A concert in his own home town, in Egremont Market Hall on 24th July, is Frank Dunnery’s own way of paying tribute to his parents, Kathleen, who died of cancer on 7th May, and of his father, Charlie, also a cancer victim eleven years earlier. The Children’s Ward at West Cumberland Hospital will benefit from the Charlie and Kathleen Dunnery Children’s Fund, not only from the proceeds of the concert but from the Is auction of memorabilia of such distinguished rock stars as Elvis Costello, Ozzy Osborne and Robert Plant, and from everything that Frank raises from sponsorship in his attempt at the New York Marathon, for which he is already in training. The excruciating hills between Braystones and Nethertown have already tested his stamina in a challenging eight mile circuit.
International fame has never caused Frank Dunnery to forget his roots in Egremont and his parentage, as his recent concerts in Whitehaven and ! especially his latest Hometown release have proved. He spoke movingly of his debt to his parents, while truthfully acknowledging the frustration and conflict which is at the heart of every family relationship.
His recent words and songs have revealed his response to the challenge of maturity. The attractions of the easy and brittle glamour of the rock star have given way to his search for deeper meanings. In his summer concert in Whitehaven he referred to the shock of finding himself at the hugely symbolic age of thirty-five – in the middle of the journey of our life, as Dante puts it. His songs now explore the truths of mythology and psychology. In his concert last summer he spoke with astonishing simplicity of the apple seed which contained within itself all the secrets of becoming an apple tree, but none at all of becoming anything else.
Human nature is more complicated, more ambitious, perplexed by questions of right and wrong, and often baffled in our search for our true home.
He quotes the words of the Twelfth Century Persian poet, Jullidin Rumi, to convey the importance to him of his search for home, which is for him both Egremont and something much wider:
“I didn’t come here of my own accord
And probably won’t leave that way,
So whoever brought me here
Had better take me home.”
PUBLISHED MARCH 15, 2002
By Peter Watson
Published in Egremont Today