Crossmolina man Ken Astill is busy organising a big musical tribute to honour the memory of his son Andrew, who lost his life four years ago, aged just 37, to a rare condition called vasculitis.
Ken, a musician himself, has also penned a song in Andrew’s memory and is to speak about it on the Tommy Marren Show on Mid West Radio this Monday (March 23 ).
Ken is organising the charity concert to not only celebrate Andrew’s life and love of music but to raise awareness about vasculitis too.
He has invited his son’s former bandmembers, who gigged all over England for 15 years as the group Muffin, to travel to Mayo for the event.
The concert, called 50 Years of Music, will see Hinney’s in Crossmolina rocking to the music of the 1950s, sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties from 9pm until late on Saturday next (March 28 ).
Andrew’s bandmembers will provide the music of the eighties and nineties while Ken will perform a solo act called Nostalgia, celebrating the music of the 1950s, sixties, and seventies.
Vasculitis is a condition involving inflammation of the blood vessels, arteries, veins or capillaries. It can affect people of all ages and it has no known cure.
“Because the symptoms of vasculitis are similar to those of many other conditions, it is often very difficult for the medical profession to give a correct diagnosis, leading to delays in treatment,” said Ken.
“Before Andrew was sick, I had never even heard of the illness. Hopefully, this concert will help to raise some funds and awareness about it.”
Proceeds from the night will go to Vasculitis Ireland Awareness, a charity that offers support and information to patients and families affected by the condition.
Ken said the concert night seemed like an obvious choice because of the bond he and his son always enjoyed through their shared love of music.
“Ours was always a great house for music. When Andrew’s best friend called me last year to say he wanted to get the band back together, he asked me if I would play the drums in Andrew’s place. I agreed straight away and the night was such a great success, that we decided to try and do something positive on the fourth anniversary of Andrew’s passing.”
“Andrew got me into recording my own songs, and came over to Ireland to install my home studio,” continued Ken.
“After he died, I wrote and recorded a song about him. I found it helped me through the grieving process, and it tells the story of our relationship.”
Ken said he recently sent the song to Mid West Radio and the station invited him to speak about his son and vasculitis on the Tommy Marren Show on Monday next (March 23 ).
“The charity event has also received fantastic sponsorship from local business, and our raffle prizes for the night are worth over €1,500 in hotel breaks, meal vouchers, and shopping experience prizes,” said Ken.
“We are very grateful to everyone who gave us sponsorship,” he added.
Tickets for the event cost just €5 and are available on the door on the night.
The concert, 50 Years of Music, takes place in Hinney’s, Crossmolina, on Saturday March 28 from 9pm.