Clifford Slapper does Bowie Songs his way

Clifford Slapper & FriendsWith our glitter face make-up on – check – we recently rocked up to the much anticipated album launch for “Bowie Songs One by Clifford Slapper & Friends” at the stunning Poets Church in the West End, and were BLOWN AWAY. Visionary Clifford Slapper knocked us out with his spellbinding playing. His compering of the evening was beautifully sincere and confident. This album isn’t a just a standard tribute album, thank you very much – it’s an imaginative commitment to recreating music in a way that the late David Bowie would have approved of.

The church was heaving with diehard fans of Bowie and London entertainment press and I felt myself being transported into musical bliss. With his cult musical status there’s no wonder that Cliff was able to envisage fresh recreations of the Bowie songs he selectively chose – all written by rock legend Bowie himself. Cliff’s genuine love of playing the piano is clearly so apparent in all of his work to date, and his collaborations with singers are never predictable. Unique, I’d describe them as.

Completely acoustic and unplugged “the songs are stripped bare to reveal their emotional core,” says album producer and pianist Clifford Slapper, who worked closely with Bowie, playing for him on his last ever television appearance. George Underwood, lifelong best friend of David Bowie since they were both 9 years has given the album the ultimate endorsement saying that “David would have loved this”.

Songs include famous classics “Oh! You Pretty Things” (sung by Dance diva Katherine Ellis) and “Drive-In Saturday” (sung by jazz giant, Ian Shaw), as well as lesser well-known gems such as “Letter To Hermione” (sung by German soprano, Linda Hergarten), “After All” (sung by Billie Ray Martin of Electribe 101 fame) and “Stay” (sung by Marcella Puppini of the Puppini Sisters). “Always Crashing in the Same Car”, Peter Capaldi has labelled ‘a particular favourite in a great new version sung by Ray Burmiston. A brilliant take on that song (which I love)’. David McAlmont adds a stunning version of “Sweet Thing”.

The album is mastered by Pete Maher (Paul Weller, U2, Pixies, Goldfrapp, Lana Del Rey, Rolling Stones, Killers, Scissor Sisters, Nine Inch Nails) and mixed by Andrew McDonnell (Scott Walker, Marina & The Diamonds, Royal Opera House).

The album is dedicated to creative genius David Bowie, 8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016.

The combination of the heartfelt lyrics and theatrical piano playing makes this album a truly special accomplishment that deserves to be heard. The launch was very memorable indeed, and I’m excited to hear what Cliff and his friends will be producing next. Music is therapy.

Bowie Songs One by Clifford Slapper & Friends can be ordered by clicking on the link below and for further information click on the homepage:


You can also download the album on iTunes and all digital platforms worldwide.

Written by Julia Nelson