Rebel Rebel: Five Highlights of The Dublin Bowie Festival 2020

Posted December 15, 2019 in Festival Features


“There was always Bowie. Every time you turned around, when there was nothing to listen to, there was always a new Bowie album. I hadn’t realised it until he died, but he was the soundtrack to my life.” 

As partners with the Dublin Bowie Festival happening this week, we are proud to select some of our highlights from the programme. Take a gander at some picks of year’s exciting Bowie festival and check out details of how to win tickets to Face To Face With The Men Who Sold The World, The Birth of Bowie – Phil Lancaster and the London Boys and The Bowie Ball with The Heroes From Mars.


David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music

Bowie released his first record in 1964, the year Darryl W. Bullock was born. “There was always Bowie. Every time you turned around, when there was nothing to listen to, there was always a new Bowie album. I hadn’t realised it until he died, but he was the soundtrack to my life,” says Bullock, music aficionado and author of David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music.

“As an artist, he was always playing with gender fluidity and identity. What he did so subversively, was push it a little bit further for the audience. He brought it into people’s homes,” says Bullock. He’ll be in conversation with our own iconic Tonie Walsh.

The Five Lamps Brewery, Camden Street, Wednesday January 8, 6pm, €5


Culture Vultures Boys and Girls Keep Swinging – David Bowie: Pioneer of Sexual Fluidity

“It’s true – I am a bisexual. But I can’t deny that I’ve used that fact very well. I suppose it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Fun, too.” Bowie was always a trail-blazer in so many respects, not least sexual fluidity. He appeared in a dress on the cover of The Man Who Sold the World and his legendary 1970s Top of the Pops appearances. “same old thing /in brand new drag”, sang Bowie on Teenage Wildlife, in 1980.

His legacy filtered down through eras and subcultures, androgyny never looked so good. Remember R.E.M. only released Crush with Eyeliner in 1994. He sparked the flame… panellists Roe McDermott, Dr Alex Sharpe and Darryl W. Bullock will debate and discuss Bowie’s influence on sexual fluidity while Corkonian piano led powerhouse Jack O’Rourke provides the musical backdrop.

The Workman’s Club, Thursday January 9, 7.30pm, €12


Glasshouse: The Berlin Trilogy Re-Imagined

The Berlin Trilogy consists of three consecutively released studio albums: Low (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979). The albums were recorded after Bowie took up residence in West Berlin in late 1976, and saw him experiment with elements of electronic, krautrock, ambient, and world music in collaboration with American producer Tony Visconti and English musician Brian Eno. He’d moved there after being on the verge of physical and mental collapse owing to cocaine addiction in L.A.

“For many years Berlin had appealed to me as a sort of sanctuary-like situation. It was one of the few cities where I could move around in virtual anonymity. I was going broke; it was cheap to live. For some reason, Berliners just didn’t care. Well, not about an English rock singer, anyway,” says Bowie who moved there with his pal Iggy Pop. In was in the Hansa Sound Studio where he recorded Heroes, one of his most adored singles.

The Glasshouse Ensemble have carved a distinctive niche for themselves as one of the most vibrant interpreters of a modern cannon of music stretching from Aphex Twin to Sufjan Stevens. Bowie is in capable hands. Wanna be there? We’ve got tickets to give away here.

The Sugar Club, Thursday January 9, 8pm, €20


Illustrated Bowie / Bowie in Dublin

L.A. based screenwriter Todd Alcott has a side project – turning famous song titles into alternative covers for vintage pulp fiction covers. These “cultural mashups”, made using digital-altering software, as a conversation between the songwriter, the original designer, himself and the viewer. “All four bring a wealth of associations,” he says.

“Bowie dressed as an androgynous alien, went out onstage and told his audience ‘You’re not alone, give me your hands,’ I can’t think of a more encompassing gesture to a misfit,” says Alcott.

“No matter how weird you were in your community, you would always find someone like you at a Bowie concert. During a time of my life when I felt incredibly isolated and alone, Bowie was one of the key artists who made me feel like I was part of a bigger world, an artistic continuum.”

Alcott will be joined by graphic artist Cartoon Bowie in one room with a very special rolling AV presentation of photos and live concert footage of Tin Machine in Dublin’s Baggot Inn from 1991 in Room 2.

The Space Between, Friday January 10 to Sunday January 12, Free


Face to Face with the Men Who Sold the World – an audience with Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansey

Following their Olympia performance as Holy Holy on the night before where they will perform The Man Who Sold The World and Ziggy Stardust albums in their entirety followed by a set of Bowie rock n roll classics from the 70’s, Visconti and Woodmansey will settle back for a chat on the closing day of the festival.

Visconti is the producer most associated with Bowie working on so many of his seminal albums including his Berlin Trilogy right up to his last one Blackstar.

Woodmansey is a drummer best known for his work in the early 1970s as a member of David Bowie‘s core backing ensemble that became known as the Spiders from Mars in conjunction with the release of Bowie’s 1972 LP The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

He is the last surviving member of the Ziggy Stardust studio band. Win Tickets in our great Facebook competition.

Royal College of Surgeons, Sunday January 12, 3pm, €22

Dublin Bowie Festival supported by Totally Dublin runs from Wednesday January 8 to Sunday January 12


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