Artwork for podcast Soho Bites Podcast
Soho Bites 29: Absolute Beginners (1986)
Episode 2925th October 2021 • Soho Bites Podcast • Dominic Delargy
00:00:00 00:49:01

Share Episode


Wham bam Bowie special.

In this Bowie special, we talk to Del Pike about the much maligned Absolute Beginners (1986) - was the critical mauling justified? And Aiden McManus returns to the show to talk about Bowie's pre-fame years in Soho.

Arriving on cinema screens on the back of an inordinate amount of pre-publicity in 1986, Absolute Beginners was, notoriously, an instantaneous disaster at the box office and was ripped to shreds by the critics.

Thirty years later, freelance writer, Del Pike wrote an article entitled “Absolute Beginners at 30 – Was it Really So Bad?” so we had to get him on the show to talk about the film that ruined the studio that made it.

Although not the star of Absolute Beginners, David Bowie provided the theme song and was a major feature of the pre-release publicity campaign. Twenty years before that, he was a struggling musician trying to make it big, and was deeply in involved in the Soho music scene. Aidan McManus returns to the podcast to talk about Bowie’s Soho years.

Interesting article in the Guardian about the making of Absolute Beginners

Read Del Pike’s 1986 article asking if Absolute Beginners was really so bad.

Follow Aidan McManus on Twitter, book a scheduled or bespoke tour with him and listen to his radio show

Thank you for listening.

Follow us on Twitter (or X - whatever)

If Musk starts charging, find us on our new Threads feed

Email us at

We'd love it if you left us a lovely REVIEW.

And if you'd like to help support the show we'd be very grateful.

Check out our spin-off series Mural Morsels