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Trustees Rock!

TONIC Trustee Abbie Amey writes about Run The Enemy, a new band, brought together by fellow TONIC Trustee Geoff Steward.

Geoff is our legal trustee and has over 25 years experience as a trial lawyer, but tops that with many more years experience as a musician and a writer. He would probably rather be introduced as composer/lyricist/vocalist Geoff than Lawyer Geoff, especially at parties.

I first saw him in a band (Castro to Deodar) so many years ago I can’t be totally sure where the venue was - chances are it was somewhere in or around Stockton, Teesside in around 1986/7.

In later years, while Geoff was morphing into a lawyer, the other members of Castro to Deodar went on to form the Sneaker Pimps (without Geoff’s assistance), and are still very much involved in the music industry.

Geoff (pictured far left below) meanwhile teamed up with a group of colleagues and talented musicians who, in between juggling legal careers/kids/all the usual diversions life throws at you, comprise a widely-loved covers band (LAP) who have played gigs ranging from the legendary 100 club to boats in the South of France.

Two of these musicians, co-composer and multi instrumentalist John Buckley and drummer and vocalist Tim Steele are also in Run The Enemy. Guitarist Mike Turnbull dates from Teesside days, it’s over forty years of friendship that have brought him into the band. Geoff, John, Tim, and Mike have been playing music together in various configurations for over twenty years. It is striking then that Ben Hoy, the incredibly talented lead singer (and former professional footballer), is only 19.

Run The Enemy - Trail of Tears

Run The Enemy’s debut album, Trail of Tears, is a fusion of British Indie and Americana. If there were a British Americana genre, this would be it.

Their thoughtful and sometimes provocative lyrics cover topics ranging from: dependency; prejudice; morality; mortality; class and social mobility; desire; ambition; corruption; vengeance; fallibility; and egocentrism.

In a burst of creativity, the Cambridge (UK)-based band wrote three albums-worth of material in 2023, and Trail of Tears marks the first of a trilogy examining human frailties and meanness of spirit, with occasional reasons to be cheerful. Influences include @Wilco, @The National, @Jason Isbell, and @Zach Bryan.


Track by track guide

Don’t Believe My Fiction

The victim of a miscarriage of justice pleads with his Lord to believe his truth in the face of institutional corruption and prejudice.

Read Me

A heart-felt desire to be judged by words not by looks, drawing inspiration from Cyrano de Bergerac.

Trail of Tears

Whilst American historians apologize for The Indian Removal Act of 1830, would the same thing still not happen again the world over? No one roams free.

Busk Once More

A tribute to the sixty people who were massacred listening to music at the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest festival.

Tennessee Sylvia

Not a song about a woman, but about Salvia Divinorum, a sage plant that can produce a psychoactive high, said to induce visions of the Virgin Mary.

Folly Beach

Those fleeting moments; those chance encounters; those shots in old photo albums, which make up a life. That is Folly Beach.

Not Like Any Other

That sense of not belonging to your hometown, where everyone has the same accent, apparently happy in their mediocre lives.

She Writes Poetry

The band’s first single, a brooding, epic crescendo, looking at the abusive relationship between Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.


Can public figures, corrupted by fame and power, actually stop themselves or do they in fact crave exposure to end their own moral decline?

Every Question

Zeus to Hera in Homer’s The Iliad: “Stop trying to fathom all my thoughts. You will find them a trial… No more of your everlasting questions, probe and pry no more.”

The Ridge

If you’re going to drink your life away, at least be interesting.

Ammo & Tobacco

Written in a bar in Annapolis, Maryland, watching an evening of live music entitled “Sadboy Songwriter Night”. We wrote what we saw and heard.

Rot & Disappear

For all those selfish people who go on the offensive when their anti-social behavior is called out – this one is for you.

Deep Deep Mind

A mischievous little song about finding (or making) your perfect partner.



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