This month UK Cabaret managing editor Mark Ritchie meets Chris Fielding, a tribute artiste and singer, who has put together a huge beast of a tribute band. Chris does not simply perform a tribute to David Bowie. He attempts to re-create one of the highlights of Bowie’s career, The Serious Moonlight Tour. This extravagantly presented and costumed tour began in Western Germany in 1983 and became the longest and most successful tour of Bowie’s extraordinary career. Aside from being taller than Bowie, Fielding is about to create an exact Bowie lookalike, with the aid of make-up and extensive dental work. Chris launched his huge band at the Showcase Productions Showcase in Blackpool and, speaking as someone who was fortunate enough to see the original tour at first hand, I can safely state with great certainty that, if there is a bigger and better tribute band out there, I have not seen it!
Q So how long did it take you to launch this show?
CF – It took ten months to get everybody and everything together. I have a great seamstress, who runs up the costumes and we collected props etcetera. The band are all great players, so the music was the easy bit really. We are based in Tamworth, but we are all able to travel.
Q Where did the idea come from?
CF- I am also in a glam rock band called The Party Popperz. We are a party band and I present eleven characters, in a tongue in cheek fashion. Bowie is one of them. I thought that producing an exact re-creation of Bowie’s most successful live show could really turn into something.
Q How difficult is it re-creating an exact concert?
CF- The Serious Moonlight tour was more forgiving than most live concerts. A lot of the tributes stick to a selection of singles. We do some tracks for the real Bowie fans. We even perform the Scary Monsters stuff, which really is for true fans. I also had bespoke suits made from identical garments, which were seen in ‘Serious Moonlight’.
Q Any real Bowie fan have a Favourite album and single. What is yours?
CF- My favourite album would have to be Hunky Dory. My favourite song however is Signet committee, which comes from Space Oddity
Q So where do you want to be a year from now?
I am looking for a promoter to get behind us and we are trying to book a theatre tour. Smaller venues don’t tend to book us. We really need theatre stages to re-create something as huge as the Serious Moonlight tour. I want to be recognised as the best Bowie tribute ever.
Contact Chris Fielding through David Harness& Steve Blower www.bowiebymoonlight.co.uk