The Tomicks are a rock n' roll band. Hugely inspired by the '60s and '70s, Tom Cridland, Nick Whitehead and Debs Marx came together with the aim of recapturing the magic of pop music from those decades and bringing it into the 21st Century.
Lead vocalist, songwriter and drummer, Tom Cridland, met his girlfriend, Debs Marx, at Bristol University in 2009 and, upon graduating in 2014, he founded an eponymous fashion brand with a government loan. He has since been regularly featured in the international press for The 30 Year Sweatshirt and for making clothing for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Stiller, Rod Stewart, Hugh Grant, Stephen Fry, Jeremy Piven, Brandon Flowers, Robbie Williams, Nile Rodgers, Michael Portillo, Stephan Merchant, Frankie Valli, Daniel Craig, Neil Young, Danny McBride, Miley Cyrus, Clint Eastwood and Kendrick Lamar.
Tom also developed a friendship with one of his heroes, Elton John’s longstanding drummer, Nigel Olsson, through making him clothing. Inspired by Nigel to take up playing and singing, he then met Nick Whitehead, a piano player and fellow rock n’ roll fanatic in 2015, at an Elton gig. Nick and Tom started jamming together, then writing together in 2016, subsequently forming The Tomicks, together with Debs.
Tom and Nick write all The Tomicks' music and their process is truly collaborative. Tom arrives at sessions with almost finished song lyrics, Nick with riffs and chords. They then develop these ideas together to create the finished songs in piano and vocal demo form. The piano is, therefore, the crucial instrument when it comes to The Tomicks' songwriting and sound.
The band were so happy with their first original material at the end of 2016 that, using money earned from Tom and Debs' businesses, they self-funded sessions to record an album at the legendary Village Recorder in Los Angeles in February 2017. This incredible studio has played host to so many of The Tomicks' biggest inspirations, including The Rolling Stones, the Eagles, The Beach Boys, John Lennon, George Harrison, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Phil Collins, Sting, Steely Dan, Ray Charles, Oasis, Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Eric Clapton and, importantly, The Band, who of course, like The Tomicks, featured a singing drummer, the late great Levon Helm. It was at the Village that Fleetwood Mac recorded their seminal Rumours album.
Closing Time is a dark song about alcoholism with a stripped back arrangement and Nick's favourite on the album. Big Mistake is upbeat but with lyrics telling the story of a heartbreak, with Tom's vocals reminiscent of classic Tom Petty. I'm Gonna Quit is lyrically open to interpretation, sonically like a strange but brilliant mix of Diana Ross and ELO. Above all, these ten songs show The Tomicks' knack for writing beautiful melodies.
The Tomicks will be playing live throughout the course of 2018 as well as working on their second album at Abbey Road.
As their ads on the London Underground so wisely put it, "Forget Make America Great Again. Let's Make Rock N' Roll Great Again".
Tom is a flamboyant personality, who wears outrageous colourful clothing and sings whilst playing drums that are parked firmly at the front of the stage. His struggles with alcohol and life in London have often informed his lyric writing, and, before meeting Nick, he had never found someone who shared his huge passion for old school pop, rock, blues and soul music. Nick, a virtuoso piano player from Manchester, is the instrumental heart and soul of the band, always playing with meticulous precision and taste, often extending songs with incredible improvised jams. Debs, as Tom's girlfriend and business partner is not only the inspiration for many of The Tomicks' songs but also a classically trained vocalist, pianist and violinist, who sings lead and backing vocals as well as playing keyboards in the band's live set up.
This magical atmosphere in LA led to the creation of a debut album the band are really proud of. All the music and vocals were recorded in just eight days. Tom played drums, sang lead vocals on eight tracks, and arranged and sang all the album's backing vocals, Nick played piano and Hammond organ throughout the album, and Debs sang lead vocals on two tracks and backing vocals on six. The world renowned session player, Kenji Suzuki, liked the initial demos so much he agreed to travel with the band to LA to play all the guitar and bass parts on the record.
I'm Good For It, the album opener, is a rocker lead by a big riff and inspired by the likes of Oasis and Lennon. Candlelight is a joyous, upbeat pop song evoking California in the 1970s. Classic Line is a ballad about succumbing to temptation in the city, with beautiful Paul Buckmaster-esque strings. Hit or Miss is doo-wop, a tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and The Beach Boys. Hair Clip is a huge love song that Tom wrote about Debs. Break up Anthem is bittersweet piano blues with a soaring saxophone solo. You're My Man is a combination of pop and disco, building up to an infectious groove, the sound influenced in equal part by Dionne Warwick and the Bee Gees.