Singing Bowie at the Bandstand
Father's Day celebration of Bowie's Bandstand - a summer concert performed by BJC and BYV
The weather stayed dry and the songs kept coming!
Forty choir children aged 6 to 16 from Beckenham Junior Choir (BJC) and Beckenham Youth Voices (BYV) entertained over 200 people at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground in Beckenham on Sunday 19th June. We gave a free open air concert and the choirs sang a medley of songs with huge enthusiasm, including ‘Mums and Dads’ by Lionel Bart from the 1962 musical Blitz chosen specially for Father’s Day.
The elegant late Victorian bandstand has a long tradition of hosting singers, although sadly its state of disrepair means that its time may soon be up. Perhaps the most famous of the bandstand’s artists was David Bowie who performed there in 1969 at the Beckenham Arts Lab Growth Summer Festival. The Beckenham-based pop star also wrote his top hit Life of Mars on the steps of the bandstand. Fittingly Beckenham Youth Voices gave an inspiring rendition of Bowie’s song Starman, which they were asked to sing again as an encore to close the concert.
A fan of the bandstand in Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Roger Bahari, who has started a facebook page entitled Beckenham Bowie, attended the concert with his family. He commented afterwards:
There will be some some photographs taken on the day to see here soon
The Bowie Bandstand restoration appeal
aims to raise much needed funds for the repair of this important community musical venue.
A fundraising concert Bowie's Beckenham Oddity will take place on August 13th.
Tickets can be purchased here: wegottickets.com/event/363779.
There is a bandstand donation page online bromley.gov.uk/info/200073/
Thanks to the Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground for hosting us and for the seating for our audience!
Sketch of the concert by Emiline Beroud
Photograph by Cliff Watkins