On Friday, June 9, The Thin White Duke, a David Bowie tribute band, will be performing as part of the warm-up to the St George’s Arts Festival in Beckenham.

Back by popular demand after their successful show at St George’s Church in 2016, the Thin White Duke are Beckenham’s own home-grown tribute to David Bowie.

Brothers Scott and Ben Fuller, originally from Bromley, formed the band over a decade ago.

For Scott, who now lives in Beckenham, it all stemmed from a deep love of Bowie’s music: “I was blown away by David Bowie’s music when I first heard it.

"The lyrics, the melodies, the experimentation, the risks he took as a musician and performer.

"He made me want to pick up a guitar and learn these wonderful songs.

"Of course, I couldn’t help but sing along myself. I’ve always been a bit of mimic, copying voices from films and television.

"As I developed my singing, I found I was naturally emulating my idol. It made sense to then see if I could perform live as Bowie and sure enough, twelve years later I’m still at it!”

David Bowie himself lived in Beckenham from 1969 to 1974. During this time he wrote and recorded many of his classic songs, as well as creating his iconic Ziggy Stardust character and album concept.

He co-founded the Arts Lab at the Three Tuns pub (now Zizzi’s restaurant), performing there numerous times.

In 1969 a free festival was held at Croydon Recreation Ground with Bowie performing on the bandstand there, alongside many other local musicians.

“I think the fact that Bowie was a local lad just cemented it all for me. Hearing him talk in interview, when he let his guide down and his Bromley vowels came back in.

"A lot of famous musicians came out of the London suburbs, and there’s this talk of them having escaped.

"I don’t think David Bowie ever escaped the suburbs. It was just part of him, part of what defined him, and it never left him.

"From early song lyrics that mention Penge and the Bromley 'library gardens', right up to later works like The Buddha of Suburbia."

The Thin White Duke tribute band are looking forward to their homecoming performance at St George’s Church: “It’s a special one for us, not just for playing my home town.

"St George’s is such a wonderful venue, very atmospheric with its distinctive stain-glass windows.

"It gets wonderfully lit for performances like this. Playing in a church isn’t as austere as it sounds either, last time we had people dancing in the aisles at the end!”

Tickets can be bought from Beckenham Bookshop, St George’s Parish Office, or online at: stgeorgesarts.co.uk/arts-festival-2017

Article submitted by Scott Fuller