This is the third Bowie cover I’ve posted by Puddles Pity Party, who sings as a clown (the other two were “Lazarus” and “When You Rock and Roll With Me” (click to link to those commentaries). Inevitably, someone wrote in the comments, “Clown control to Major Tom.” Had to be.
This is a fairly straightforward cover of one of Bowie’s most covered songs. Though the instrumental backing is a little different, the most distinctive aspect of this cover is Puddles’ voice— he’s a very good singer, but his voice sounds nothing like Bowie’s.
I’ve mentioned before the similarity between Puddles’ clown costume and Bowie’s Pierrot costume used on the cover of Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) and in the “Ashes to Ashes” video (click to link to that video). Not to once again quote from Wikipedia, but for some context on Pierrot:
“Pierrot’s character developed from being a buffoon to an avatar of the disenfranchised. Many cultural movements found him amenable to their respective causes: Decadents turned him into a disillusioned foe of idealism; Symbolists saw him as a lonely fellow-sufferer; Modernists made him into a silent, alienated observer of the mysteries of the human condition. Much of that mythic quality (‘I’m Pierrot,’ said David Bowie: ‘I’m Everyman’)still adheres to the ‘sad clown’ in the postmodern era.”
I’m not an expert on Pierrot, but I think I can confidently say at Puddles is a Pierrot, too. Though he’s covered Bowie at least three times, he’s not a Bowie cover act. That said, his choice of costume shows some common cause with Bowie’s “alienated observer of the mysteries of the human condition.” Both, also, drew upon mime techniques. Neither, however was silent. And as this video demonstrates, we can be glad for that.