Bowie tribute band aim to be Heroes in hometown

ED BLANEY: Appearing at Seaham's new town hall.
ED BLANEY: Appearing at Seaham's new town hall.
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ZIGGY Stardust is preparing to land for a homecoming gig tonight.

Led by supply teacher Ed Blaney, tribute group Ultimate Bowie will do a Star-man turn as it becomes one of the first acts to take to the stage of Seaham’s new £1million town hall.

Despite playing festivals and venues across the country, the 56-year-old, who lives on East Shore Village, and his band have never played in his home town.

He put together the group after appearing as Ziggy-era David Bowie as he performed Space Oddity on Stars in Your Eyes in 2005, when he was then a teacher at Sunderland’s Sandhill View School.

Ed, who now works as a supply teacher and takes music and ICT lessons, said: “We’ve been trying for a long time to try and get a local gig and eventually, we’ve now got this fantastic new hall.

“We’ve played around the UK and the closest we’ve probably done has been South Shields, Whitley Bay or Consett, but we couldn’t find a suitable venue.

“The audience at Seaham can expect two hours of Bowie in concert. There will be lots of costume changes and it’ll go through right up to the modern day.”

Ed began following Bowie’s music when he was at Seaham Grammar School.

His appearance on Stars in Your Eyes led to him appearing in the satirical show Time Trumpet, which was the work of The Thick of It’s creator Armando Iannucci, in a sketch about his turn on the talent programme.

His band features wife Christina, who works for the Department of Work and Pensions, on keyboards, backing vocals and synthesizers, fellow Seaham residents Paul Carr and Colin Harrison on guitars and David Marshall on drums, Sunderland men Kris Gray on saxophone, guitar and vocals and Joe Hope on bass, with Ed Hobbs, from near Northallerton, on keyboards and piano.

The Blaneys’ daughter Penny, 37, has created their outfits.

Ultimate Bowie will perform at Seaham Town Hall, which has been created with the revamp of the former Seaham Red Star Club in the town park off Stockton Road and Station Road, at 8pm.

Tickets are £9 or £10 on the door and can be bought via the band’s Facebook page, GA Auto, opposite the venue, or by calling 0843 515 9400.