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True North: ‘Lady Stardust’

Camille O’Sullivan presents the Music of David Bowie

by Zelia Bukhari

image courtesy of Aberdeen Performing Arts

‘Lady Stardust’ – a concert in celebration of David Bowie’s music, curated by Camille O’Sullivan, truly captured what the True North Music Festival stands for: to showcase interesting, relevant and exciting artists in the heart of Aberdeen.

In 1973, at his second performance in Aberdeen that year, David Bowie took to the stage of His Majesty’s Theatre, trouserless and energetic. This past Sunday, Bowie’s presence was tangible in the theatre, transporting the audience to the raw beginnings of who was to become one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Bowie’s impact and importance radiated throughout the entire show, as Camille O’Sullivan, Lady Stardust herself, and her spectacularly talented friends took the audience on a journey through Bowie’s life and musical genius.

The performance was beautifully executed, formatted as a love letter to Bowie. The simple backdrop featuring a few photos of the artist, and the extremely talented band, paired with the extravagant outfits worn by Camille and her friends, generated an emotive and magical show.

‘Lady Stardust’ was not just a tribute to David Bowie. Each artist Camille brought on stage made the audience fall in love with the original song all over again and, by bringing their own experiences, vibes and theatrics to it, cast a unique interpretation of Bowie’s art.

From Game of Thrones actor Aiden Gillen performing a wistful ‘China Girl’, to Paul Noonan of Bell X1 exhibiting a rosy ‘Ashes to Ashes’, each musician produced a special rendition of Bowie classics. A treasured and intimate moment during the concert was the romantic and harmonious version of ‘Kooks’ by singer Kathryn Williams and pianist Duke Special dedicated to their own children.   

The two-hour concert ended with the crowd on their feet singing along to ‘Heroes’, quite literally paying homage to a musical hero everyone clearly missed. The engagement of the audience paired with the extraordinary talents on stage created a night suspended out of time where it almost felt like having Bowie back. There was a widespread sense of respect and love for his passion, sharing stories and life moments not only through his music but directly with him.


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