It is often easy to forget that music today only exists because of its trail-blazing ancestors. Artists in the modern era only do what they do because of the inspiration from older generations of a similar profession. And I believe it is important to be educated on these role models and to still enjoy their music, despite it growing older and more distant each day.
Last week, I was lucky enough to be offered a ticket for the incredible musical ’20th Century Boy‘ at The Kings Theatre. For those unaware, the musical is a beautifully written stage show remembering the life and art of the late Marc Bolan. Of course, the innovative sensation is memorable for many aspects of his short lived career- the most notable being his band “T-Rex.”
Of course I accepted the ticket, seeing it as an event of education, an opportunity to write this piece, and a chance to spend some quality time with my dad. He is equally as in love with music as I am, so it was great to debut a live experience together.
We arrived down Albert Road unaware of what to expect; the only thing remotely similar that I had seen before was ‘We Will Rock You’ at the Mayflower when I was about 11. So with an open mind (and now the company of two of his friends), we were shown to our seats in the upper circle.
Before the show, I was familiar with some of T-Rex’s music,with a hefty amount of their songs featuring on various personal playlists. But the story that unravelled before us left me speechless. The show incorporated an unamed tribute band who aced every one of their originals’ songs. Bolan was portrayed throughout by an actor who was nothing short of incredible; his voice perfectly synced, his confidence and style as if Marc had been ressurected. And every actor, including a Bowie impersonator, perfectly told the story of a life that is sincerely missed. What I hadn’t realised (through the lack of years on this Earth and not due to naivety) is that the creative genius lost his life at the age of 30, weeks after the birth of his son. A horrific car crash eradicated the world from the future art of Bolan. The show emphasised the planned excelence that was to come.
Unafraid of being different, the 20th Century Boy gifted us with some of the greatest music to come from his era. And the musical could not have been better. I suggest to anyone who is a fan of T-Rex to go and see this masterpiece, and those unfamiliar with them to acquire the so called T-Rextasy that everyone in that theatre know all too well about.
R.I.P Marc ‘Bolan’ Field, you are dearly missed x