Review: Adam Buxton’s BUG - David Bowie special at the Brighton Dome

Adam Buxton's BUG: David Bowie Special
Adam Buxton's BUG: David Bowie Special

Brighton, Buxton, Bowie. As a TV pop tyro once almost remarked: ‘There was lot of love in that 150-year-old concert hall’.

The evening began in difficult circumstances, with a delayed start caused by increased security following the horrific events in Manchester the previous evening .

But the hugely likeable podcaster, comic and one half of the cult Adam and Joe Show axis, gently riffed as the seats eventually filled, and reassured us all: ”It’s grim out there we know that but we’re here now together”.

Jean Genie kicked things off with a red platformed boot and the first of a selection of gorgeous music videos from that most beautiful boy from Bromley - David Bowie.

The Dome sound system was in good shape and the sight of early ‘70s Bowie tottering about streets of San Francisco was a welcome one.

BUG is a simple but winning concept - The pinnacle of a PowerPoint presentations with great tunes and lots of funny graphics and animation.

The funniest part is always the ridiculous comedy of below-the-line YouTube comments of some of the worse contributors the internet has to offer.

These insane/insanely stupid comments are hilarious and will make you more aware of spellchecking anything else you ever write.

The late Dame David (or Zavid as he’s lovingly referred to by Buxton) is an ideal topic for the BUG treatment.

As an early adopter of the music video he has a huge back catalogue to plunder, and with a personality the size of Mars there’s more than enough bonkers tales and anecdotes to interest even non-Bowie fans.

Buxton certainly doesn’t fall into the latter category. His affection for the Thin White Duke fills the hall and his enthusiasm for the subject prevents the night descending into an exercise of nostalgia.

There are plenty of spoddy details which mark him down as a true fan (Did you know the Ashes to Ashes video was filmed on a beach at Pett Level near Hastings?) but avoids a full-on paean to the man formerly known as David Jones.

Buxton also makes full use of Bowie’s devilish sense of humour, most notably when detailing a dazzling exchange with a fan on an internet forum, and a brilliant bawdy tale of the aforementioned Ashes to Ashes vid.

Elsewhere the music takes centre stage, ranging from the poignant Lazarus, filmed just weeks before Bowie’s death, to the quirky Be My Wife, complete with bizarre Buster Keaton-style sneering.

Buxton provides trademark hilarious (and mostly joyfully silly) cut-aways throughout and hammers home the absurd comedy of the YouTube comments.

But even more than Buxton’s other excellent BUG presentations (54 and counting), the stellar subject is very much the star of the show, and a suitable tribute to the Starman Bowie.

Heroes, The ‘70s juggernaut, and inspirational closing tune to countless movies, TV shows and sporting events, once more brought proceedings to a close and was a reminder of the monstrous charisma of the already much-missed performer.