everything apparently, and I have only great ones of the
fabulous Friars." David Bowie,
February 28th 2014
MESSENGER’ DAVID BOWIE STATUE UNVEILING CONFIRMED FOR SUNDAY 25
The statue unveiling day is now only seven
weeks away! The actual unveiling is a free event which will take
place at 2pm on Sunday 25 March in Aylesbury’s Market
Square. From 12noon there will be a stage with live music and
also a screen showing Bowie videos.
That same evening we have
organised a Benefit Concert - an amazing festival of
Aylesbury music at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre. This will
be the first time that MARILLION, HOWARD JONES, JOHN OTWAY
and THE DUNG BEATLES have ever played the same gig together.
All four bands/artistes are playing for expenses only and
all money raised from this event will go towards the David
Bowie Statue Fund, which is still £50k short of covering
Tickets are available from
(0844 871 7607) and
Search for Benefit Concert for Earthly Messenger.
We are so grateful to all those individuals and businesses
who have pledged towards this ambitious project. It’s been a
far bigger two-year project than we ever thought it would
be. We’ve all been on this amazing journey together and
we’re almost there....
be a festival of the best of Aylesbury area live music and
all proceeds from the concert will go towards the Earthly
Messenger David Bowie statue fund which still needs £50K to
band/artist will play for 45 minutes and the concert will be
artist will have equal billing.
See updates below from the foundry!
It’s been an exciting week….On Monday we visited Paul O’Boyle’s
foundry, where the Earthly Messenger Bowie statue is in the
final stages of being cast in bronze. We watched whilst the
molten bronze was poured into a mould and once it had cooled,
saw Paul hammer off the mould to reveal the Ziggy head. Quite a
Bronze pour of the Ziggy head
Ziggy head in ceramic mould after bronze
Paul O'Boyle removing ceramic mould from
performed the world debut of two of the most iconic albums of
the 20th Century, ‘Hunky Dory’ and ‘The Rise and Fall
of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars’ at Friars Aylesbury
in 1971/72. He formed the Spiders from Mars in the tiny Friars
Aylesbury dressing room and referenced Aylesbury Market Square
in the first line of ‘Five Years’ from the Ziggy album.
be the first David Bowie statue in the world and is expected to
attract Bowie fans from all over the world for the next 100
years. In so doing it will give a significant boost to the
town’s economy. The Beatles legacy has been measured at
£83million per year in Liverpool and employs over 2000 people.
If Aylesbury achieves 10% of that it will be significant.
unveiling will take place at 2.00pm on Sunday 25th
March and the benefit concert will take place that same evening.
There will be a screen at the bottom of the Market Square which
will show the unveiling for those that can’t get under the
by Andrew Sinclair is currently in its final stages of
production in his studio in Devon.
Dung Beatles are one of the best
bands to have emerged from Aylesbury in the past 5 years. Their
renditions of the Beatles classics have built them a large
Buckinghamshire following which is rapidly growing. The Dung
Beatles are Steve Hillier (Guitar/vocals), Danny Prendergast
(guitar/vocals), Phil Toler (bass/vocals), Mike Ashton (drums)
and Martin Kent (keyboards).
John Otway is
simply a living Aylesbury legend. Last year he recorded his
first studio album for many years in Montserrat and was the
first artist to record there since most of the island, including
George Martin‘s studio, was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
When John appeared at Friars by way of a free concert in 1978
over 20,000 people turned up in Aylesbury Market Square. The
Square has never seen that many people ever. This will be a
wonderful homecoming for one of Aylesbury’s most famous sons.
actually comes from High Wycombe but was a regular at Friars
Aylesbury when he broke to national fame in the early eighties.
Managed by Friars promoter David Stopps from 1982-2015 Howard
continues to expand his worldwide audience, particularly in USA
where he is currently in the middle of a 38-date acoustic
To date he has had nine top twenty hits in
the UK and has sold over 8 million albums worldwide.
This will be Howard’s first Friars Aylesbury appearance since
1984 and will be an emotional homecoming to one of the most
talented artists out there. Local guitar legend Robin Boult and
drummer Jonathan Atkinson will be playing on stage with Howard.
getting bigger and bigger exponentially. They have sold out
Friars twice in recent years and sold-out the Royal Albert Hall
in just a few hours back in the summer of 2017. They virtually
invented the concept of crowd-funding and have a reputation for
loyally looking after their fans. Marillion are of course Steve
Hogarth (vocals/keyboards), Steve Rothery (guitar), Pete
Trewavas (bass), Ian Mosely (drums) and Mark Kelly (keyboards).
Superbeing Steve Hogarth was particularly supportive of the
Bowie Statue campaign in the early stages, even writing to the
Bucks Herald, and we’re very grateful to him. Not one to miss.
Aylesbury is extremely grateful to all 4 bands/artists for
participating in this concert and giving their services for
free. This Earthly Messenger project has turned out to be far
bigger than was ever imagined, and it’s wonderful that these
superb musicians are prepared to support the club where it all
started, in it’s time of need.+
CAMEL WILL RETURN TO WHERE IT ALL STARTED, PLAYING THEIR CLASSIC
ALBUM ‘MOONMADNESS’ and
other classic Camel tracks, at the Waterside Theatre on 10
are available now from Waterside Box Office or online from
and ticketmaster.co.uk. Tel: 0844 871 7607
will be entirely seated.
After several years of trying, Friars Aylesbury is ecstatic to
be able to announce that Camel will be making their long overdue
return after a short break of 37 years.
Camel played Friars no less than six times in the seventies.
They first appeared on May 25 1975 just three months before
Friars Phase 2 at the Borough Assembly hall ended. They went
down a storm and were immediately booked to play Friars again,
which by this time had moved to the Civic Centre. This second
gig on Nov 8 1975 was the one that most remember best. It was
part of their classic Snow Goose tour which is regarded by many
to be Camel’s finest hour. Expect to hear Camel play tracks like
‘Rhayader’ and ‘The Great Marsh’.
Half of the evening in September 2018 will be their 1976 album
‘Moonmadness’ in its entirety which is regarded by prog rock
fans to be a complete classic marking the return of vocals to
the band’s music.
Camel feature main man Andrew Latimer on guitar, Colin Bass on
bass, Denis Clement on drums and Peter Jones on
Prog Rock magazine readers voted the Waterside to be the second
best prog rock venue in the country after those amazing Friars
gigs by King Crimson and Marillion. The number one venue was the
Royal Albert Hall so to come second was quite an achievement.
The Thin White
Book now available to purchase
At last it's
Thin White Book - A History of David Bowie and Friars Aylesbury
is now available here from the Friars Aylesbury online shop -
link above in menu or click this link.
If you are in
the Aylesbury area you can also purchase the book from Rocky &
Kook or Aylesbury Music, both in Temple Street, Aylesbury or
Audio/Vicious Squirrel in Kempson Close, Aylesbury
(Avoids P&P charges).
proceeds from the book will go to the Aylesbury Bowie Statue
fund. We still need to raise £65K to fully fund the project
so every amount helps. The book is written by the legendary
Kris Needs and also has contributions from Pete Frame,
It contains some amazing Friars Aylesbury photographs by
Michael Putland and Mick Rock as well as copies of the Bowie
Friars newsheets, tickets, posters and contracts. Mick
Rock’s famous fellatio shot with Bowie and Mick Ronson taken
at Friars Aylesbury on 15 July 1972 is included.
For those of
you who received copies of the book through the Kickstarter
reward packages, here is Kris Needs signing the books (in
the same room and on the same sofa that he designed the iconic Friars
including the Bowie ones)
Statue 'Earthly Messenger' will be unveiled under the arches
in Aylesbury Market Square in March 2018
There is also a dedicated website which will be updated over the
coming days and weeks