Emotional message behind tribute gig

Mark and Karen
Mark and Karen

A special gig to remember a much loved Peterborough rock musician will carry an emotional and important message from his wife.

Mark Perks - lead singer of the Rocket Dogs - died in August last year after suffering an unexpected heart problem.

Rocket Dogs open the Saturday session of the Willow Festival 2013 ENGEMN00120130713180500

Rocket Dogs open the Saturday session of the Willow Festival 2013 ENGEMN00120130713180500

Mark had only married his ‘soulmate’ Karen five weeks before his death.

Now Karen (50) has organised a concert to remember Mark, with other members of the Peterborough music scene, and to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

Musicians taking part include representatives from The Motor City Vipers, The Expletives and Children of the Revolution. Mark’s nephew Sam Tee will also play lead guitar.

Karen said: “When Mark died, we decided to have just a family funeral, so we know others won’t have had the chance to say goodbye to Mark. We have organised the gig for August 10 at the Peterborough Sports and Leisure Club on Lincoln Road.

Pete Thomson hootennany at the Cresset. Pictured are   The Rocket Dogs EMN-150703-203959009

Pete Thomson hootennany at the Cresset. Pictured are The Rocket Dogs EMN-150703-203959009

“We have a number of people from across Peterborough’s music scene coming to play. It will be the Rocket Dogs’ playlist - because that is a great playlist.

“We will be raising money for the British Heart Foundation. He died because he had undiagnosed high blood pressure.

“He didn’t seem unwell - he was a 45-year-old man who would sometimes feel tired.

“Like most men he didn’t like going to the doctors.

“But if he had gone to the doctors he would still be here.

“If I could change anything I would have marched him down to the doctors and he would have had a blood test.

“At 40 you can get a free health check at the doctors - I would urge everyone who can to take advantage of it.

“If you have any symptoms you are worried about, don’t ignore them. Get them checked out.

“If it can help one person, and given them a reality check, that would be good.”

Karen and Mark had been together for three and a half years before they were married, and Karen said they had an instant connection.

She said: “I really got to know him through the band.

“When we would sit together, just the two of us, we had such an instant connection.

“He wasn’t just the rock and roll frontman - he loved architecture, art, fine dining and nice wine.

“He loved nothing more than sitting in his man corner in the living room in his cardigan and reading.

“He was a multifaceted, wonderful man. He was very protective of our life together.

“He would be his own worst critic - he would always say he didn’t know what the fuss was about with the band.”

Tickets for the gig will not be available in advance, and all tickets, costing £5, will be available on the door. The event is sponsored by Mark’s employer, Associated British Nutrition (ABN).