Bowie classics will usher in a new era at Barnard Castle arts centre
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
THE sounds of David Bowie will signal the dawn of a new era at Barnard Castle’s arts centre.
As part of efforts to secure The Witham’s future, visitors were asked what sort of events and activities they would like to see which the venue was not currently providing.
Among the ideas and suggestions put forward was tribute acts.
In response, staff at The Witham have lined up three acts in the coming weeks, kicking off on Saturday, March 30 with Jean Genie – singer John Mainwaring and a full backing band.
The show promises dazzling, flamboyant costumes and stunning effects.
Jean Genie were formed in 1993 since when frontman John has made many MTV appearances.
The Jean Genie band are well known for being perfectionists and news of their popularity even reached Bowie himself before his death at 69 a couple of years ago.
Over the years, Jean Genie have performed alongside the original Spiders from Mars at the Mick Ronson Memorial concert after show party, with the likes of Roger Daltry (The Who) and Roger Taylor (Queen) in the audience.
Jean Genie has twice been invited to headline The David Bowie Fanclub Convention, and have played their 70s and 80s show to capacity crowds at many festivals throughout the UK.
The band have also taken their show overseas, with appearances in Europe, America and the Middle-East.
Next up at The Witham after Jean Genie are The Jerseys – Oh what a Nite!, a show which celebrates the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
This show takes place on Saturday, April 13.
Finally, it’s the turn of Queen of Rock on May 17, which takes fans on a journey through the headline hits of Freddie Mercury and Queen.
Given the popularity and success of the recently released film Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, this show is expected to be a crowdpuller.
The Witham’s marketing officer Sarah Gent said: “We welcome the first of the tribute acts lined up to ensure that there is something for everyone in The Witham’s programme.
“People have been asking for us to offer a wider range of music gigs including tribute bands.
“Jean Genie are really top notch – the lead singer John Mainwaring has performed all over the world as David Bowie.”
Tickets for Jean Genie are £18 in advance and £20 on the door.
For more details and to book go to www.thewitham .org.uk or call the box office on 01833 631107