David Bowie’s Beckenham bandstand is now Grade II listed

A small slice of Bowie history...

A bandstand in South London where David Bowie played some of his earliest shows has been Grade II listed.

The legendary singer performed to an audience of hundreds at the Croydon Recreation Ground stand in the summer of 1969, shortly after the career-launching release of ‘Space Oddity’.

It’s since been suggested that the pioneering musician may have also written the lyrics to ‘Life On Mars’ while sitting on the steps of the structure.

The bandstand was created in 1905 and located in Beckenham, where Bowie lived with Mary Finnigan, his landlord-cum-lover.

Shortly after the release of Space Oddity, Bowie launched the Growth Summer Festival – which featured the bandstand as its centerpiece. The event was organised to raise funds for his Beckenham Arts Lab project, which began life as a folk club in the nearby Three Tuns pub.

Historic England’s chief executive Duncan Wilson said: “It is a rare survival from an historic iron foundry in its own right.

“But its significance as a site that inspired David Bowie shows us how powerful our historic places can be and how important it is that we protect them so they will continue to inspire people for years to come.”

The Beckenham bandstand, which is owned by Bromley Council, has been Grade II listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

The festival is now in its 50th year and known as Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity. It takes place on Saturday.

Meanwhile, it was recently reported that Bowie’s The Man Who Fell To Earth is being adapted into a new TV series.