WHEN your older brother's a world famous rock star, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous is a given.

Maggi Ronson, brother of David Bowie guitarist Mick, spent her teenage years among the beautiful ones, at parties, dinners and in the studio.

“I met lots of people. It was brilliant,” says Maggi. “When you’re young, you just take it as the norm. I’m not one of those people who keep diaries and we didn’t have cameras then. Now everybody's got an iPhone and Facebook and there’s pictures galore – back then we didn’t seem to do that.

“It seemed normal because that was the kind of life you were living. Now looking back, I can see it was quite a remarkable teenage life and growing up with that around me – it was great. I met really exciting, unusual, eccentric, talented people. All sorts, you name it, especially in the Bowie days - gosh!”

Despite the 11-year gap between them, Maggi and her brother were very close and she moved from Hull to live with him in London. She sang backing vocals on Mick’s 1974 solo album Slaughter On 10th Avenue , and can be heard on albums by Glen Matlock and many others. Although she has taken lead roles on stage in operettas and cabaret shows, Maggi has never fronted a band before but this weekend will do just that for a project inspired by her beloved brother.

“It’s easier to stand in the background – it’s a bit of fun and it’s less pressure!

“I sing different things with different people, but I’ve never really explored myself as a solo vocalist.”

Maggi is now working on an album to mark 20 years since Mick’s tragic death in 1983, on which she’ll cover a career-spanning collection of his songs. The album has spurred the former nurse to take the spotlight for the first time.

“It’s probably been a lack of self-confidence," says Maggi, who has lived in Walthamstow for 24 years. “I remember when Mick worked with Van Morrison, Van asked if I wanted to sing, but I was so nervous, I thought never in a million years! I just didn’t have the confidence to. I wish I had done. You get older and think what the hell, but at the time it was – oh my - no!

“I don’t think I would have done it if it wasn’t for the anniversary. I have to be motivated by something like that because I’m quite a heartfelt sort of person. To do it, I had to feel there’s a purpose for it.”

Maggi will perform a handful of tracks from the upcoming tribute album, after a set with Colin Lloyd Tucker at The Hornbeam Cafe on Saturday.

“I've been around these songs all my life and I love taking part in things but it is a little bit nervy actually - taking ownership on something. I’m looking forward to it. I know that I’m capable of it – I’ve just never done it.”

Despite her reservations, the audience are sure to love her renditions of her brother’s tracks – songs which are still held dear by people the world over.

“I’ve had phone calls from my mum when she’s been at the cemetery,” says Maggi, “she’s rung up and said: ‘Oh I found this nice young Japanese boy at the grave’. It just amazes me that these fans, find their way to Michael’s grave and leave something.”

What does she think her brother would make of her singing his songs solo?

“He was a very modest, humble man – not one to make a fuss about anything at all so part of him would be ‘oh’. But he knew how much I loved and cared for him and I think he’d probably be alright with it. To tell you the truth I think he'd be quite proud.”

Maggi Ronson is at The Hornbeam Cafe, Hoe St, Walthamstow on September 22 from 8pm. Support from Suzi Kasiri and The Glenbuck CherryPickers.