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Live: David Bowie and the Buzz, Starlite Ballroom, Greenford

David Bowie and the Buzz performed at the Starlite Ballroom in Greenford, Middlesex, on Saturday 27 August 1966.

They had previously performed there on 15 April.

The venue was located on Allendale Road, and was run by promoter Peter Griffin who also looked after the Starlight Ballroom in Crawley.

The Starlite Ballroom was previously the Sudbury Town Odeon. In 1964 it was renamed, and acts including the Who, Pink Floyd, Cream, and the Moody Blues performed there.

It was eventually demolished, with the site redeveloped as a block of flats.

On this occasion, Bowie and the Buzz had hoped to use some pre-recorded effects tapes as part of their live act. An attempt the previous night had failed; this night was little better, and the experiment was abandoned.

On August 3 David came with Ralph [Horton] to discuss ideas for a much needed revitalisation of the stage act and plans were made for David to devote part of his show to working to the accompaniment of backing tapes, which gave him greater scope for movement. The tapes were specially recorded and Ralph built a control console. The new act was to be introduced at the Coronation Ballroom, Ramsgate on the 26th and the Kent Messenger of that date said:

“Radio London fans going to the Big L Disc Night at the Coronation Ballroom, Pleasurama, Ramsgate this Friday will have the opportunity of witnessing the completely new act of David Bowie and the Buzz. To coincide with the release of his latest record, I dig everything and I’m not losing sleep, issued by Pye last Friday, the group has re-shaped its act, spending as much as eight hours a day rehearsing.”

Earlier in the day Ralph had called at the office to pick up some cash. He took £3 for petrol for the return journey to Ramsgate and £1.15.0 for a new stage shirt for David! A dramatic reminder of what inflation has done to us since then. The new act was not a success. What worked well at rehearsal proved to be impractical, mainly because of technical difficulties, and after one more trial run the following night at the Starlite, Greenford, the venture was abandoned.

Kenneth Pitt
The Pitt Report
Last updated: 14 March 2023
Live: David Bowie and the Buzz, Pleasurama, Ramsgate
Live: David Bowie and the Buzz, Marquee Club, London
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