Live: Earls Court, London

David Bowie performed at London’s Earls Court on 30 June 1978, as part of the Isolar II Tour.

This was the 64th date of the tour, which began on 29 March in San Diego.

It was also the second of three consecutive nights at Earls Court. The other dates were 29 June and 1 July 1978.

This and the next night’s show were recorded by Tony Visconti, and released on the 2018 live album Welcome To The Blackout (Live London ’78).

Bowie’s guitarists were Carlos Alomar and Adrian Belew. Simon House was on electric violin, Sean Mayes played piano, and Roger Powell was on keyboards and synthesizers. George Murray played bass guitar and Dennis Davis was on drums.

Friday afternoon we went very early to Earls Court. Tonight the show was being filmed by David Hemmings (director of Just A Gigolo) for a general-release feature. Inside there was all the paraphernalia involved – trucks, generators, a giant crane arm behind the stage to lift the cameraman right up over the rig. Tony Visconti was here, very cheerful in a bright red T-shirt. As we played, they checked camera angles – my hands on the piano, shot along the keyboard, and David Hemmings even wanted one of me leaning against an amp swigging a can of beer.

It was another mind-blowing show that night but as soon as the gig was over I jumped into a taxi and headed for Camden – I had got another gig! At Dingwalls I met Fumble hootfoot from the Elvis! show…

It wa a lively joyous gig, though not one of our most controlled! About the third number there was a stir as the Bowie party arrived. Des told me afterwards that when he saw David he could hardly sing for nerves. Later some of the Elvis! people joined us on-stage and we finished with a couple of encores.

‘I’d like to thank David for lending us a piano player!’ Des announced to laughter and cheers.

Afterwards David joined us in the tiny dressing room.

‘I really enjoyed that,’ he said, opening a can of beer. ‘I loved ‘C’est La Vie’ and the Gene Vincent number.’

Sean Mayes
Life On Tour With Bowie

Bowie had first performed at Earls Court during the Ziggy Stardust Tour on 12 May 1973.

The setlist

Last updated: 18 October 2023
Live: Earls Court, London
Live: Earls Court, London
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