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BOWIEDLERIZE: verb; the art of taking out everything that is good and pure about a David Bowie song, and leaving behind something vulgar or objectionable. Not, in fact, excusable, even if you happen to share a first name with the dearly departed glam rocker.
I doubt even those who had stumped up the hundred quid or so for the “meet and greet” package were expecting anything more than the Human Karaoke Machine from actor-turned-musician David Duchovny, even when performing the material from his own debut album. But hearing that human karaoke machine segue almost effortlessly from the Bowie cover to The Weeknd’s I Can’t Feel My Face still had to be heard to be believed.
Fans might describe Duchovny as a renaissance man; others, someone with more scope than most to pursue vanity projects. Lyrics like “if less is more then more is less” and a voice that can barely carry a tune may point firmly towards the latter, but the actor was clearly having the time of his life pouting and wiggling for the entertainment of the crowd – as well as organising a transatlantic call to his Aberdeen-born mother from the stage.
The funked-up cover versions sounded like a cross between D’Ya Think I’m Spooky and Agent Fox Mulder’s magic mushroom-fuelled trip in the second-to-last episode of the latest run of The X-Files, in contrast to the earnest country-rock of the material from Duchovny’s own Hell or Highwater album. His all-male backing band of Berklee-trained musicians relished the chances they had to cut loose with extended solos. Still, before committing Dylan-was-a-sellout song Positively Madison Avenue to tape, somebody ought to have brought a mirror.