Portsmouth musicians team up to pay tribute to David Bowie with charity concert

A tribute gig to David Bowie will be held at The Wedgewood Rooms
A tribute gig to David Bowie will be held at The Wedgewood Rooms
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PORTSMOUTH’S music scene has pulled together to pay tribute to David Bowie and raise money for charity.

A special night has been created as a reaction to the death of the musical legend earlier this month at the age of 69.

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Musicians will be performing Bowie’s songs at The Wedgewood Rooms on Friday, February 26, with all proceeds going to The Rowans Hospice and MacMillan Cancer Support.

Organiser Paul Caruana said: ‘A couple of days after his death, all I ended up doing was playing Bowie’s songs.

‘And since then, it has kind of spiralled out of control – bands have been turning down paid gigs just to come along and make appearances at the show.’

He added: ‘We wanted to keep the event local so, with MacMillan being a charity close to my heart and Rowans Hospice local too, we just felt like it was the right thing to do to remember him.

Bands have been turning down paid gigs just to come along and make appearances at the show

Organiser Paul Caruana

‘The big challenge now is to find the time for all the bands to meet up and get practicing.’

Around 20 bands and artists will be taking to the stage to recreate some of Bowie’s classic songs.

Singer-songwriter Paul Dillon will be singing Rebel Rebel and said: ‘For me it’s for a fantastic cause and obviously because it’s a tribute to David Bowie, I just really wanted to be part of it.’

‘The way he was able to move from genre to genre so subtly whilst maintaining that up-to-date feel was what set him apart – and I think the Ziggy Stardust era has to be right up there as my favourite.

‘But the night isn’t just about that.

‘It’s about raising money and getting some local bands and artists together to have a good night of music.’

Christian Smith, who will be playing Golden Years and Suffragette City with his band Veludo Planes, added: ‘It was his attitude to music and the defiance of “what I want to do is what I will do” that set him apart.

‘There was no sort of playing the field and seeing what everyone else was doing because he was leading what everyone else did.

‘The brilliant thing about his passing is that he went out the way he wanted to.

‘Sometimes people get remembered for their battle with an illness.

‘But the way he went out means he will always be remembered for the last album which allowed his death to become the final act of his life.

‘So bringing the community together for this show will no doubt be a great way for everyone to raise money and also celebrate his music.’

Among those playing are members of Mojo Dollar, Tremain, Veludo Planes, Fleetingwood Mac, Underground Pilots, and Reactor 1 as well as Andrew Foster, Paul Dillon, Ben Brooks, Dave Barret, Mark Thompson-Smith, Gareth Howells (Bemis), Ella Payne (Lucky 13), Aviv (Aviv And The Eunuch Horn), Georgie Wipeout (Emptifish/UK Ramones) and Dan Bateman (Pistolhead), with more to be announced.

The gig takes place at The Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea on February 26, doors open 8pm.

Tickets cost £6. Go to wedgewood-rooms.co.uk