul Kinder Last Updated: 5/1/00