Starman celebration marks life of David Bowie


David Bowie fans took part in a marathon four-and-a-half-hour tribute concert to mark the week since his death.

Around 900 people crammed into the Union Chapel in Islington, north London, for the gig.

Established artists such as David McAlmont, The Feeling frontman Dan Gillespie Sells, and The Magic Numbers were among those taking to the stage for the concert.

The entire event, which over-ran organisers' original estimation by two hours, was streamed live on YouTube.

The sold-out show - Starman: A celebration of David Bowie - provided an opportunity for people who have been inspired, influenced or touched by his work to pay tribute to the visionary musician, known for hits including Changes, Let's Dance and Ashes To Ashes.

Event organiser Stefan Simanowitz said: "The massive response from musicians and from the public has been staggering, but not surprising.

"The world would be a very different place without David Bowie and many people feel a distinct need to say goodbye to him."

The night drew to a close with a mass singalong of Heroes.

News of Bowie's death at 69 and two days after the release of his final album Blackstar was confirmed on Monday.

Fans later held an impromptu street party in Brixton, south London, where the so-called Thin White Duke was raised. 

His records, including Blackstar, dominated the album charts following his death.

Several fans at the tribute concert in Islington wore Bowie-inspired costume as they filtered into the venue.

Susi Weaser, 33, from Shoreditch, east London, said she expected the evening to be part mournful, part celebratory.

She said: "I had quite a strong connection with Bowie because I relate him quite a lot to my dad.

"I woke up on Monday and heard the news Bowie died - I was obviously quite emotional.

"I thought, 'You have to make the most of life', so I booked a flight to San Francisco straight away and only landed back in England a few hours ago.

"It was a shame to miss out on the street party in Brixton, so I knew I had to be here today if I could.

"We don't have much of an idea of what's happening tonight. But it's a bit like going to a funeral. I think some times we just need something like a memorial service to go to."

Professional musician Scotty Watson, 27, from Islington, said he was hoping for a celebration of Bowie's music.

He said: "My girlfriend's dad had bought me Blackstar on the Sunday and so when Bowie died I listened to it again and it sort of took on a whole new meaning.

"Tonight will be special for me and for all of us here, I think, because we all have a connection to Bowie.

"I remember being about 12 or 13 and my friend's dad put Ziggy Stardust on. He talked about playing the guitar and that really stuck with me. He meant a lot to a lot. That's why we are here."