Live: Feathers, Arts Lab, London

Feathers’ second live show took place at the Arts Lab on London’s Drury Lane on Friday 6 December 1968.

The trio’s set included a cover of the Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, and a mime section by David Bowie.

Feathers featured such material as ‘Lady Midnight’, ‘One hundred years from today’, ‘When I’m Five’, Jacques Brel’s songs ‘Port of Amsterdam’ and ‘Next’, and ‘The Ching-a-ling Song’. ‘Life Is A Circus’, which David had sung in his cabaret act, was a song that Tony Visconti had heard performed by an American group called Djinn, and which he introduced to David. Hutch re-worked it for use by Feathers. David mimed to a piece called The Mask and he and Hermione mimed to another piece while Hutch operated the cassette player and supplied guitar accompaniment. All three read short poems. It was an innocuous divertissement that nobody wished to pay for. By Christmas Feathers had done three gigs and earned £56. They appeared at the Country Club, Haverstock Hill on November 17 for £6, the Arts Lab, Drury Lane on December 6 for nothing, and Sussex University on the 7th for £50.
Kenneth Pitt
The Pitt Report

The Arts Laboratory was an alternative arts centre founded in 1967 by Jim Haynes at 182 Drury Lane, London. It lasted for two years and inspired many similar ventures, including Bowie’s own Beckenham Arts Lab.

Last updated: 17 March 2023
Recording: Ching-A-Ling
Live: Feathers, University of Sussex
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