SCOTTISH rock icon Shirley Manson has revealed she was left haunted by the death of David Bowie as she opened what could prove to be the farewell tour for her band Garbage.
The Edinburgh-born singer, who performed Bowie’s classic hit Starman at the end of a sold-out Festival Theatre show on Tuesday night, admitted she was still experiencing “funny feelings” since the singer’s death two years ago and was trying to change her lifestyle and live more “in the moment”.
The 52-year-old paid an emotional tribute to her bandmates and fans on the opening night of a three-month world tour, which is being staged to mark the 20th anniversary of their acclaimed album Version 2.0.
Manson, who started her career with the Edinburgh indie-rock band Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, admitted she had been gripped by nerves before taking to the stage.
She revealed Garbage had rehearsed 35 songs for the tour. Manson has sold 17 million albums with the band after joining forces with Butch Vig, Duke Erikson and Steve Marker 25 years ago.
She told the audience: “I’m so excited to be here and to bring my boys to my home and be here with all my friends, all my family, some of my customers from Miss Selfridge and some of my former bandmates.
“Tonight is very special in that we’re all here together. We’re sharing something special. I’ve had these funny feelings since David Bowie died that everything is finite and everything is so fragile. I want to practice being in the moment, which I’m not very good at.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m trying to change the way I am and try to be in the moment and try to be grateful. I’m grateful to you all. I want you all to have a fabulous life.
“I hope that we all have many, many more decades upon decades upon decades, but if we don’t, just know that you were loved in this moment and appreciated in this moment.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are and how many times you’ve done it, and lord knows how many times I’ve done it, but it never, ever gets any easier. First-night nerves are first-night nerves. I just want you to understand that when we were in rehearsal we were rehearsing 35 songs, which is a f****** unbelievable amount of material.”
Manson, who has been based for years in Los Angeles, spoke of her pride in how Scotland was “leading the way in women’s rights and LBTQ rights”.
Earlier this year Manson admitted in an interview she had been left shaken by the death of Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan at the age of just 46.
Manson said at the time: “I think what hit me the most when I heard the news about her passing was that it really shook me because I thought ‘oh, they’re coming for my generation now. This is it’.
“When Bowie died, I was really shaken by that too because he was the first male rock star that I fell in love with.”