Frontman for Northampton band Bauhaus leads tributes to “sublime” David Bowie

Former Bauhaus frontman Pete Murphy has joined tributes to “angelic sublime beauty” David Bowie whose Ziggy Stardust single gave the Northampton band to their biggest chart hit.

People around the world woke up to the news that the singer of classics such as Life on Mars?, Golden Years and Let’s Dance, has died following an 18 month battle with cancer.

Fans in Northampton have been paying tribute to the iconic pop star throughout today, including frontman of Northampton post-punk band Bauhaus Pete Murphy.

The act scored a number 15 hit with a cover of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, which also earned them a slot on BBC’s Top of the Pops in 1982.

“Today (is) the day that I once thought would never come.” He said.

“It came just as he went, with such discretion.”

Mr Murphy, who now lives in Turkey with his family, speaking via his Facebook page today went on to describe his hero as a “beautiful angelic sublime beauty apparently devoid of the coarseness of man-woman fixation.”

He added: “David, may you rest in the Lap of compassion and Mercy.”

Bauhaus’s manager during the late 70s and early 80s Graham Bentley, who still lives in Duston, said Bowie played a huge part in the career of the Northampton band.

The Ziggy Stardust cover came about because the band used to soundcheck with the 1972 song before gigs.

Another Bauhaus single, Bela Lugosi’s Dead, also appeared in The Hunger, a film in which Bowie starred.

“Strangely I never spoke to Bowie but I was in the same room as him a number of times,” Mr Bentley said today. “He was always surrounded by such an entourage.

“Pete (Murphy) met him, I know he will be very saddened by the news.”

But on paying tribute to the icon, Mr Bentley said: “Me and my wife were just so sad when we heard the news.

He certainly affected our lives because of the band - who knows whether they would have made it if it wasn’t for him.”

Andy Crofts, the Kingsthorpe frontman for rock band The Moons and keyboardist for Paul Weller, has also paid tributes to the Starman singer.

“He brought fashion and music together like a piece of art,” Mr Crofts said. “I liked his wierdness, I liked the fact he did things differently.

He added: “He is always there in all of my songs.”

Northampton Chronicle & Echo readers have been paying tribute to David Bowie, who died days after releasing his 29th studio album Blackstar.

Steve Marshall, said: “The Starman has left us far too soon.

“His music has been part of my life for 40 years. I was a student when Ziggy Stardust was released and rushed home with my copy.

“I moved my stereo into the garden, cranked up the volume and shared the whole album with the neighbours. “Still have the album and play it. ‘Hot tramp, how could they know, I love you so’. Rest easy Ziggy.”

Adrian Pulford, said: “I bought ‘Hunky Dory’ on the day of its release in 1971 and had some Oxford Bags made like the ones he’s wearing on the back cover, I paraded around Northampton in them.

“On Friday ‘Blackstar’ vinyl album arrived from Amazon. Played it all weekend without realising it was his carefully-planned final message to his fans. Always loved you David, always will.”

One reader, Kate Jacobson, went to one of Bowie’s last ever gigs at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2004.

“He was fantastic,” she said. “I remember phoning my mum and screaming down the phone at her to listen and then holding the phone in the air so she could her him too.

“Such a sad loss of a truly inspiring legend.”