Five gigs in one night to help fight stigma of mental health problems

Five gigs in one night to help fight stigma of mental health problems
SUPER GROUP (L-R) Charlotte and Marc Brereton, Tom Diamond, Dominic James of Vinyl Tap, Matt Lucas, Molly Peers, CJ Thorpe of Code:Marla and Andy Peers of Alcatraz Blues

Head Up will see the five concerts being played simultaneously at various venues across town – each with a different of music and appeal.

All money raised by donations on the night will go to the charities Sane and West Kent Mind to help fight the stigma and lasting effects of mental health problems.

The extravaganza is organised by Matt Lucas, local musician Tom Diamond, Molly Peers and the team that hosts the David Bowie night at the Tunbridge Wells Forum every year. The acts are:

  • The Breretons, acoustic, and Jack Mackey, The George, Mount Ephraim
  • Alcatraz Blues, The 38’s and Peacock Soup, rock ’n’ roll and blues, Shuffle House (formerly Jean’s Kitchen) St John’s Road
  • SmallwoodStock, a tribute to Jonny Smallwood, punk, metal and rock, The Forum
  • Code: Marla/Tenbag Bandit, hip-hop/electronica, the dasement of The Sussex Arms, The Pantiles
  • Vinyl Tap, DJ slots (two songs per person), upstairs at The Sussex Arms

Head Up was conceived originally as a tribute to Matt’s friend Jonny Smallwood, who took his own life in 2013.

“We wanted to do something that honoured Jonny and his impact on the local rock and metal scene,” said Matt.

“But we realised that this was bigger than just one person and one genre. It’s about anyone who has had problems with mental health, from depression and anxiety to suicide or addiction.

“When we started opening it up to other musical friends of ours, it became a bigger project, hoping to touch as many people as we possibly could.’

He added: “Music is the perfect place for people to release their emotions and connect with other likeminded individuals.

“Everyone has a song that gets them through a tough time, reminds them of a better time. We wanted to share this feeling with new people and raise money for charities at the same time.”

For more information, visit

To make a donation to Head Up, visit

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