David Bowie dead: London street party celebrates icon 'as he would have wanted'

Corner shop beers were shared as Bowie classics rang through his hometown

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Thousands of David Bowie fans descended on Brixton, London last night, not to mourn the loss of the artist, but to celebrate his life and revel in the wide-ranging music he gifted to the world.

Hastily thrown together on Facebook after news of Bowie's death, the understandably haphazard event started fairly mutedly as people gathered in the district he grew up in, laying flowers at his shop wall mural and trading memories under the Ritzy cinema's illuminated tribute, which read: 'DAVID BOWIE. OUR BRIXTON BOY. RIP.'

Before long, however, the windows of a flat opposite the cinema were thrown open and 'Heroes' was blasted out of its sound system, to the delight of those congregated below.

As corner shop beer cans were clanked together, the revelers then moved further down the high street where a PA system was set up that played nothing but Bowie hits, and the glut of fans - several of whom were sporting lightning bolt makeup and/or flamboyant costume - danced indefatigably to the timeless songs.

Fans pay tribute to David Bowie in Brixton

The crowd continued to swell, sound issues were met with an initial 'boo' then triumphant 'yeah!' and fireworks were set off absurdly close to the epicentre of the makeshift dancefloor. 

Eventually, the batteries on the amp ran dry, but the a cappella chants of revellers continued, a nearby apartment directed a Bowie music video projection on to an adjacent building, and every bar and pub within a half mile radius observed a strict Bowie-only playlist policy.

"I can't believe that happened," said Honor Louise, who arranged the event on Facebook. "It was perfect, many through the night told me it was what he would have wanted and I haven't stopped crying and singing and loving all evening. Thank you."

Photos by Alan Schaller. More of his work here.

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