Live: Rainbow Theatre, London

Following a month-long break, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust Tour resumed on 19 August 1972 at London’s Rainbow Theatre.

This was the the 47th date of the tour, which had begun on 29 January 1972.

Bowie had announced our next gig to the NME who were at Aylesbury: ‘Hello, handsome, my name’s David and I’m going to be at the Rainbow in lovely north London with the Spiders From Mars, some very pretty people called Roxy Music and a gorgeous butch blues singer called Lloyd Watson this Saturday and Sunday. It would be just too, too divine if you could make it there – and if you can’t make it there, just be there, hmmm? It’s going to be the most exquisite concert of the year.’
Woody Woodmansey
Spider From Mars: My Life With Bowie

Poster for David Bowie at the Rainbow Theatre, London, 19 August 1972

Bowie performed at the Rainbow on 19 and 20 August, plus an additional date on 30 August. On the 25th he filmed the promo for ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’ there, directed by Mick Rock, who filmed and photographed parts of the shows.

The support acts on the opening nights were Roxy Music and Lloyd Watson. Bowie’s backing singers were the Astronettes – Annie Stainer, Ian Oliver, Barbara Ella, Carling Patton, and Jack Birkett, all members of Lindsay Kemp’s dance troupe. Kemp was also the stage director, and the costumes were designed and made by Natasha Kornilof.

For these first two shows Bowie and the Spiders From Mars were joined by Matthew Fisher on piano. Nicky Graham was billed on the posters, but had been dismissed by Bowie’s manager Tony Defries during rehearsals.

The show began with a screening of Un Chien Andalou, followed by ‘Ode To Joy’. Bowie emerged onto the stage swathed in dry ice.

He and the Spiders performed 18 songs: ‘Lady Stardust’, ‘Hang On To Yourself’, ‘Ziggy Stardust’, ‘Life On Mars?’, ‘The Supermen’, ‘Changes’, ‘Five Years’, ‘Space Oddity’, ‘Andy Warhol’, ‘My Death’, ‘The Width Of A Circle’, ‘Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud’, ‘Starman’, ‘Queen Bitch’, ‘Suffragette City’, ‘White Light/White Heat’, ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’, and ‘Moonage Daydream’.

Last updated: 25 April 2023
Rehearsal: Rainbow Theatre, London
Live: Rainbow Theatre, London
Also on this day...

Want more? Visit the David Bowie history section.

Leave a Reply