Were you there when David Bowie came to Norfolk?

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust in 1972, months before playing the first of his three shows at Finsbur

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust in 1972, months before playing the first of his three shows at Finsbury Park's Rainbow Theatre. Picture: PA Archive - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

David Bowie has wowed audiences and inspired countless artists in just about every genre there is, but did you know he performed in Norfolk on a number of occasions?

The pioneering artist first arrived in the county in 1966, when he was more interested in R&B than glam rock, appearing in King's Lynn, Thetford, Great Yarmouth and Cromer with his band the Buzz.

On November 27 of that year, a pre-fame Bowie arrived in Lynn, where he played at The Maids Head pub and while no setlist is known, it is thought that early tracks such as The London Boys, Gospel According to Tony Day and You're Holding Me Down were likely played as they were recorded with the Buzz (who were uncredited).

David Bowie from The Image. Picture Archant Library

David Bowie from The Image. Picture Archant Library - Credit: Archant

It came shortly before Bowie would give what is thought to be the first ever live performance of Velvet Underground classic I'm Waiting For The Man at the Severn Club in Shrewsbury.

In 1973, the starman returned to the county, but this time as one of the country's biggest acts, when he played two shows at Norwich Theatre Royal on May 21 as part of the Ziggy Stardust tour.

Backed by the Spiders from Mars, he arrived on stage in a shimmering costume to music from the film A Clockwork Orange before lunging into the opening song.

David Bowie review from the EDP on 22 May 1973

David Bowie review from the EDP on 22 May 1973 - Credit: Archant

Legendary guitarist, Mick Ronson, was wearing black patent trousers with high-heeled shoes and "strained unearthly screams from his guitar" according to the Norwich Evening News reviewer at the time.

According to that reviewer, Bowie played Space Oddity as well as material from the album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Marsand other hit singles.

David Bowie performed at Norwich Theatre Royal in 1973.

David Bowie performed at Norwich Theatre Royal in 1973. - Credit: Archant

Prior to the gig, there was a huge demand for tickets with people queueing right down to the city's Woolworths store, now Marks and Spencer, to try and secure seats.

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Theatre staff at the time reported touts outside the building selling tickets for at least double the value to people desperate to see Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust phase.

Did you see David Bowie on one of his trips to Norfolk? Email: casey.cooper-fiske@archant.co.uk

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