Starman: Sven Ratzke

A surreal journey through the life and songs of pop legend David Bowie.

music review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 15 Aug 2016
33329 large
121329 original

Sven Ratzke cuts a resplendent figure in his glam rock regalia—complete with see-through black nylon top—as he strides around stage, performing a suitably camp tribute to pop legend David Bowie. He manages to be likeable, funny and poignant at the same time. He’s also one heck of a good singer.

The packed audience of Bowie fans thrill to see Ratzke start to disrobe like a stripper before throwing aside his discarded clothes and giving us his own versions of Bowie’s songs. All the hits are there: 'Space Oddity', 'Starman' and 'Rebel Rebel'.

Between songs, Ratzke keeps the audience entertained with his own bitter-sweet humour, ad-libbing and quipping to the accompaniment of a piano, drums and guitar. He’s at his funniest when summing up Edinburgh, a city that Ratzke describes as full of “raindrops, sexuality and melancholy”. He later claims to develop a crush on one (male) audience member named Matt, and then tells us of his surreal hunt for a “rest room” in the labyrinth of Liz Taylor’s American mansion.

“It was so good, wasn’t it?” one member of the audience says to another at the end of the show. Perhaps not out of this world. But an entertaining romp through the life of a legend that, in the words of Bowie himself, “blows stardust in our eyes”.