LAURENCE Knight takes on the many guises of the late David Bowie for the tribute show Bowie Experience – The Golden Years at the Grand Opera House, York, on Sunday (December 2).

Vocalist, actor and multi-instrumentalist Knight has performed his Bowie act at the official David Bowie Is exhibition at the V&A and the Royal Albert Hall in London, as well as alongside The Cure, Boney M, Roy Wood and The Boomtown Rats

His concert show spans all the hits from A to Ziggy, taking in Space Oddity, Starman, Fashion, Fame, Life On Mars, China Girl, Rebel Rebel, Golden Years, Modern Love, Let’s Dance and Heroes, accompanied by ten costumes changes.

"It's difficult to pick favourites but some songs do have something particular about them," says Knight. "Lady Grinning Soul is enjoyable because of the voice sound; it's a way of singing that appears on a few of David's songs and this one is a good example.

"I like Hallo Spaceboy, always a favourite both to listen to and perform; Fame has a message to all who aspire to celebrity, set to a great rhythm, which I find very buoyant, and Sound And Vision sounds like a sonic vision from the past, maybe the 1950s, of the future."

Selecting a favourite period of Bowie's chameleon career, Knight says: "I'm a fan of David Bowie so I'm fond of (nearly) everything he did, but if I had to choose for my sojourn on that desert island, I would choose what they call his Berlin period – Low, Heroes, Lodger, up to Scary Monsters – and then from 1996's Outside up to the last album, Blackstar."

Knight's Bowie tribute nights began in September 1997. "I was at music college, and in the evenings and weekends I would go out with various covers bands playing the pubs and clubs," he recalls. "Now most musicians like something from David's catalogue, so we would often perform a song or two by him, and band members and some audience members started telling me that when I sung his songs I sounded like him and that I should do something with that: 'like a tribute act', they would suggest.

"These days, there’s a tribute act to nearly everyone and most people know what ‘tribute’ means in this context. However, back then, I didn't really have much of an idea of what it meant, so I put a band together and had a go at what I thought it was.

"It seemed to work, so I did another and then another and that's how it's been ever since. I must say, I didn't anticipate what a ride it would be; it's taken me to all sorts of parts of the world that I probably otherwise wouldn't have gone to and I've met some pretty interesting people along the way."

What aspects of Bowie's character are the most enjoyable to portray? "All of them are a rich seam to be explored, so to choose just a couple is like trying to unpick a woolly jumper," says Knight. "The fun comes in the shape of the pattern that emerges as you discover the more subtle sides of his imagination."

Tickets for Sunday's 7.30pm show are on sale at and on 0844 871 3024.

Charles Hutchinson