David Bowie fans, how much would you be willing to fork out to see your hero perform onstage almost a decade after a major heart attack cut short his last tour?
It’s a question you may have to ponder, because his wife, Iman, appears to have let slip that he plans to hit the road. In a magazine interview, she said that she and their 12 year-old daughter “won’t be on tour with him because she’s in school”.
I wonder how many people “dogged off” school, back in the day, to travel to a Bowie gig? And how much they paid for a ticket? A school-chum of mine recently commented on Twitter that her husband had shown her two of his old concert tickets that he’d found - both for the Glasgow Apollo - Bowie in 1978 - £6 - what a bargain! And Peter Gabriel in 1980 - £3.50 - what a rip-off! Seriously though, I imagine we’ll be talking serious money to see the 66 year-old if he does a “Pin OAPs” tour.
I’d be tempted to dig deep, as I’ve never been to a Bowie show. But I am put off by how badly behaved so many people are at gigs now. It’s changed days since, yes, the 1970s, when if you were on or below the bouncing balcony at the Apollo, you may have been worried that the edifice would come crashing down, but at least that was a bit rock ‘n’ roll - now one’s enjoyment is marred by the dreary intrusiveness of people holding up their mobiles to capture blurred images they’ll never look at.
It’s a crime committed by audience members of all ages. At Leonard Cohen’s Edinburgh Castle gig a few years ago, a middle-aged wifie ran down the aisle towards the stage, as the legendary singer was down on one knee, emoting away. She turned round, held up her camera and took a shot of herself with laughing Len in the background, like he was some kind of tourist attraction. She got huckled away, but she’d destroyed the moment. Time for some kind of Evil Genius ‘phone disabling device for venues, I think, otherwise lots of Bowie fans might choose to stay at home, listen to the music in peace, and save a three figure sum.
However, I’m sure there will be no smart phones, and only old-fashioned manners on display at one of this weekend’s cultural highlights - the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema in Scotland’s oldest purpose-built picture palace in Bo’ness. It’s the third year for the event and some screenings are already sold out, so don’t delay.
There are still tickets left for what promises to be a brilliant Glasgow International Comedy Festival event at the King’s Theatre on Monday night in aid of the city’s Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice. The wonderful Irish comedian, Dylan Moran, has joined the line-up. Over-16s only! The Festival, with events for all ages, continues until March 31.
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