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Sunday, 21 June 2015

Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansey - Holy Holy play The Man Who Sold The World

Music is the air that I breathe.
It has been my constant companion for as long as I can recall.
In fact some of my earliest memories are linked to certain songs.
Pre school age I can clearly remember sitting with what seemed like giant headphones on and listening to everything from The Rolling Stones to Elvis Presley.
Credit for that has to go to my uncle though.
When visiting him with my parents he would provide a steady stream of albums for my listening pleasure and I am genuinely forever grateful to him for providing me with an introduction to so many wonderful acts and giving me such a broad foundation to build on.

It’s also actually factually accurate to say that in many ways my appreciation of music has enhanced my life in more ways than I could count.

I have made long lasting friendships, been educated by it, travelled, formed romantic relationships, spent quality time with my children at gigs, and as said so very much more with it all being positive.

However one man who deserves a tip of the hat for providing so many personal golden moments on my journey through life is the producer Tony Visconti.

While the majority fawn over full bands, and especially those with the golden tonsils there is sometimes an appreciation blind spot operating were the people exist who were the conduit for the hits and albums to keep rolling.

While the names of Bowie to Presley roll off the lips it is left to the critics and the more infatuated with music to proclaim the greatness of the producers who worked with the legends.

And if we want to talk about real legends then Visconti is your guy.

Consider this.
Eight albums with Bolan, from the early incarnation as Tyrannosaurus Rex through the T-Rex years, of which included the mighty ‘Electric Warrior’ album.
With that on a CV most people could retire and bask in the reflected glory till they shook off their mortal coil, but not Visconti.
So you can add Bowie to the artists he didn’t only produce, but play with to.
The Man Who Sold The World, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Low, Heroes, Lodger, Scary Monsters, Heathen, Reality and the come back of The Next Day.
Again you would think that would be enough, but it doesn't even come close to how many acts he has worked with and sprinkled his magic in the studio over.
Paul McCartney and Wings, Manic Street Preachers, The Seahorses, Hazel O’Connors Breaking Glass, Thin Lizzy, Iggy Pop.
I’m reeling these off by memory.
Then there are The Stranglers, Adam Ant, Anti-Flag, Strawbs, Ralph McTell and Morrissey.
If I was to go online and check the list of the acts he has been involved in and mention each and every one I would end up with a repetitive strain injury from typing.

Even with what is listed it is very obvious that this is a man that has been at the top of his game for decades.
While artist come and go he has been a constant, and for that reason alone Tony Visconti should be a household name.

In addition to his production and engineering work he has also as mentioned played with the greats and more recently been touring with Woody Woodmansey (Bowie drummer) as Holy Holy performing alongside Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17) and Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet) and breathing new life into The Man Who Sold the World to great acclaim from fans and critics alike, and so successful was the mini tour that he is currently back on the road with it to impress all over again.

Undoubtedly this is a bucket list gig and it’s just waiting there to be ticked off.

In fact check out who else is in the band.

James Stevenson (Generation X, The Cult, Scott Walker), guitar
Paul Cuddeford (Ian Hunter, Bob Geldof), guitar
Terry Edwards (Gallon Drunk, PJ Harvey, The Blockheads, Yoko Ono), saxophones, 12-string guitar, percussion
Rod Melvin (Brian Eno, Ian Dury), piano
Berenice Scott (Heaven 17), synthesiser
Hannah Berridge Ronson (Colin Lloyd Tucker), keyboard, recorder, backing vocals
Lisa Ronson (The Secret History), vocals

On Thurday the 25th of June he is back in the ABC in Glasgow.


  1. I saw the Holy Holy tour on Wednesday. Fantastic. Amazing gig. One of the support acts was Jessica Lee Morgan, Tony Visconti's daughter. I really liked her so went along to see her on a very Visconti- related bill in London last night. Opener was Daphne Guinness (!) and her band. TV has just produced her latest record. Then Jessica. TV was there to see her. Then Gerry Leonard, Bowie's guitarist closed the show. Suzanne Vega joined him for one song ! A great night which took place in a Workinmen's Club in Peckham. Mental.

  2. And now I can't wait for this in Glasgow. :)