Drive In Saturday [Pop / Rock]
It's almost beyond belief that the David Bowie tribute act, who appeared at Southgate's Walker Ground, had never performed before in front of a live audience.
But what was even more remarkable was that lead singer Mick Nathalie was a novice and had never performed in front of a crowd as The Thin White Duke.
Mr Nathalie is quite a discovery. Facially he does not particularly resemble David Bowie but vocally he is superb finding all the nuances and quirkiness in Bowie's voice. The pitch was perfect and even his diction was excellent.
Backed by five talented, stylish and inventive musicians (who had all played in other bands) Nick's performance as Bowie was a joy to hear.
And the Walker audience absolutely loved Drive In Saturday, the band taking their name from one of Bowie's top five hits.
The six of them worked their way through an incredible 31 David Bowie songs during the two sets. They started with two classics -- the pounding rocker Rebel Rebel and the big movie song Absolute Beginners (all seven minutes of it). The hugely popular Moonage Daydream, from The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars proved a hit with the audience before the band launched into the all-time Bowie classic Space Oddity, brilliantly performed by Mick and with some outstanding synthesiser work from Aidan Smith, who was also outstanding on piano, sax and special effects.
The 'poppy' Oh You Pretty Thing(made famous by Peter Noone) was followed by the Bowie gem Five Years, again superbly interpreted by this great new vocal talent.
Overall the band were definitely stronger on the earlier Bowie material rather than the later dance-orientated numbers like Fame and China Girl, the song that started the marathon second set.
Drive In Saturday tackled an amazing 18 Bowie numbers in part two and the audience loved them. The dancefloor was packed to capacity as the sextet whipped them up with classics like Suffragette City, Changes, The Jean Genie, All The Young Dudes (with great lead guitar from the excellent Steve Creasey); and Ashes To Ashes.
Throughout the two and a quarter hour show rhythm guitarist Greg Kaye and bass man Simon Howard provided top-quality backing vocals; while drummer Paul Boyle was the rock at the back.The final song in the second set was the Bowie song that has become a virtual 'standard' -- Heroes.
But the audience didn't want the band to stop and they obliged, presenting four encore numbers.
These included Starman (which has now become a karaoke favourite) and the eerie Diamond Dogs.
The lighting on the band wasn't right and the wigs could be better but the sound was excellent in both sets.
Pub managers would be wise to sign up this six-piece band quickly before they start playing concert venues.
And there was just one thing missing from the two sets -- the song Drive In Saturday.
COLIN FENN, DJ/Freelance JournalistColin Fenn, DJ/Freelance Journalist, Sunday 29 May 2022
Thank you Colin for your detailed and most inspiring review. We enjoyed the gig so much too and the audience feedback was absolutely amazing. Hopefully we will go from strength to strength.