Dublin Bowie Festival marks 50 years of the Diamond DogsDublin People 06 Feb 2024
The Dublin Bowie Festival returns this week for its ninth edition, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bowie’s dystopian masterpiece Diamond Dogs – and it looks set to be the biggest year yet.
The centrepiece of this year’s Festival, which runs from Wednesday, February 7 to Sunday, February 11, is the coming together of three key Bowie alumni – Dubliner Gerry Leonard, who was Bowie’s guitarist, musical director and co-writer from 2002 – 2013, New Yorker Mark Plati, who was Bowie’s guitarist and musical director from 1999 – 2002 and who also co-produced Bowie’s Earthling, Heathen and Toy albums and drummer Sterling Campbell who has provided the backbeat for Bowie on record and live since 1999 – and the RTE Orchestra for two very special concerts in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre on Fri Feb 9 & 10.
They’ll be joined by some special guest vocalists in a show that promises some fresh arrangements by Leonard.
The three alumni will also take part in a panel discussion on their time with Bowie at the O’Flanagan Theatre, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Stephens Green on Saturday, Feb 10 at 1.30pm.
Denis O’Regan is the man who has photographed Bowie more than any other photographer and the Festival has pulled off a major coup with a career retrospective of his pictorial life with Bowie in the stunning surroundings of the Rathfarnham Castle Gallery.
The exhibition kicked off on January 14 and runs until Feb 11.
Whelans and Opium will host some choice live shows over the Festival including the Glass Ensemble playing the music of Bowie, Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground for their Warhol concert in Whelan’s on Wednesday, Feb 7 with guest vocalists Adrian Crowley and Ellie O’Neill.
Thursday in Opium sees the brilliant Rebel Rebel perform a two hour plus show of Bowie’s greatest hits while in the same venue on Saturday Feb 10 there’s a double header: Playback performing Bowie’s seminal album Aladdin Sane from start to finish along with some key Diamond Dogs tracks before the young rebels Heroes From Mars close the night with a Wham Bam Thank You Mam set of Bowie bangers.
The Sunday night closing party in Whelans will see Gerry Leonard, Mark Plati, Sterling Campbell and a host of very special guests reprise some of their performances over the Festival and will be a wonderful way to wrap up the festivities.
The Lighthouse Cinema will again be the Festival screening central with Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and Basquiat showing, while drag queen Veda Lady hosts her annual Bowie show in The George on Weds Feb 7.
Dancing dolls can start the party at the Bowie Silent Disco in Whelans on Thurs Feb 8th and all misfits are welcome as DJ’s Rod Fibula & Tibia spin Bowie anthems, B-sides and a thrilling, floor-filling selection of dark & alternative tunes at Dublin’s number one queer and goth club.
Dance To The Underground will take place in Fibbers on Fri 9th at 9pm til late while Whelan’s host The Bowie Ball on Sat Feb 10th with Bristol Karaoke Queen Heidi Heelz hosting the Bowieoke while DJ Rod Fibula (Dance to the Underground) spins back to back Bowie all night long with a Diamond Dogs drag performance courtesy of Coco Ri and Pixie Woo.
There’s also a Bowie Brunch in NoLita on Georges St on Sun Jan 11th with live music courtesy of The Bowie Brothers and a fascinating talk exploration of Bowie’s Irish roots and heritage in the EPIC Museum in CHQ Building, hosted by the Irish Family History Centre on Thursday Feb 8th at 5.30pm
There’s loads more excellent Dublin Bowie Festival events taking place in various venues in Dublin, please go to www.dublinbowiefestival.ie for full listings and ticket info.