FROM the Marching Koalas to the David Bowie show, that has been the journey for Newcastle muso Cameron Charters.
Charters will be at the helm when the two hour theatrical show Bowie: Ashes to Ashes kicks off on a tour which will take it to audiences in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
For the role Charters has had to drop a few kilograms and has spent hours studying videos and the mannerisms of the late David Bowie.
“He was very thin, so I have to kind of suck it all in,” Charters said.
“I have had to get into shape for it … I’ve lost a bit of the belly.”
Charters not only emulates the voice of Bowie while performing, but also recreates his stage presence.
“He stands very upright, and in some videos you see he holds the microphone in the tip of his fingers,” Charters said.
“And then there’s other footage where he holds the microphone on the stand and he rocks it back and away from himself.
“I try to mimic every little move and sound that I can. His speaking voice is a very monotone, but he is also a little posh and a little bit camp and a little bit cheeky. And then there is the English accent.”
Charters is no newcomer to the concept band. He has performed the role of John McVie in the Xband’s Fleetwood Mac Show, Paul McCartney in Beatlemania on Tour and was part of the Best of British Rock show.
“Once you get into your costume you are that character,” he said. “When I am dressed up like David Bowie I transform into David Bowie.
“His outfits are particularly outrageous.”
Charters said while he was always a fan, playing the role had given him a new appreciation for Bowie’s talent.
“I have been through his whole back catalogue making sure we have all the best songs,” Charters said. “I have come across things I hadn’t heard before.
“You get to see how much he achieved throughout his career. I’ve got a new-found appreciation.”
The show will feature many of the hits spanning Bowie’s career, including: Heroes, Starman, Ashes to Ashes, Ziggy Stardust, Golden Years, China Girl, Sound and Vision, Young Americans, Let’s Dance and The Jean Genie.
The show will include replica costumes and state-of-the-art vision and lighting equipment.
Charters has been performing since childhood, making his debut in the Marching Koalas. He has performed in original bands and numerous cover bands.
Bowie: Ashes to Ashes will be performed at Wests New Lambton on May 20. Tickets are available at westsnewcastle.com.au