'An absolute legend and I love him' - Irish fans gather to 'commiserate and commemorate' the life of their hero David Bowie
Irish Bowie fans “commiserated and commemorated” the life of their hero at The Grand Social on Dublin’s Liffey Street tonight.
The mood at the venue shifted to a more sombre note from less than a day earlier, when its inaugural Dublin Bowie Festival drew to a close.
Fans who had travelled from as far as Lithuania and Poland for the weekend’s events – which included a quiz and live performance from cover band Rebel Rebel – were shocked to hear of the musician’s passing.
“No one could believe it just because we were all here last night on a high and it’s just right down,” John Brereton of The Grand Social told independent.ie.
“People are just in there commiserating and commemorating.”
Mr Brereton decided to organise tonight’s tribute to allow music-lovers to share their stories of the legend, while enjoying some of Bowie’s films and documentaries with live music from Rebel Rebel.
One of Bowie’s guitarists and co-writers, Dublin native Gerry Leonard, briefly stopped by the venue also.
“We’ve bigger plans for next year, and still have, of doing [Dublin Bowie Festival] as a four or five day festival,” said Mr Brereton.
The plan to have the gathering came as welcome news to Gwen Devita, who lives in Dublin 2, as she tried to come to terms with the singer’s death.
“I woke up and this morning and I was just in utter shock, I thought it was a hoax to start and then I saw a few posts on Facebook and then I kind of looked around and found out it was real,” she said.
“I was absolutely devastated. I’ve been upset about it all day long.
“I think he was an absolute star while he was here and he left like a gentleman, which is what he was, an absolute legend and I love him.”
Lisa Lavelle from Sligo arrived to the tribute alone but said that Bowie’s music has brought everyone together tonight.
“I came here by myself tonight but I’ve already had loads of people coming up and talking to me and being really friendly,” she said.
“People connect through his music.
“He has always been around throughout my life, he’s so pervasive in pop culture but I only really got into him when I was about 15 or 16.
“He was always very different and he was never afraid to do things his own way and yet he had such mainstream appeal and everybody loves him so much.
“I didn’t expect it at all and with the new album and everything, when I saw all the David Bowie stuff popping up I thought it was just about that but I was absolutely gutted.”