Nolan Vertigan with children (from left) Ruby, Joe, Finn and Luke.

When nine-year-old guitarist Finn  Vertigan took to the stage for the first time, his performance was particularly poignant. 

Finn performed at a fundraising festival held in memory of his dad Nolan, who died in October, playing bass guitar with his dad’s former band ENVY.

Nolan’s wife Jo and her best friends Debbie and Stef Judd held NV Fest last Friday at Gaywood Community Centre and raised £3,000 for the hospitals which tried to save Nolan’s life after he suffered multiple cardiac arrests.

Jo explained: “While on a night out at the White Hart pub in King’s Lynn, waiting for The Flatland Kings gig to start on October 2, Nolan started feeling unwell with pains in his left arm and shoulder.

“A close friend drove us to A&E immediately. A&E staff worked on Nolan for several hours until transferring him to Papworth in the early hours of October 3. Papworth did everything they could to save Nolan, but very sadly, Nolan passed away on October 6.”

Nolan – dad to Luke, 24, Joe, 22, Ruby, 12, and Finn – was lead guitarist with his first band ENVY, then moved on to The Infidels before retiring his guitar and pick due to family commitments.

Jo, who works at Williams Refrigeration in North Lynn where her husband also worked, said: “There was no better way to celebrate Nolan’s life than having a band night to raise money for the hospitals.

“We wanted to give something back. If it could stop one family going through what we have gone through it would be huge.

“The evening meant so much to me. To see the love everyone had for Nolan, for ENVY allowing our son to play and to Stef for spending the time to teach Finn.

“To have our daughter Ruby come for an hour (Ruby has severe autism and learning difficulties and doesn’t like crowds and loud noises, unless she is in control of them) and to be with Luke and Joe whilst raising money for two hospitals that tried to save my husband’s life, gave us all a little joy for what has been the hardest eight months of our lives.”

The evening was opened by ENVY, with Finn as the band’s special guest, followed by The Infidels, The Fused (fronted by Debs and Steph) and finishing with The Flatland Kings – the band Nolan had gone to see on the night he was taken ill.

Jo said: “The audience was captivated and totally in awe of Finn’s confidence and fantastic bass playing in his first ever performance. I was super proud and very emotional.”

Jo thanked the bands for giving their time for free, everyone who helped organise and attended the festival, those who donated raffle prizes and Williams Refrigeration for their support.