The Chester music community has united to pay tribute to David Bowie following the death of the iconic and trailblazing star.
Bowie’s passing, at the age of 69, was announced today (January 11). He made an indelible mark on popular music, film and fashion in a career which spanned more than 50 years and delivered unforgettable hit songs such as Ashes to Ashes, Life on Mars and Heroes, not to mention 25 albums and a string of alter egos.
Bowie, who had fought a courageous 18-month battle with cancer, was admired throughout the world – and his death has prompted a flood of tributes from musicians and fans from the Chester area.
Paul Draper, former frontman with Chester indie group Mansun whose sound was inspired by Bowie’s music, said he was “too upset for words” and posted a picture of the singer performing his 1977 hit Heroes on Twitter.
Ellesmere Port singer and Amsterdam troubadour Ian Prowse was in shock at the loss of one of his heroes.
He said: “Just heard the sad, sad, news. Hang on though, Bowie can’t die. He’s not even human is he? I wouldn’t put it past him to return from the great void for another album, he was that brilliant.”
Ian said that his ‘Monday Club’ open mic night, which he runs at the Cavern Club in Liverpool every week, “will unite in tribute to him down on Mathew Street tonight”.
Local DJ Adam Walton is inviting devotees to Telford’s Warehouse, Tower Wharf, on Thursday (January 14) for a night “dedicated to Bowie’s music and influence”.
Entry will be free and people will be able to bring along their own Bowie records (on CD or vinyl) and have them played on the night.
Adam, who will donate his fee to Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “I just want to celebrate this man’s remarkable music, which has meant so much to me and millions of other music-minded souls.”
Chester pub Kash, on Brook Street, will be honouring the late, great singer this evening by playing his music and holding a music quiz. Chester radio station Dee 106.3 altered its schedule to play an hour of Bowie's music from 3pm today.
Bowie fans come from all walks of life, from local councillors to sportsmen.
Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Samantha Dixon paid her own tribute today.
She told the Chronicle: "Listening to the radio today reminds me of how wide-ranging and original his work was. Like millions of other people, it's the soundtrack of my youth.
"I saw him play at a festival in the 90s and he was amazing. I also used to see him at the auctions when I worked at Sotheby's. He was not only a superb musician, he was highly knowledgeable in all aspects of art.
"We'll never see another like him. It's a sad day."
Burr tweeted a picture of the cover sleeve from Bowie’s seminal 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, adding the hashtag #Legend.
Chronicle readers also paid their tributes to the music legend, who also starred in films such as The Man Who Fell to Earth and Labyrinth.
Gillian Grant remembered seeing Bowie at Newcastle City Hall in the 70s when she was a student there.
Gillian told us: “He was in his Ziggy incarnation and it was one of the most memorable and special nights of my life. RIP.”
In pictures: The extraordinary career of a true icon
Bowie fan Grahame Rhodes added: “His 70s material is unsurpassed... and into the 80s and the Let’s Dance album.”
Sue Capewell said: “Very sad. His music was my youth. RIP” while Angela Hughes added: “So, so sad. RIP.”
It is thought the late singer played a gig in Chester on April 25, 1966 under the name of David Bowie and the Buzz, a few years before he rose to mega-stardom with his Ziggy Stardust alter ego.
Do you remember the gig? Were you there? Let us know by tweeting @ChesterChron, email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your memories in the comments section at the bottom of this article.
CHRONICLE STAFF PICK THEIR FAVOURITE BOWIE SONGS
Executive editor Michael Green: Heroes
Digital executive and communities editor Jo Henwood: Changes
Head of sport David Triggs: Rebel Rebel or Young Americans (can’t separate them!)
Chief reporter David Holmes: Life on Mars
Reporter Frances Barrett: Starman
Reporter Mike Fuller: Let’s Dance
Chester FC reporter Jim Green: China Girl
Sports reporter Dave Powell: Starman
Story Editor Stephen Smith: Starman
Story Editor Mark Dowling: When The Wind Blows
Community Content Curator Leah Jones: Life on Mars
Community Content Curator Sallie Ehlen: Rebel Rebel