One of our Marhaba foodies, who also reviews concerts at times, just turned in his review of the David Bowie Tribute concert at Radisson Blu Hotel Doha. The successful quarterly tribute band concert series featured amazing entertainment, the one featuring The Queen late last year, was a tough act to follow really, and we are happy that another legendary artist ‘followed’ the act. This piece is sure to make you want to listen to David Bowie, over and over, again. 

Launching straight into the 1969 masterpiece ‘Space Oddity’, Paul Henderson‘s ‘Bowie’ was met with gasps of astonished approval from among the expectant audience of eager afficionados of the latest in the now iconic series of Radisson Blu quarterly tribute act evenings …

Playing 12-string guitar Paul, strikingly similar and effortlessly capturing the emotional vocal styling of David Bowie’s sonorous two octave baritone-to-tenor range, and the excellent band (Steve Beeston, keyboards and backing vocals; Carl Stones, lead guitar and backing vocals; Franco Caprio, bass guitar and Mark Rogers, drums) faithfully following the guitar riffs, licks and phrasing of the original recording, we knew instantly we were in for an extra special evening of homage to one of popular music’s most talented, creative – and enigmatic – performers.


David Bowie

David Bowie

A rocking rendition of ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ from the ‘Lodger’ album of 1979 followed, then came, as the dance floor filled, ‘Changes’ (or should I say ‘Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes’); ‘The Man Who Sold The World’, ‘Ashes to Ashes’, ‘Moonage Daydream’, the enigmatic ‘China Girl’, ‘Be My Wife’ and finally ‘Life On Mars’, with its distant echoes of the Lennon and McCartney lyrics to ‘She’s Leaving Home’, to close the first half of the pulsating show …

Time then to calm down, whet whistles and sample more from the traditionally sumptuous buffet as we wondered what else from among Bowie’s repertoire of over 100 singles and 27 studio albums would feature next – and if our own particular favourites would be among them …

‘The Jean Genie’ kicked off Part 2 – released in 1972 as a single (peaking at number 2 in the charts) and taken from the Aladdin Sane album with, next, ‘Cat People (Putting Out Fire)’ from the 1982 film and Bowie’s 15th album ‘Let’s Dance’ released the following year; and then fast and furious came ‘Sorrow’ (back to 1973 and the ‘Pin Ups’ album); ‘Blue Jean’, ‘Let’s Dance’; ‘Drive-In Saturday’; ‘Queen Bitch’, ‘John I’m Only Dancing’ from the iconic ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars’ album of 1990; ‘Ziggy Stardust’ himself; ‘Heroes’, ‘Starman’ (Bowie’s first song since ‘Space Oddity’ with mass appeal); ‘All The Young Dudes’ written by Bowie but originally recorded and released as a single in 1972 by Mott the Hoople, a band he admired and, to close the memorable show – ‘Rebel’. ‘Rebel’ from the ‘Diamond Dogs’ album and his most-covered track …

Interviewing Paul later it was clear David Bowie is much more than a living to him. At a young age he was deeply fascinated by Bowie and grew up charting the man, his life, his music, his alter egos and his various faces and personas. Although Paul writes his own songs and, talented in his own right (he is planning an album release later this year), his Bowie tribute is more a meticulously planned labour of love than a tribute act, to which the audience’ thunderous applause bore testimony.

Leaving, I asked him: ‘Who was Ziggy Stardust based on ..’?

‘Vince Taylor,’ he said.

Spot on, Paul.

Spot on in every way.

Note: Our very reliable source from Radisson Blu Hotel Doha is keeping mum on plans for the next tribute concert. Are we expecting another rock star? We’ll keep you posted.  

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