Just over a year ago, entrepreneur and musician, Tom Cridland, was drinking every day and struggled with his weight. After taking up music, he has lost 30kg and his life has transformed.
No matter the day of the week, when Tom had one drink, it always led to another. He was known among his friends for spending hours on end at Karaoke bars or sitting next to the speakers at gatherings, blasting out Elton John, The Rolling Stones and the Bee Gees. 90% of times he passed out with his head to the speaker and on the occasion when he did make it to bed, he often woke to find he was still in his coat and shoes. Binges on over ten pints of beer were regular occurrences, as were all day drinking sessions.
In October 2017 Tom channelled his passion for drunken karaoke into performing live gigs. He went on to play more than 100 shows that year and has not touched a drop of alcohol since. It became clear that his fixation had always been for music. Since that first gig he has lost over 30kg, wakes up daily to an hour of exercise and has never felt better.
Tom is now touring the world with his Custom Setlist show. This is the world’s first show that lets the audience choose the entire setlist in advance. Since giving up the booze, he’s also been writing and recording original material, which will be released later this year.
G: Tell us about how you stared in music?
T: I’ve been engrossed by music since I was a kid. By the age of 8 I had watched the entire Beatles Anthology. At school I was known among my friends for spending every free hour listening to music and at university for spending nights out huddled next to the speaker! I bought a drum kit off a mate for £200 and started playing along to all my favourite songs. I’d never had a lesson so taught myself to play by ear. It was only later that I started to sing, after Simply Red’s guitarist, Kenji Suzuki, suggested I do so when we working on some demos together.
G: What are you working on right now?
T: I’m currently working on recording a number of songs (more than 50!) that I’ve written over the past few months, to be released next year.
G: What was your most successful or most enjoyed gig so far?
T: One of my most memorable gigs was in Bristol, (where I went to university) to play for a street festival. We were on a mobile stage lorry, the street was filled with people dancing and we had a blast!
G: How would you describe your typical fan?
T: I’ve always focused on writing music that I think is good. My influences are diverse – from 70s melodic rock to soul, pop and funk, so the songs I write vary significantly. Which I suppose mean different people are drawn to different songs!
G: What are your plans for the future?
T: I plan on continuing to write as much as possible and to take every opportunity I get to perform live!