T.Rextasy have been going 22 years – not so very far off the number of years Marc Bolan actually lived.
But lead singer Danielz makes the point: “I don’t go on the stage thinking I am Marc Bolan. It is the spirit of Marc Bolan I try to get across.”
And it’s an approach which has stood them in great stead – especially as interest in Bolan’s music is proving as strong as ever.
This year saw Twentieth Century Boy, a stage musical devoted to the Marc Bolan legend. It says a lot that Danielz was consulted on the project.
“I know the guys behind the musical, and when they were researching it, three of them came to see T.Rextasy to see what we did, what kind of back line we had, what instrumentation we used.”
Danielz would never have been interested in appearing in the show himself. As he says, the producers cast an actor in the role of Bolan, while Danielz makes the point that he himself is a musician first and foremost – though he did once play Bolan in a one-hour film called Ride On, made by Michael Parkinson’s son Mike Parkinson. It regularly gets released as a double DVD, one DVD the film, the other DVD Bolan’s friends talking about him.
“I took part. I didn’t really like doing it, but sometimes you have got to stretch yourself.”
Danielz love of Bolan goes back to his childhood in Germany where his father was in the services.
“I saw T Rex in Germany in 1972. My dad was in the army, and it was the first concert I had ever been to. I had to go all on my own. I was 13 or 14, and it would have been easy if the gig had been in England and everyone was speaking English. But it was in Germany, and I just found it all very intimidating. But I really wanted to see this guy. Even though it was T Rex, everyone knew that T Rex was really Marc Bolan. It was Marc that I was going to see, and all I can remember from the whole concert is feeling quite ill I was so excited.
“I don’t remember anything apart from it being absolutely crazy and everyone going really crazy and rushing towards the front and me being left at the middle back. I didn’t know how to behave at a concert, but I was just so excited.”
The following year the band were back in Germany again, this time in Essen, and this time Danielz went with a couple of mates, skiving off school to do so. In their excitement, they turned up so early that they were outside the venue early enough to listen to the band sound-checking. The thrill was in hearing songs for the very first time.
Tragically, four years later Bolan was dead: “But when you are talking four years at that age, it seems like is it going to go on forever. There just didn’t seem to be an end to Marc Bolan. He was in the magazines. He seemed to be everywhere.
“And yet he crammed all this incredible musicianship into just a few years. I was at the Rainbow in 77, his last London gig. You always thought ‘Oh, Marc will be touring again next year’, but I am so glad that I went. If I hadn’t have gone, I would never have forgiven myself. That was the last London gig he ever played.”
T.Rextasy offer T.Rexmas With T.Rextasy! at The Brook, Southampton, on Saturday, December 13.