There are some events that you see advertised and you just have to go to. Having seen that Adam Buxton was bringing a special ‘Zavid Bowie’ edition of his Bug show to The Crucible this weekend as part of Sheffield Doc/Fest, upon me arriving home from a particularly taxing week at the office last Friday, I announced to my other half that we were going to see Dr Buckles. Usually such declarations of intent are met with the appropriate amount of apprehension by my other half, but not his time. Both of us love Count Buckulees, and we’re both Bowie fans too (though I gravitate more towards his early 70s glam period, and she loves his more arty Station to Station / Berlin trilogy years), so of course we were going to see the show.
For me one of the best things to come out of Bowie’s return to the public eye last year was Buxton’s rambling two hour journey through the career of Bowie on 6Music as part of their much promoted Bowie Weekend. Rather than every other Bowie related programme on that station that weekend, it kept the sycophancy to a minimum and was a strictly personal and irreverent humorous overview of Bowie’s career. It also had the added bonus of having me and my girlfriend in fits of hysterical laughter.
As the show at The Crucible had unallocated seating, there was a good-natured scramble to secure the best seats in the house (queue some impressive ruthlessness by my girlfriend there!) and we settled in to watch the giant video screen featuring Bowie in his Man Who Fell to Earth pomp countdown to Buxton arriving on stage.
Dr Buckles arrived on stage promptly and without hesitation shook the hand of the audience member that had arrived last, but nevertheless managed to score herself a front row seat.
I had assumed that this special ‘Zavid Bowie’ edition of Bug would be a reworking of the radio show, however it very soon became apparent that, a couple of (now animated) sketches aside (- Bowie decides to abandon his Ziggy Stardust alter ego in favour of a character called Cobbler Bob – and another in which he returns to the studio to discuss what Brian Eno and Co-Producer Tony Visconti have been doing in his absence before recording some vocal free-forming over “Warszawa”), this was a new show, based around some of Bowie’s music videos, some genuine and rather bizarre comments about those videos on YouTube and Buxton’s obsession with the Dame.
Over the next hour and a half we were treat to an eye-popping dance routine, a crash course in how to do a decent ‘Zavid Bowie’ impression, some nifty photoshop work, some relatively obscure Bowie facts and a tantalising threat of making us all sit through Labyrinth (I was up for that. My other half wasn’t). Count Buckulees was quite upfront about the fact that the majority of the show would focus on Bowie’s mid 70s to early 80s period, which given the nature of the show was understandable, but it meant that, Cobbler Bob aside, my personal favourite Bowie period was barely touched upon. Regardless of this, the show was a triumph and certainly worth the ticket price.
As we wandered out of The Crucible, having been thoroughly entertained, me and my girlfriend reflected on one of the inalienable truths of life – no matter how close you hold your love of music, nothing is more personal to you than what makes you laugh.