Music review: Holy Holy play Ziggy Stardust

Holy Holy PIC: Nick Hynan
Holy Holy PIC: Nick Hynan
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Holy Holy are a bespoke kind of tribute band, honouring David Bowie’s stellar legacy from an insider perspective. Formed by original Spiders from Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey, with Bowie’s producer and wingman Tony Visconti as a featured guest, they sensibly aim for respectful revisiting rather than slavish recreation, capturing the crunch and swagger which has long since become common currency for low-slung rock’n’roll.

Holy Holy play Ziggy Stardust ****

O2 Academy, Glasgow

Having already aced a tour of The Man Who Sold The World, they have now progressed from underrated vanguard album to the breakthrough Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, where every track is considered a classic.

Heaven 17 singer Glenn Gregory was once again tasked with fronting the show. Mercifully, he is no Bowie clone, following rather than copying the louche phrasing on Five Years. He has a similar conversational character in his voice which, on this occasion, was noticeably hoarse after two nights in the Spiders home territory of Hull.

It Ain’t Easy nearly finished him off, but fortunately Visconti’s daughter Jessica Lee Morgan was on hand to deliver her take on Lady Stardust. The rollicking Suffragette City finally got bums off seats and there was much audience catharsis during Rock’n’roll Suicide.

The set was rounded off with a generous selection of diamonds from the Spiders days - Oh You Pretty Things, Changes, Life on Mars for three - but when they stepped beyond that era for a non-heroic Heroes, they sounded for the first and only time like a covers band.