Jessica Lee Morgan - Opening the show is a singer on acoustic guitar and vocals with a bass player. But this is a special night, so it is not just any singer, but the daughter of Mary Hopkin and Tony Visconti. Ms. Morgan has a fine voice, a bit tougher than her mother's, whose work I quite enjoyed. The early material in the set has a folk to folk-rock appeal, with just a twang of country roots at brief intervals. She plays a decent guitar and can really rock it out acoustically when the fire builds throughout the set, and her voice can also bring it up a couple of notches to match. The bass playing is sharp and on point and Ms. Morgan adds some jingle and percussion with special attachments to her feet, which fortunately I can spot from my first row vantage point. She adds a fine cover of the song 'Under Pressure' that David Bowie wrote with Queen, two of her favorites. The crowd enjoyed this and all of her set for that matter as this was a great beginning to a very special night for all of us both on my side of the stage and for those on it.
Holy Holy - Although this was a show I was looking forward to anyway, this past Monday's news of David Bowie's passing pushed this night at the Birchmere into a spiritual odyssey of sorts. But as Woody Woodmansey and Tony Visconti pointed out before the show, although their tour has shifted into nearly unfathomable territory, the show goes on and everyone should just join in and have a great time tonight. My feelings are perplexing and jumbled throughout the night, but the easy part of this review is the music. It was brilliant.
Tony Visconti - 'Monday was the worst day of my life, for many of us... we are musicians, we can not sit and not play music. And music heals a lot of pain.
Woody Woodmansey - 'So the rule is anything goes. It helps to play it.'
AND, as a bonus, DC ROCK LIVE writer Kyle Schmitt also attended and has this to report:'
Birchmere / January 14, 2016
By Kyle Schmitt
This David Bowie tribute served as a celebration just three nights after bassist Tony Visconti endured what he called possibly “the worst day of my life.” But as the long-time Bowie producer argued on-stage before the show, with Spiders from Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey standing by his side, what else were they to do as musicians but to keep playing? The two formed half the ensemble that produced 1970’s The Man Who Sold the World (Visconti said that he and Woodmansey roomed together during its recording), which Holy Holy played in its entirety. And they set a defiant tone early, with Woodmansey telling the audience that rules didn’t apply on this night. The reunited bandmates showed impressive chemistry on the should-be classic “Black Country Rock” and the epic “The Width of a Circle”, which provided a showcase for guitar talents James Stevenson and Paul Cuddeford. Singer Glenn Gregory strutted capably through the material, keeping a positive face on what could have been a maudlin experience even when delivering the homicidal fantasy “Running Gun Blues”. His charisma shone brightest on the lusty rocker “She Shook Me Cold” and the piano-driven “Time”. Gregory was spelled halfway through the set by Jessica Lee Morgan, who performed a gorgeous rendition of “Lady Stardust”.
Much of the fun came from watching Woodmansey perform his drum parts on songs that influenced a generation. His stickwork propelled “Changes” and “Ziggy Stardust”, and a mid-set drum solo elicited a standing ovation, to which Woodmansey responded by throwing up the sign of the horns. Holy Holy concluded its set with a joyous “Suffragette City”, which was capped off by the audience joining in to scream the “Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma’am!” kiss-off. That singalong was a fitting end to a night on which at least two groups of grown men embraced while gushing about the show they’d just seen. Though the Blackstar could not be seen, his light will never fade from view.