Sunday Herald - 27 June 2004

We could do heroes

He's one of the most influential artists of all time... so what David Bowie tracks would bands at T in the Park like to cover?

Colin MacIntyre of Mull Historical Society

I first heard Changes coming from my brother's bedroom in the late-1980s when I was a kid. When I finally bought Hunky Dory, I couldn't believe it was recorded in 1971! Even now, it still sounds so fresh and has the catchiest chorus ever. Growing up in Mull, I did a lot of covers with various bands but always imagined Changes to be too difficult. It's a great song by one of my favourite artists and I wouldn't be making the noise I am now without having heard him. I hope he plays it at T.

Tim Wheeler of Ash

I think we'd cover Suffragette City. It's such a prototype punk song, it's so high-energy and it does really rock.

He originally wrote it for Mott The Hoople but they rejected it so then he wrote All The Young Dudes for them, which was a good deal.

We got to tour America with him and Moby in 2002, and basically got to watch him perform 15 nights in a row. Charlotte [Hatherley, Ash guitarist] is the biggest Bowie fan ever, so she was crying. We were playing in Oslo the day after he got hit in the eye by a lollipop, and apparently he dealt with it very professionally and didn't stop the gig.

That's what 40 years in the business will do for you. How has lasted so long? He really loves doing it, he's in touch with modern music and he's still an amazing performer.

Paul Thompson of Franz Ferdinand

We got an e-mail from [Bowie producer] Tony Visconti recently, saying he and David had been listening to our album loads, and that they were real fans, which was pretty surreal; they asked if we wanted to meet up, so maybe we'll see him at T in the Park.

Some of us used to play in The Yummy Fur, and we did this awful version of Always Crashing In The Same Car, so maybe we could have another stab at that. Either that or Be My Wife - those big piano chords in the chorus are great. Basically, anything from the first side of Low.

Tom Rowlands from the Chemical Brothers

I'm not sure what we'd cover, but Bowie's best track is Sound And Vision. We've often ended our DJ sets with it as it just seems to capture the magic question of music - hopefully you've been moved to new heights and transported to a state of delirium by the tunes we've played and then at the end Bowie asks the question: "Have you wondered sometimes about sound and vision?" And yes, I must admit I have. A true wonder from a little wonder.

Alison Goldfrapp

Jean Genie is one of those songs that sounds like pure teenage sleaze, the sound of 1970s seedy glamour, all cheap make-up and fairground fumbles. It's what we were trying to capture on Strict Machine and Twist - that big glam beat and motorbike rev of guitars. We'd give it a go, but maybe it would be nicer to hear Mr Bowie do Strict Machine!


Paul Hartnoll: Although I don't know a great deal of Bowie's stuff, I know what I like. Space Oddity was the track I loved as a child because it was such a great story and I didn't realise how sad the tale was until I was much older. Plus I reckon I could manage the stylophone part all by myself.

Phil Hartnoll: Heroes is my favourite Bowie track of all time, so I'd cover that. For no reason other than it's great, really.


I would like to do Ashes To Ashes from Scary Monsters. It's not his best album - that would probably be Hunky Dory, every track on that record is amazing.

Unfortunately Ashes To Ashes has already been covered in a wonderful electro stylee by [German electronic pioneer] LB. And come to think of it it's been sampled by Samantha Mumba.

So it would have to be the one from the film Labyrinth which goes - "What power? Power of voodoo! Who do? You do! What? Remind me of the babe..." Total genius.

Scott Paterson of Sons & Daughters

At first we were thinking about maybe doing Andy Warhol [from Hunky Dory], but then we were in this bar in Philadelphia the other night and Modern Love came on, and it was like "That's the one!" [starts singing the chorus to Modern Love down the phone]. It'd be a good one for duetting vocals, and I reckon we could get a proper Sons & Daughters rhythm going on. We've been discussing this on tour for the last couple of days, too, and I think we might actually do it.

Jill Jackson of Speedway

My favourite Bowie song is Jean Genie, firstly because it's really easy to play on guitar - it's just three simple chords and you can make it sound massive. It's also special to me because my Dad is a huge Bowie fan and it's one of the first songs I remember listening to with him when I was really young. David Bowie was a big part of my early introduction to music and I've been a fan ever since.

Frankie Poullain of The Darkness

I would rather play one of Bowie's film characters than cover one of his songs. His role in 1983's The Hunger springs to mind - Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon are positively mouth-watering. He's wealthy, succesful, handsome, multi-talented, intelligent, worldly, charming and married to an exotic beauty - where did it all go wrong?