A caring approach and practical solutions

A CONCERT in memory of much-loved Milngavie musician Erne Parkin will be held tonight (Friday) in the Fraser Centre, Milngavie.

For many years Erne, right, used his music to raise funds for the Suzy Fund which helps orphans of Aids victims in Africa.

Musicians who played with Erne continue to support the fund through Parkin’s Place for Music (www.parkinsplace.co.uk) and organise regular events such as this one which they have called ‘From the Cradle to the Grave’.

Erne’s tragic sudden death in August 2009 at the age of 64 left the whole community stunned and in mourning - he had an enviable exuberance for life and his dedication to Milngavie made many of the events in the area happen, including Milngavie Gala Week and Mugdock Music Festival.

Erne died following major heart surgery from which sadly he never regained consciousness and left behind his wife, Dorothy, and their four sons.

One of Parkin’s Place organisers, Joe Murray, said: “We put this concert together last autumn in several Glasgow venues as a tribute to Erne.

“It was well received and raised over £700 for the Suzy Fund. So in collaboration with Parkin’s Place and Lentfest, we’re doing it again here in Milngavie and also in a couple of venues in the West end of Glasgow.”

All the songs chosen are at least 100 years old and like Shakespeare’s “7 ages of Man”, they move through the different stages of life.

Joe added: “It’s an eclectic offering but our mix of keyboard, banjo, fiddle and guitars lets us cover many styles. So we have traditional Irish, Scottish and English ballads some stretching back 500 years or more - and these allow us to indulge in some lovely close harmonies. And the fiddle/banjo/guitar mix gives an authentic old-time sound to quirky and offbeat songs from the theatres, music halls, public houses and churches of 19th century Britain and America.

“All the songs have surprisingly modern themes and resonances. Some are joyful, some humorous, some bittersweet and some dark and uncomfortable, but they all have interesting and intriguing histories and we tell the stories behind them with the help of atmospheric projected images.”

The musicians are delighted that Joe Warburton, who used to play with Erne in the Healys, is travelling from the North of England to join them on bass.

Doors open at 7.30pm, tickets cost £7 (concessions £5) from Iron Chef and Milngavie bookshop.

For more information about The Suzy Fund go to www.suzyfund.org