DIY Spotlight: Tom Cridland

Tom Cridland started writing and performing his own music after he quit drinking in 2017, initially with his group the Tomicks, but more recently as a solo artist. He describes his sound as a poppy blend of rock, soul and disco, and he’s just completed a tour with Philadelphia soul legends the Stylistics. To date, he’s released 107 recordings, and things are going pretty well.

He’s also been out on tour performing the music of Elton John because, he says, Elton saved his life.

“I first became an Elton John fan in 2010,” Cridland says. “It was the soundtrack for me and my girlfriend (who is also my manager), Deborah, falling in love. His music has been there for me in the good times of celebration and in my lowest moments. When giving up alcohol the performing of his songs, especially as I learnt to play piano during lockdown, has been the saving grace that allowed me to stay sober. I am approaching five years without having a drink, having got to quite a dark place with my binge drinking, and I would give Elton a lot of credit, not just his and Bernie’s wonderful songs but also the example that he has long set as a clean rock star.”

Cridland has been taking Elton John’s music to all 52 states on tour, an experience that he says has been wonderful.

“This country has the richest popular music heritage and that is what makes it such a pleasure to travel all over the states, along with the friendliness of the American people who are so kind with their reception of my performances,” he says. “I’ve been listening to Johnny Cash in Nashville, to Elvis in Memphis, to Robert Johnson in Clarksdale, to Gamble & Huff records in Philadelphia, to Leon Russell in Oklahoma and Fats Domino in New Orleans. Every place you go has this unique history and that is what makes the U.S. so special.”

Cridland plans to spend 2022 recording an EP of Philadelphia soul music, an album to analogue tape at Sun Studio in Memphis with his trio, touring his Elton John tribute show and launching his new Tom Cridland clothing collection, along with his Greatest Music of All Time podcast. He never rests.

Contact [email protected].