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Bowie fans pack out Union Chapel in Islington to say goodbye

PUBLISHED: 12:55 18 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:30 18 January 2016

Inside the venue ahead of the David Bowie tribute concert at Union Chapel in Islington. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Inside the venue ahead of the David Bowie tribute concert at Union Chapel in Islington. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

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David Bowie fans packed out Islington’s Union Chapel last night, as they celebrated the life and art of their hero.

Ticket holders queue to enter the David Bowie tribute concert at Union Chapel in Islington. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA WireTicket holders queue to enter the David Bowie tribute concert at Union Chapel in Islington. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Around 900 people crammed into the church, in Compton Terrace, for Starman: A Celebration of David Bowie.

The show, called in the wake of Bowie’s death from cancer last Sunday, sold out in three hours last week, and was an opportunity for fans to pay tribute. It was so well-received that it over-ran organisers’ original estimation by two hours.

Streamed live on YouTube, it featured performances from artists including David McAlmont, The Feeling frontman Dan Gillespie Sells, and The Magic Numbers.

Organiser Stefan Simanowitz said the world would be a “very difference place without David Bowie” and that the celebrations were fuelled by people’s need to say goodbye to him.

Olivia Grist and Louise Gilmour (with an Aladdin Sane lightning bolt), from Glasgow, with painted faces as ticket holders queued to enter the David Bowie tribute concert at Union Chapel in Islington. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA WireOlivia Grist and Louise Gilmour (with an Aladdin Sane lightning bolt), from Glasgow, with painted faces as ticket holders queued to enter the David Bowie tribute concert at Union Chapel in Islington. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Emma Stell, from Union Chapel, said: “It went really well, there was a lovely crowd and Stefan was amazed by how many people turned up.

“He approached us with the idea. It’s not something the chapel would usually do but we were really keen because it was such a nice tribute,”

Profits, which have yet to be announced, will go to Macmillan Cancer Care.

Bowie, 69, released his final album, Blackstar, two days before his death.

Professional musician Scotty Watson, 27, of Islington, was one fan in the crowd.

He said: “My girlfriend’s dad 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.”

The concert wasn’t the only tribute to Bowie in Islington. Last week, cinema Screen on the Green, in Islington Green, paid tribute to one of Bowie’s most famous songs with “GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM - RIP” on its facade compared to its usual film listings.

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