Saturday, July 21, 2018

Tribute to John McGough

John McGough

“Music washes away the dust of everyday life from around our feet”

Saltburn musician John McGough, aged 53, died on the morning of Sunday July 8th in Newcastle, where he was being treated at The Freeman Hospital for the leukaemia he'd lived with for more than 15 years. 

A professional musician, writer and producer John had worked in the music industry for over 20 years with a diverse number of people and music from Dance through to Pop, from "A" List Dj’s like Carl Cox to the pop world of X Factor. John wrote and arranged many songs and his work included a number of projects on artist development - John worked with and wrote for James Arthur prior to his X-factor win and subsequent UK #1 chart success. His musical influences were vast and he believed that all music should be listened to with open ears.

John loved a spot on Saltburn's Marine Parade known locally as The White Elephant. Come rain or shine, John was often found there, practising his music and taking in the view he loved. Following a private funeral on Tuesday afternoon hundreds of people gathered at his favourite spot in a poignant tribute to both John and his music. 

A number of people who knew John were invited to speak and offer their personal tributes. And then it was time for music, with live contributions from local artists including Karl Frampton, Elizabeth Sykes, David Ball and Josh Newell Brown as well as the sounds of John’s glorious sax drifting on the sea breeze across Marine Parade for one last time.

In another tribute, the first ever Saltburn Food Festival acoustic stage is to be named in John’s honour. The stage - which will be part of the sixth Saltburn Food Festival, July 29th from 10am-6pm - is the brainchild of Saltburn restauranteur and singer-songwriter Josh Newell-Brown, who was a close friend of John’s and had been working on new musical projects with him. The John McGough Stage will be in Station Square, outside Signals Bistro, which Josh recently took over after his parents retired. It will bring together several of the area’s most talented musicians who will  take turns to play every hour on the hour, alternating with five world-class chefs demonstrating at the live festival cookery theatre every hour on the half hour across the other side of the town’s roundabout on Station Street.

John's family have requested that any donations should be made to Leukaemia UK. A crowdfunding page has been set up by friends so that a permanent memorial can be created in John's memory. 

John McGough Memorial fund.

Koru is a musical collaboration between John McGough, Matt Wanstall and Liz Sykes.

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