Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Karate Bikini Preps David Bowie Tribute for an under Cover Weekend

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Karate Bikini Preps David Bowie Tribute for an under Cover Weekend

Article excerpt

St. Louis band Karate Bikini has the enviable role of taking on David Bowie at An Under Cover Weekend. The only thing the band needed: a Bowie.

The annual event, now in its ninth year, features St. Louis bands each paying tribute to a national act.

The band looked outside of its own ranks for someone to fill the role of Bowie for its Friday night set, landing on Brian McClelland, of St. Louis band Whoa Thunder.

"I wanted someone who could just come up and just sing, and Brian's a great singer," says Tim McAvin, bassist for Karate Bikini. "If Brian couldn't do it, we weren't going to do it."

McAvin had never seen McClelland sing Bowie before, though.

McAvin says his band (which also added keyboardist and synthesizer player Kyle Work of BLASTAR for the Under Cover Weekend show) decided to pay tribute to the iconic rocker because of similarities he hears between Karate Bikini and Bowie.

"We have a unique kind of band with a chamber pop quality to what we do, and early Bowie material like 'Space Oddity' sort of has that," McAvin says. "But we also play glam and hard rock, which Bowie also has. Bowie also has soul, and we have a wink of that. People don't know how to take us. This fits us really well."

The Under Cover Weekend set will be heavy on showmanship, though McAvin and McClelland prefer to leave details about costumes as a surprise.

Song selection will be key and definitely will include "Let's Dance," which will be the "newest" song in the set. McAvin says preparing the song hasn't been difficult.

"When you look at the individual parts of the instruments, none of it is supercomplicated," he says. "We're just playing it true to what happened on the album."

McClelland says he wasn't expecting to take on the role of Bowie.

"(McAvin) asked me, and I thought I was going to play bass," says McClelland. "I've never done Bowie. I'm a fan, but I've never even done karaoke Bowie."

McClelland adds that the group gelled quickly on the songs. …

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