REVIEW: Holy Holy, York Barbican, Friday, February 8.

THE SELLING point for Holy Holy, should it need one, is that the band is essentially a David Bowie-themed supergroup.

Featuring Woody Woodmansey - the last remaining Spider - legendary producer Tony Visconti, with Heaven 17's Glenn Gregory on vocals and a host of top-drawer musicians, the band's latest tour sees them perform The Man Who Sold The World and The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars in full, along with a selection of other classic Bowie tracks.

Far from a tribute act, it would be more fair to call the band a legacy act - Woodmansey was there at the beginning, Visconti too, and Jessica Lee Morgan (on saxophone, 12-string and backing vocals), is the daughter of Mary Hopkin and Tony Visconti, so continuing the musical tradition and performing a killer version of Lady Stardust.

Support came from John Bramwell, formerly of I Am Kloot, whose folksy brilliance, tender, wry lyrics and superb acoustic guitar skills - coupled with self-effacing banter between songs - eased the audience into the night, before the main event, admitting "I saw them sound check and realised I'm a mellow prelude".

Taking to the stage to the Clockwork Orange version of Ode To Joy, the band's confidence is clear, and well-earned - the twin Les Pauls of James Stevenson and Paul Cuddeford are astonishing, while Woodmansey - age 68 - drums with the energy and power of a musician 50 years younger.

Gregory's vocals have developed from the last Holy Holy tour, to the point where, while not an impersonation (and rightly so), his comfort and confidence with the material help him honour Bowie while doing his own thing.

By the end of Ziggy the entire audience is on its feet and singing along - to be expected at a rock show - which makes what happens in the encore unusual. The band begins with Where Are We Now from 2013's The Next Day - something Bowie never performed live, and a real change of pace. While beautifully done, it seemed to throw the crowd for six, and one wonders if it's place in the encore will change going forward.

Considering it's the first night of a tour, the band are tight and the set practically seamless. If we're nitpicking, it's impossible for anyone to perform Five Years with the passion and pain of the original recording, and while they're obviously having fun, seeing Gregory and Visconti back to back seems a bit of an 'on the nose' tribute to the famous clips/photos of Bowie with Mick Ronson, but there's nothing wrong with that when the performance is so filled with joy and respect.