Memorial reunion concert planned to mark 60th birthday of award winning former Burnley musician and passionate Claret

The son of a former Burnley musician, who died in November, is planning to perform some of his father's songs in a touching tribute to him.

By Susan Plunkett
Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 3:45 pm
Colin Kennaugh  (centre, front row) with fellow members of Inside Information who are (back left to right) Eddie Halsall (lead guitar) Janet Kennaugh Whitley (vocals and keyboard) Andrew Chatburn (bass). Front is Andrew Ashworth (keyboards) (left) Colin and Lee Funnel.
Colin Kennaugh (centre, front row) with fellow members of Inside Information who are (back left to right) Eddie Halsall (lead guitar) Janet Kennaugh Whitley (vocals and keyboard) Andrew Chatburn (bass). Front is Andrew Ashworth (keyboards) (left) Colin and Lee Funnel.

Chris Kennaugh hopes that covid restrictions will be eased in time for the tribute event in October, the month when his dad, Colin Kennaugh, would have turned 60.

Chris has already been in touch with musicians who played with singer and songwriter Colin to organise a special reunion and ask them if they would like to take to the stage and perform the songs they first sang around 25 years ago.

Chris said: "I am also hoping to perform some of my dad's work at a couple of local festivals in the summer if restrictions are lifted in time for then."

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Colin with his band Salt of The Earth who are Jonathan Salisbury (lead guitarist) Juliam Weyer-Brown (bass) and Darren Lee (drums)

Liverpool born Colin moved to Burnley as toddler with his parents, Bill and Dorothy, in the mid 60s. He attended Christ the King RC Primary School and the former St Theodore's RC High School for Boys.

After leaving sixth form Colin went to work for the Burnley branch of Barclays Bank where he remained until he took early retirement in his late 30s. During his career he held the post of manager and also worked at a number of other branches including Earby and Barnoldswick.

After marrying his first wife Michelle, the couple had four children, Chris, who is 31, 28-year-old Simon, Zoe (26) and 24-year-old Joshua.

Musically gifted from an early age, Colin joined Burnley based band No Comment as the drummer when he was 18. After a couple of years he left to set up his own band, Inside Information. His sister Janet Whitley, also a singer, joined the band that built up a loyal following on the local music scene.

Colin (front second from left) with No Comment, the band he joined at 18

Colin also formed two more bands, Thru the Roof and Salt of the Earth.

In 1997 Salt of the Earth won the title of Best Unsigned Band Britain after beating off competition from 99 other finalists in the contest. This gave Colin the chance to showcase his enormous talent as both a singer and songwriter.

Chris said: "It was one of my dad's proudest moments when he led the band to glory, writing their songs and singing. It was a high accolade for him as a musician."

After winning the title the band did a celebratory gig at the Black Bull pub in Burnley which was packed to the rafters.

Colin with his children (from left to right) Zoe, Chris, Joshua and Simon

One of the members of the biggest bands at the time even became a fan of Salt of the Earth. Howard Donald, who was a member of Take That, attended some of the gigs and sang on one of the tracks called Drink Your Fill, penned by Colin, on the band's second self title second album.

Howard had become friends with the band after he met guitarist, Jonathan Sailsbury, at his antique shop not far from his home in Manchester.

Chris added: "It was a testament to my dad's songwriting abilities that one of the members of the biggest boy bands at the time wanted to sing with Salt of the Earth."

And in 1997 the legendary musician and former member of world famous band Oasis, Noel Gallagher inquired about Salt of the Earth after seeing the band's posters around Manchester.

A devout Christian since he was a teenager, some of Colin's songs were also woven with a religious theme.

In 2011 Colin and Chris auditioned to appear as a duo on Britain's Got Talent under the band name, Salt of the Earth, performing one of Colin's own songs.

Chris said: "Music was my dad's passion and he managed to do that while working full time and looking after four children.

"Even though he was so busy he was a fantastic father, very loving and always there for us and as a child I worshipped him.

"We couldn't have asked for a better father. We were very close and his death is a huge loss to his family and the many friends he had.

"I received hundreds of messages of sympathy at his passing."

Even though he had a happy go lucky personality and loved playing practical jokes, when it came to his music Colin, who moved to live in Winchester after marrying a second time, was a perfectionist.

All of his children have inherited his musical talent. Chris is a singer/songwriter, Simon plays keyboard and mixes his own music, Zoe can sing and Joshua is a guitarist.

Chris said: "Dad always had advice for how I could make my performance better.

"But he never did it in a critical way, he just wanted me to be the best I could be."

Football was another of Colin's talents and he represented St Theodore's under 15s team many times and ended the 1976 to 1977 season as striker, taking the school to victory in the Keighley Cup Final 2-0 against Burnley Grammar School when he scored one of the goals. Colin also played striker for the Lancashire under 15s and for the Burnley under 15 town team squad for the full 1976-77 season.

And although he was Liverpool born Colin was a huge fan of Burnley FC and attended many games over the years.

Chris said: "We have so many great memories of games we attended together, most notably the play off final in May 2009 when Burnley beat Sheffield United 1-0 to secure promotion to the premier league."

Colin also leaves his mum Dorothy, sister Janet, brother in law Scott, nephews, Louis, Joel, Ben and Nicholas and his grandchildren Ava Rose (three) and one-year-old Wyatt James.