Tonic staffer Jim has access all areas to report on TF3.
A very well attended all day festival at the Wedgewood Rooms. As always, Geoff at the Wedge was as accommodating and hospitable as ever. The day got off to very fast and loud start. There was Punk a plenty, with some great sets from Nice One Reg, Pint Size and Dead Sheep (my stand out fave) delivering some old school punk and relationship advice. You could say this was a very fitting start to our soft launch of ‘Never Mind The Stigma’ campaign. Many of these bands reforming after long exiles but appearing as tight as ever.
There was such a diverse crowd in attendance and in good numbers for the early part of the afternoon.
Tommy Brown shared his amazing incoming baby news and an amazing set of soulful uk hip hop vibes… followed by the beautiful Emilyah & The Mighty All Stars. They rounded off the late afternoon with some sweet warm reggae - proving a well curated line up.. something for everyone indeed.
Wiservice instigated the first moves of an energetic evening with their dedication to the punk-ska rhythms that led us all to the dance floor. Revelator impressed with a Deep South blues escape..with tinges of Peter Green’s real early Fleetwood Mac vibes… South Coast Ghosts, oh my.. with Tommy Brown again the consistent deliveroo.. more soulful spots of tight verse and incredible accompaniment of vocals and nonchalant multi musicianship akin to The Bees. Trying to come up for air, good luck..
Will and The People proved to be a stand out performance of the evening. Usually a high energy electric band. They played an acoustic set. Just the two of them had such a strong connection. Tight harmony’s and a rawness that was magnetic. It’s a true test of a songs power when delivered in such a minimal form. Imagine falling off your bike at high speed into wet gravel wearing a pair of shorts, to then be lifted by delicate and warming harmonies. Honestly… this band connected with the biggest crowd of the night. As a first timer to hear their music.. sign me up now. So good. Their connection and appreciation for TONIC and their support during Jim’s speech will not be forgotten.
An intense and griping solo performance from Petebox, mangling his own voice, embarking on adventurous covers and original compositions. One in particular was brave in acknowledging a friends recent death by suicide. Finishing his set with a beatbox (Petebox) drum and bass crescendo. Pete truly delivered a dark and upbeat set in equal measure. Mesmerising.
Imperial Leisure... OMG. Uncontrollably engaging and the pull of the strongest anti gravity vortex you could ever imagine. With less than 100 people by this point, they went hell for 'Imperial Leather' (showing my age). Honestly one of the most energetic performances I’ve seen at the Wedge. Their song ‘Beast’ saw pure and utter audience participation. It was primal to say the least. Full credit to this band, they went for it… everybody went home a hero, wet and happy.
Full credit to Geoff, Teddy and Nick along with all the sound, lighting crew and staff at the Wedgewood Rooms for making this such a night to remember. So many connections were made and TONIC are truly grateful to have been a part of it.
Big Love, Jim.
This one-day festival marked the launch of a new suicide prevention programme by Tonic Music For Mental Health to help create awareness of the support available.
Profits from the event are to be used to set up trust funds for the children of three people who have recently died by suicide.
Photo credits. Jim Barber and Jon Neil.