Monday, 20 June 2016 19:25

Singing Bowie at the Bandstand

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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.

2016 BJCBYV CWJun 19 02

"Well done to Beckenham Junior Choir and Youth Voices today for a terrific concert. We sing regularly at the bandstand and I hope that Sunday’s concert will help to bring attention to the bandstand restoration appeal.
We sing all sorts of songs in all sorts of interesting local venues and we are now recruiting boys and girls for September 2016. Everyone is welcome and no audition is required."

John Webber

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:

"It's brilliant that BJC and BYV are performing on the very bandstand that Dave Bowie performed on in 1969. It shows that there is still a community need for the bandstand. It's in the heart of Beckenham and is a place that everyone can enjoy."

There are some lovely photographs taken on the day to see here from Ali Holder
if you have some photo's to share please email Mark Edwards at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bandstand sketch by Emiline Beroud-640

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:

There is a bandstand donation page online 

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


Read 1076 times Last modified on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 00:29

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We would love to hear from families who would like their children to join in the choirs and sing with a lively and non-competitive group of young people.
Contact us and arrange to come along there are no auditions, anyone aged 6 - 17 can join our choirs.

Tel: 0208 650 9164

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