After news of David Bowie's death, thousands gathered at the place of his birth
Alexandra Pollard

09:59 12th January 2016

A street party in honour of David Bowie took place in his birthplace of Brixton last night (12 January), following the morning's news of his death. Watch footage from the gathering below.

News of Bowie's death at the age of 69, after an 18-month battle with cancer, shook the world yesterday - not least because he had kept his illness a secret, and died just two days after releasing new album Blackstar on his 69th birthday.

Quickly, a Facebook event set up to mark the singer's death went viral, and thousands of people gathered outside The Ritzy in Brixton - where Bowie was born in 1947 - for an impromptu street party. Despite the police arriving, the celebrations went on into the early hours of this morning, with mass, heartfelt singalongs to Bowie's best loved hits - including 'Starman' and 'Life On Mars', which you can watch below.

At one point, a firework was let off in the middle of the square as people danced around the venue, which had changed its hoarding to read, "David Bowie, Our Brixton Boy, RIP."

  • 11. 'Fill Your Heart': A cover of a track Biff Rose and Paul Williams, naturally The Thin White Duke's songwriting genius is absent - but he translates it so well into something that feels so swinging, insane and quintessentially Bowie.

  • 10. 'Song For Bob Dylan': Paying tribute to the great man by referencing Dylan's own 1962 homage to Woody Guthrie, 'Song to Woody', this is a slow-burning aching glam-rock epic, and you can tell the embryonic origins of 'All The Young Dudes', but Bowie soars far, far higher than this on Hunky Dory.

  • 9. 'Eight Line Poem': One of the more esoteric moments on Hunky Dory, allowing for Bowie's more subtle wisdom to creep in on this aching and cinematic lament. Lovely stuff.

  • 8. 'Life On Mars': A 20th century classic and piece of musical history, Bowie looks to the universe, away from the dystopian present of the horror of modern media. An incredible moment that gave rise to Ziggy Stardust and made Bowie an icon, but don't let it overshadow some of the finer, more underrated moments on Hunky Dory.

  • 7. 'The Bewlay Brothers': Regarded by many Bowie fanatics as his greatest ever song, it takes the listener on a mini-Odyssey of sound - from folk to space rock and everything in between. It's also typical Bowie nonsense, claiming that the lyrics 'make absolutely no sense' and writing in 2008: "I wouldn't know how to interpret the lyric of this song other than suggesting that there are layers of ghosts within it. It's a palimpsest, then."

  • 6. 'Andy Warhol': A flamenco drenched earworm in honour of one of Bowie's biggest inspirations, where man and art become one - and Bowie would then do so himself.

  • 5. 'Kooks': One of the most charming and heart-warming tracks in the Bowie canon, proving that there's nothing extraordinary about being ordinary - let's all be kooks.

  • 4. 'Quicksand': Taking in Nietzsche, Himmler, Budda and Churchill, Bowie reflects on mortality in this utterly entrancing existential anthem. One of his most underrated moments - pure genius.

  • 3. 'Oh! You Pretty Things': Never before had rock been so free, adventurous and driven by pure abandon.

  • 2. 'Queen Bitch': The track that set the template for scores of glam rock copyists for generations to come, one of the greatest riffs of all time and the burst of life that would soon bloom into Ziggy. Put this on and try not to dance - we challenge you.

  • 1. 'Changes': No one has shifted shapes as many times as rock's chameleon, Sir David Bowie - and this inescapable manifestation of Bowie realising his full, unstoppable potential makes for the ultimate soundtrack to evolving with the times. As Bowie himself once said: "Tomorrow belongs to those who hear it coming."

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Photo: WENN