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Starman

Self-indulgence takes shine off Bowie show

Starman

The death of David Bowie in January has led to a succession of events celebrating the unique man’s work. Starman promised an extraordinary interpretation of his music tinged with German cabaret.

Sven Ratzke and his three-piece band bring this globally-renowned show to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time and expectations among Bowie fans were clearly high.

First, let it be said that Ratzke has a beautiful and powerful voice that at times sounds like Bowie, and he certainly does his music justice. 

There are new twists on classic songs of which even the great man himself would probably have approved. Ratzke’s version of Space Oddity was particularly clever, while Time could have been written for the Berlin bierkellers.

Starman has played to packed audiences and won rave reviews around the world, but I felt Sven’s long and wacky story-telling between songs took the shine off an excellent musical performance. 

It would have been far better if he had told a real and more thoughtful story of Bowie’s fantastical life and times, rather than indulge in this achingly camp pantomime act.

***

Assembly, George Square Gardens (Venue 3), 1 hour, Aug 13-14, 16-21, 23-28

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