Brilliant Bowie Festival Returns to the Capital

The annual Dublin Bowie Festival returns for its fifth edition from January 8 – 12.

Fans of the legendary singer are in for a treat, with five days celebrating both the 50th anniversary of seminal record The Man Who Sold the World and the great Starman himself. Special guests at the upcoming festival include drummer Woody Woodmansey and producer Tony Visconti who both worked on Bowie’s 1970 masterpiece.

The two will be performing with their six-piece band Holy Holy at the Olympia on January 11 together with Heaven 17 main man Glenn Gregory on vocals. The group will cover the Man Who Sold the World and Ziggy Stardust records in their entirety as well as a selection of 70’s Bowie rock n roll classics.

“The festival programme has worked out perfectly because we have Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansey who played on The Man Who Sold the World and of course produced it,” said John Brereton, founder and director of Dublin Bowie Festival, at the event’s launch in Whelan’s on October 11 of last year.

“I know it’s one of Tony’s favourite albums in his Bowie canon. I think their Olympia gig is going to be amazing. They’ve got a brilliant band, featuring members [James Stevenson] who’ve played with Scott Walker and The Cult.”

Visconti and Woodmansey will also take part in a Q&A event in the Royal College of Surgeons on January 12. Chaired by Tony Clayton Lea of the Irish Times, the pair will discuss the making of The Man Who Sold the World. The two lived with Bowie at his Edwardian mansion in Haddon Hall, Beckenham while recording the record.

Another highlight is The Birth of Bowie in The Sugar Club on January 10 which sees a Q&A with Phil Lancaster, Bowie’s drummer with his mid-60’s mod group The Lower Third and a live set from cover band The London Boys. The latter plays exclusively songs from the singer’s 60’s period. During the event, Lancaster’s recent book At the Birth of Bowie will be profiled by guest host Pat Carty of Hot Press.

Meanwhile, Brereton encourages people to see other cover act Art Crime Inc, who will perform all of Bowie’s underrated classic 1. Outside from 1995 at The Workman’s Club on January 11: “They played at the Grand Social last year and everyone’s jaws were dropping. It was the highlight of the festival.”

Other special events include the Glasshouse ensemble playing The Sugar Club on January 9. Renowned for their classical interpretations of famous albums, they will be reimagining tracks from Bowie’s acclaimed Berlin Trilogy.

Throughout the festival there will also be podcast recordings, various exhibitions and lectures, a Bowie themed silent disco in Whelan’s (January 8) and a great family event entitled Let All the Children Boogie.

The latter will take place on Saturday, January 11 at The Church Bar on Mary Street from midday until 5pm with free entry for all. This landmark building (Arthur Guinness was baptised there) will host kids art workshops, face painting, a live performance from Bowie tribute act Heroes from Mars and, to cap it all, a choral performance by the No Commitment Choir at 5pm.

Another family highlight will be the appearance of esteemed children’s author Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara. She will be reading from her stunning Little People Big Dreams series in Hodges Figgis at 11am on the same Saturday and at the family event above at 3pm.

The festival will then culminate with a closing party in Whelan’s on January 12 featuring live performances from special guests.

To see the full range of Dublin Bowie Festival events and for more information and ticket links visit www.dublinbowiefestival.ie/.

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