Tributes paid to one of city’s most popular rock‘n’roll guitarists

Colin (left) in the Southern Sounds circa 1962/3
Colin (left) in the Southern Sounds circa 1962/3
Go West

REVIEW: Icons of the 80s at Portsmouth Guildhall

Have your say

TRIBUTES have been paid to rock‘n’roll guitarist and 60s local legend Colin Quaintance.

The 68-year-old played in a number of popular bands – including the Southern Sounds and the Cadillacs – and was a key part of Portsmouth’s music scene from the tender age of 14.

He once famously turned down the chance to join chart-toppers Manfred Mann in their early days because ‘there was overtime at the dockyard’.

From 2004, he reformed the Cadillacs and raised more than £10,000 for charity – earning himself a We Can Do It T-shirt in the process.

Now friends and relatives have spoken of Colin’s warmth, humour and love of music after he died from a stroke last month.

Daughter Kathy Woodman, 25, said her father had been hugely popular with everyone who knew him. ‘I will remember him as a wonderful dad,’ she said. ‘But more people will have seen him playing in pubs and clubs across Portsmouth.

‘He was a brilliant guitarist and when he got in the right mood he was in the zone – no one could match him. All he wanted to do was give music to people, that was what made him happy.

‘His passion for music was so infectious it was impossible not to be touched by it.’

Dave Allen runs a website about Portsmouth popular music of the 1950s and 1960s called Pompey Pop – and was friends with Colin for many years.

He said: ‘The Cadillacs were perhaps the first successful Portsmouth rock ‘n’ roll group – working across the south and south west.

‘Southern Sounds worked through the 1960s and were very popular.

‘At that point Colin was working in the dockyard and when the original Manfred Mann guitar player left he was approached, but there was overtime at the dockyard – plus at that point Southern Sounds had more gigs than the Manfreds.

‘In later years – sometimes appearing under the name Colin Christian – he continued to perform solo and in duos playing guitar and singing.

‘We used to meet up with him and other local guys from 60s groups every Christmas. Colin was a bright guy, a good companion with a dry sense of humour.

‘He was a highly respected musician and almost certainly the first local guitarist to play a Fender Stratocaster.’

Kathy, of Hester Road, in Eastney, said she is now in the process of organising a charity concert in memory of her father.

She said: ‘To be remembered through music is what he would have wanted.’