Brit Awards Pay Tribute To David Bowie [VIDEO]

If you were unhappy with the Bowie tribute at last week’s Grammy Awards, this one might please you.

Gary Oldman and Annie Lennox paid heartfelt tribute to Bowie, the British rock legend who died unexpectedly from cancer last month. “David, you were mortal but your potential was superhuman and your remarkable music is living on. We love you and we thank you,” Oldman said. Rumours of an all-star tribute act proved wide of the mark, with Bowie’s old band instead taking to the stage to perform “Life on Mars” with Lorde, an artist he had championed.

  • Lazycrockett

    1,000 times better than what the Grammy’s and gaga did.

    • Rolf

      Gaga looked more like a spastic Elvis impersonator than anything else. I kept thinking WTF? throughout her ‘performance’.

      • Bj Lincoln

        It started out great but she did look awful. “Spastic Elvis” is dead on.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          As did many of us who, in the 70s, said in one way or another – as Reeves Gabrels put it – “Fuck you, I look like David Bowie.”

          • Lumpy Gaga

            Anybody who looked at Gaga and said “You’re not doing it right. You look stupid.” either wasn’t there or has killed everyone with photos to show.

          • Circle Thomas

            Or was David Bowie’s only son, who thought it was trash.

          • Lumpy Gaga

            “The Prince is Displeased” has never carried much weight with me. Is it a British thing?

            In any case, he’s old enough to figure out how privacy settings work.

          • MattM

            We get it, Gaga superfan. She’s great and we’re wrong because you love her. Let us have our opinions. Your devotion to the mother monster does not outweigh the reasonable criticisms of that Grammy performance.

          • Lumpy Gaga

            So make the reasonable criticisms. Here are mine: I loathed that “Heroes” and thought that a brass section for “Suffragette City” was just wrong on too many levels to count. The latter also did not work because of a tragic vocal mismatch, and at some small minor part of its core, it’s classic 70s cock-rock. So the gender bending is getting frequently critiqued from a pretty misogynist place.

            Nonetheless, all this “Bitch, Please” action where everybody on the Internet just KNOWS that it was wrong, say cutesy things like LIZA ON ACID LOL?

            Not impressed. After All.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        You know, that critique applies to an extremely brief move of Gaga’a to Stage right, toward Rodgers (IIRC, preceding “Let’s Dance”).

        Another fair cop: “it’s unwatchable.” I’m on board. I literally close my eyes every time I watch on the DVR.

        Mitigating factors: She was doing classic Jagger “rooster strut”. Doesn’t make it right. Doesn’t mean it should not have been cut. Again – IN TOTO – Gaga/iNTEL was 8 minutes of a 3 hour annual pageant show which has never enjoyed a serious musical reputation in my lifetime (except when they gave statues to the Beatles and Aretha).

        How upset do you actually want me to get?

    • TuuxKabin

      Well, Hollywood and all, more flash and glitz than substance. IMHO.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Brits did it best.

  • Mark

    WoW! Incredible memorial!

  • Julian (UK)

    Christ! My hair is standing on end!

  • William

    This is from Utrecht Belgium. A tribute to Bowie, played on the carillon bells.
    In the comments is a guide to what songs are played. Starting at 4:25, the video shows the woman playing the keyboard.

    David Bowie – Carillon Domtoren Utrecht

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE5DxU-Z7q4

    • ChrisMorley

      Whenever I’ve been to Utrecht, it’s been with the rest of the Netherlands. Belgium is next door.

      • William

        Oops, my brain wandered off again. I was thinking of a town that actually is in Belgium. The .nl should have jogged by mind.

  • Rolf

    A bit off topic…. I love Annie Lennox but what was with the opening Caesar Augustus pose?

  • pickypecker

    Brought tears to my eyes. Am still processing your death and will miss you, Starman…always.

  • Nice! Yes, that made me forget all about Gaga’s terrible Donnie and Marie-style medley.

  • ChrisMorley

    First episode of David Bowie’s Blackstar miniseries posted on Instagram
    The first of a 16-part series called Unbound, with music from Blackstar and starring Tavi Gevinson and Patricia Clarkson, has been
    posted to Instagram http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/feb/26/first-episode-of-david-bowies-blackstar-miniseries-posted-on-instagram
    On Instagram the limit is 15secs of video max. per episode.

  • another_steve

    Off-topic (but entertainment-related):

    Controversy re trans Oscar nominee, Anohni.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/trans-oscar-nominee-anohni-on-why-shes-boycotting-academy-awards-20160225

  • A L Vee

    That was good. I was so upset by his death that I couldn’t listen to him for awhile. This helped come out of the funk.

  • ChrisMorley

    Bowie’s son Duncan Jones, who didn’t exactly applaud the Grammys’ Lady Gaga-led tribute to his father, approved of the Brits’ memorial. “Finally found the links to tonight’s Brits. Just … beautiful. Thank you,” Jones tweeted. https://twitter.com/ManMadeMoon/status/702646919919611904

    • Lumpy Gaga

      I thought his twitter-rag on Gaga was tasteless and spiteful. How people can now golf-clap and say “Class! Class!” …. SMH

      Lorde’s great and all, but never forget, as Variety Show tributes go, that LOM is the Bowie song Streisand covered back in 1973…..

      • TuuxKabin

        I just pulled out my Oujia board and communicated with David. I asked him if he changed his mind at all about Babs’ rendition of his tune. His reply? “It’s STILL bloody awful”

        • Lumpy Gaga

          My point wasn’t to critique Barbra, but to point out that the song chosen shows the danger of picking only one number.

          The song, in the wrong hands, is Variety Show claptrap. Lorde, fortunately, avoided that.

          • TuuxKabin

            Gotcha, my perception was off. And as you state, ‘the song in the wrong hands’ . . . applies. Thanks.

      • ChrisMorley

        Most of us a pretty raw and sensitive emotionally when a parent dies, so I’d cut him some slack that he wasn’t up to normal British ‘politeness embodied’ standards.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          So be it.

          I think it’s just because Gaga in Bowie drag looks like (irony alert) Angela Bowie in the 70s.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          No. Flirting with “mental illness” in response to a TV show is over the line. Even if you’re saying it about Mariah Carey.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Maybe it’s my Americanality, but “The Prince is Pleased” does not carry the weight for me than it does for some folk,

  • TuuxKabin

    I haven’t forgotten our Starman, he’s just sort of settled in the back of my mind. This tribute brought back the feeling of loss, which is good, and it’s like a mouthwash and gargle after that bad taste of a mess the grannies did with lady gaga.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      1. minea of a TC briadcast which has nwer h

  • Bj Lincoln

    That was beautiful. He was beautiful. Too many tears…..

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  • Lumpy Gaga

    Gaga vocally did for “Space Oddity” everything Lorde did for LOM, but backwards and in high heels.

    • MattM

      Oh brother. You look desperate.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        Gaga had to do a half-dozen different songs, all almost completely robbed of context. I’ve rewatched several times on the DVR, and from a purely vocal POV, her “Space Oddity” (and “Ziggy Stardust”) was perfect.

        • Lars De

          I think what most people found distasteful about it was not her vocals. My problem with it (and I’m not a Gaga hater) is that instead of humbly accepting the honor of performing “A Tribute to David Bowie” she instead went at it as “Lady Gaga’s tribute to David Bowie, with special affects by Intel”.

  • Gerry Fisher

    I liked how they emphasized the images as they played the song snippets (visuals were a huge part of his art, IMO), and then ended with one, complete song.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      The Grammies Trib did NOT use actual images of the man himself. One could make the case (and I do) that the Brits’ use of giant images and the “riderless horse” stage were craven and manipulative.

      • Gerry Fisher

        OK

      • MattM

        One could, but that wouldn’t be very productive. Or even reasonable. If using images of the individual receiving tribute is manipulative, then the “In Memorium” portion of any awards show is equally manipulative. The man was an icon, and his face was iconic.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          The entire world is Monday Morning Quarterbacking the Grammy/Brit tributes. It didn’t even occur to me until the Internet completely lost its shit over this fake battle that the Grammy one was executed free of Bowie’s image.

          So now, that inevitably leads to consideration of the different hurdles the two entities were dealing with. I’m not the one insisting we A/B two very different experiences, but we are now in that reality.

          Since there has been no shortage of Bowie porn since January 11, it did not occur to me that the Brits’ visuals were anything but just another media-saturated day since January 11. But what if this had to be done, say, six months after the fact and not six weeks? Many interesting questions present themselves.

          • MattM

            No, not many questions present themselves. Really, the ONLY question that presents itself is why you’re not only unwilling to accept criticism of Gaga, but also lash out at anyone and everyone who does. Had Gaga paired it down (and made it more about the man and not her) and dumped the crass Intel tie-in, I think the Grammy tribute performance would have been more warmly received.

            Regardless, lashing out at legitimate criticisms simply because you adore the person being criticized is tiresome and counterproductive.

            http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/enough.gif

          • Lars De

            I don’t think it’s even necessary to make the Gaga/Lorde comparison, though understandable. What The Brits did right was having HIS band play the tribute. He deserved that, they deserved and needed that, as did the hardcore fans. Many of us see those 6 musicians as an equal part of the later career Bowie experience. We love them as we loved him.

          • Lumpy Gaga

            I don’t think it’s even necessary to make the Gaga/Lorde comparison, though understandable.

            Agreed. It’s like: Guys, you can like the Beatles AND the Stones. It’s alright. Really.

          • Lumpy Gaga

            Many of us see those 6 musicians as an equal part of the later career Bowie experience.

            How time flies. GAD joined him in 1995 and toured with him through 2004. (I’m too scared to count Earl Slick and Mike Garson’s years….)

          • Lumpy Gaga

            Had Gaga paired it down (and made it more about the man and not her) and dumped the crass Intel tie-in

            2nd is fair game. I have never bothered anyone for being uncomfortable with that corporate tie-in. But “not about the man”? As an avid Bowie fan since 1973, I caught probably all of the things she did (and I’m not talking about obvious things like a Ziggy flash across the face) which were pure Bowie realness and felt (to me) to come from a genuine and informed place.

            Finally, this “getting it wrong” and “looking stupid doing it” is missing a huge point. I can only say, “Yeah, no shit.” But getting it wrong and looking stupid doing it was a big part of the original experience for those of us not so genetically gifted but nonetheless in what felt like love and tribute as we thought that we could walk around looking “like that”. This was probably pure accident on the part of the Grammy producers and performers, but it turned out to be sweet and endearing, and it evoked a long ago connection between “us” and him. Gaga, rather than being the screaming center of attention, achieved a kind of invisibility. As I said, probably not what she was going for, but my 1974 wasn’t what I was going for, either.

          • Lumpy Gaga
  • Lars De

    His core band (shown in this clip) is unquestionably one of the best live bands you could ever wish to see and hear. The two woman both of incredible solo work. Gail Ann Dorsey (bass) has one solo album well worth hunting for. Catherine Russell (keyboards) has 6 amazing jazz albums, 5 studio and one live with the Earl May Quintet. I’ve seen her perform 4 times and have had the pleasure of meeting her on each occasion. She is warm, friendly, and just an absolute delight.

    Their Brit awards performance was exactly how you honor a legend.

  • ian

    Indeed it was a great improvement over the Grammy’s. I liked how Annie’s speech was about Bowie the Icon and his immense musical and cultural impact, especially in the UK, while Gary’s speech focused on Bowie, or rather David Jones the human being with some lovely personal anecdotes. Bowies backing band, and Lordes performance was quite nice; tasteful rather than bombastic.

  • Pinky

    I Loved Bowie and saw him perform a few times…we are singing Changes and Life On Mars in our March show, Big Gay Sing 8, with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus…I do want to add that his death wasn’t really unexpected except to those who didn’t know him. Rarely was he without a cigarette…it is such a shame. We could have had him another 20 amazing years…I don’t want to be rude or disrespectful but I feel it’s the elephant in the room about his illness..so, please if you smoke…stop!