Newly formed supergroup Holy Holy is set to spark pandemonium in Peckham, performing David Bowie’s songs spanning 1969 to 1973. With some of the tracks being performed live for the very first time, they’re not just a tribute group; all ten members have either played, recorded or toured with the Ziggy Stardust superpower, including Spiders from Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey.
Woody worked with David on eight albums from Space Oddity to Aladdin Sane and describes their creative output as an effort in “stopping rock n’ roll from being boring”. “It was fun and we kind of did it in style; the whole space thing was successful and as it developed it fit into David’s other abilities like mime and dressing up. It was all kind of theatre and we got into it and believed in it,” Woody tells.
Asked to perform at Latitude festival in July this year, the group –who mostly knew each other from being around the music scene- decided to take a “really rock n’ roll approach to the music and recreate the spirit of the songs and atmosphere they created,” Woody says. “We’re not getting too technical or precious because we were never like that. We always just went out there and had fun with the audience.”
It’s a star-studded affair with the drummer from Blondie Clem Burke, a guitarist who’s just finished with Billy Idol, the bass player from Big Audio Dynamite, Ian Hunter’s backing singers and Mick Ronson’s daughter on vocals. “We’ll be playing songs from Hunky Dory because we didn’t do many of those live, some Ziggy Stardust and Star, which we never did live because it never quite fit into our sets and it was a hard one to capture the atmosphere of live,” Woody reveals. “We’re mixing it up with the Jean Genie and Life on Mars; it’s really fun if you’re into that music.”
The drummer is no stranger to big name stars, having played with Art Garfunkle, Paul McCartney, Dexys Midnight Runners and Lou Reed. “Lou was good. Some of the influence of what we did with David came from the seedy side of America, which was Lou,” the musician laughs.
With fond, hazy memories of manic touring schedules across America with Bowie, the West Sussex resident says he couldn’t turn down Peckham. “I was in Beckenham when David was there so when I heard it was pandemonium in Peckham I thought ‘you gotta do that’,” Woody says, adding “news spread quite far; the minute it went up on twitter that we were doing this gig I got a call from a festival in Canada asking to book us; I thought ‘hang on, we’re just doing Peckham’.”
Peckham Pandemonium’s next pop-up night featuring Holy Holy is at Peckham Liberal Club, 24 Elm Grove, SE15 5DE, on December 19 from 7pm. Admission: £15 from The Review Bookshop, 131 Bellenden Road, SE15 4QY or from: www.wegottickets.com/PeckhamPandemonium