If Bowie decided to quit music for good (rumours of a new album slated for ’06 having all but faded away following heart troubles and a lollipop in the eye, so perhaps he might…), he’d have no problem becoming a professional raconteur. True to shape-shifting form, Bowie slips comfortably into the “Your Mate Dave” persona, spinning yarns around the likes of Life On Mars? and Drive In Saturday, while proving endearingly selfeffacing about his mid-70s cocaine binge years (though, by that same token, recounting them in understatement-of-the-decade terms).
With a similarly knock-off attitude to his older songs, it’s clear that Bowie’s much more interested in his then-current album, hours…. Arguably seeing him confront himself, and certainly his own mortality, for the first time in years, Bowie’s calm stock-taking on that album spills into the Storytellers format. His laidback hoodie-and-black trousers uniform, however, proves by far the least interesting look in a career defined by image – something reflected in hours… itself, which was rather dull, as the few tracks that seep into this setlist attest. He may imbue them with greater personal passion than his more crowd-pleasing material, but the late 90s just wasn’t a great time for Bowie; and it’s a shame he still insisted upon using that “comedy” accent in China Girl.