Sunderland musicians and fans pay tribute to David Bowie

David Bowie concert at Roker Park 23 June 1987
David Bowie concert at Roker Park 23 June 1987
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Wearside musicians who knew and were influenced by the seminal sound of David Bowie have paid tribute to the legend.

Waves of tributes have poured in across social media platforms for the singer and artist whose music became the sound track to the lives of a whole generation.

Bowie in 2004

Bowie in 2004

His contemporary Bryan Ferry, from Washington, who also shaped modern music, shared a picture of the two of them together on his Facebook page.

As far back as 1975, David had spoken of his admiration for Bryan and his band Roxy Music, referring to him as his “favourite song-writer” and “spearheading some of the best music to come out of England in years.”

Frankie & the Heartstrings are among current artists who’ve been inspired by Bowie’s zest for individuality, which spanned genres, fashions and decades.

Reacting to this morning’s announcement of the Starman singer’s death, Heartstrings lead singer Frankie Francis said: “I still can’t believe it. A few years ago we performed as Bowie for St Oswald’s Hospice benefit.”

Bowie famously said ‘Hello Newcastle’ as he came on stage. Only he could get away with that

Martin Longstaff, aka The Lake Poets

Summing him up, the Mackem musicians tweeted: “Immortal, influential, inspiration.”

This morning, Sunderland-born broadcaster Lauren Laverne, who rose to prominence in band Kenickie, dedicated her 6Music show to the late star.

She said: “Desperately sad and shocking news. Impossible to imagine modern music without him.” She added: “So much joy on a very sad day - hundreds of 6 Music listener sharing their Bowie memories with us. They are funny, poignant, beautiful.”

Franz Ferdinand lead singer Alex Kapranos, who grew up in Sunderland and South Shields before moving to Scotland, simply tweeted “David.”

Bryan Ferry's Facebook tribute to David Bowie

Bryan Ferry's Facebook tribute to David Bowie

The Lake Poets, aka Martin Longstaff, from East Herrington shared a picture of his mum’s ticket from the showman’s gig in Roker Park in June 1987, quoting a line from Bowie’s iconic Space Oddity epic “Planet Earth is blue. And there’s nothing I can do.”

He added: “Bowie famously said ‘Hello Newcastle’ as he came on stage. Only he could get away with that.”

Echo readers have also taken to our Facebook page to share their tributes to the eccentric singer and memories of when he played Sunderland.

Julie Davidson recalls: “I stood outside in Sandringham Terrace and I can remember them rehearsing whilst doing my paper round.”

Frankie Francis as David Bowie for a charity gig

Frankie Francis as David Bowie for a charity gig

Lesley Cook said: “Loved it spent most of the day moving nearer to the stage. It was hot and I felt or was being, sick. A couple of weeks later I found out I was pregnant. To this day I tell my daughter that David Bowie was her first ever concert hahaha.”

Carol White said: “The only time I went to Roker Park stadium...worth the visit. Didn’t he come down from the ceiling at the beginning? Great man great singer. Great memories RIP.”

Clive James Winney wrote: “RIP David Bowie. Yet another true legend has left our sides. You may now rest with the other legends.”

People have also been fondly remembering his film roles, particularly as Jareth the Goblin King in 1986 fantasy movie Labyrinth.

Tom Jennings said: “A very great actor as well as a great singer and showman, loved The Man Who Fell to Earth, but Labyrinth was one of the greats where he actually sang in it, loved it.”

Carole Welsh said: “Fabulous film. I’ve always loved it. My kids and my grandkids love it now.”

David Bowie concert at Roker Park 23 June 1987

David Bowie concert at Roker Park 23 June 1987