Local acts bring spice of life to Food and Drink Festival

Lee Willz

If music be the food of love you have to adore the local fayre on stage at the Tonbridge Food Festival. Over the two and a half days while visitors indulge in the wonderful aroma and tastes of the food and drink on offer they will be treated to a dazzling array of non-stop entertainment emanating from the stage on the castle lawn.

Amazingly the spectacular line-up of artistes, bands, choirs and theatre school performers is included in the FREE entry to the event when an abundance of family friendly talent will be playing, singing and entertaining the festival visitors.

Demonstrating the quality and sheer variety of entertainment you can expect, here is a little about a few of the performers many of whom I have had the pleasure of treading the boards with.

Hobo and The Hippies are a five piece alt-folk, country band hailing from the West Kent. Relax and enjoy the fun as they perform their own material with songs inspired by their experiences, local characters and places. Performing on Sunday afternoon, the Hobos are not ones to miss as the whole family will enjoy their infectiously joyful sound, fun loving personalities and often comical, care free attitude to their live shows.
The festival was fortunate to secure the band as they have a full summer of performances at local events and as far afield as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. www.hoboandthehippies.co.uk

Unique Tonbridge singer songwriter and rapper Lee Willz, who headlines on Friday at 8pm, is currently back in the studio with his musical partner aiming to release a brand new album this summer.

Lee has appeared on MTV, Staying Alive and AKA music channels and was the winner of Best Unsigned Artist beating 11,000 other bands for the accolade.

Lee has performed at venues and festivals, making music videos around the world with prestigious artistes including Devlin and Sway, Charlie Brown and Mic Righteous and at festivals with Dizee Rascal and Katy B in the line-up.

You can also check Lee out during his second set on Sunday afternoon.

Lee Willz
Lee Willz

Razzamataz Theatre School Tonbridge, of Dragons Den fame, presents 80+ students ranging from four to 16-years-old. They will perform a spectacular mini concert containing an eclectic medley from pop songs to showstoppers culminating in a rousing finale.

The students have been working towards a summer of performances during fun classes at The Hayesbrook school. The classes cover dance, drama and singing, plus performing arts, from classic West End musical theatre to commercial dance and pop singing.

To book a free taster session go to: www.tonbridge.razzamataz.co.uk

What do you get if you blend a high falsetto with a little bit of growl and a philosophical soul with a classic rock, together with some acoustic guitar riffs?

The answer is, you get Pembroke Tenneson, the San Francisco-born, philosophy student who wins accolades and fans wherever he performs. So don’t miss him when he performs at the Food and Drink Festival on Saturday at 12.30pm. www.pembroketenneson.com

The Tonbridge Community Singers have been performing together for more than five years and have about 30 members who sing everything from pop to opera and choral. Lead by Helen Walker and accompanied by pianist Carolyn Cabrerra, they recently sang for the lighting of the beacon at Tonbridge Castle for the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The choir meet every Wednesday night at 7.30pm during term time at the Delarue Hall on Shipbourne Road. Anyone can join and they always welcome new members – especially men!

You can listen and even sing-along with them on Sunday afternoon.

Pianist Tom Carradine captures the flavour and atmosphere of a good old fashioned Cockney knees up and appeals to audiences young and old.

Since its launch in 2014, Carradine’s Cockney Sing-a-long has rapidly become a fixture on the UK’s thriving vintage scene and is now playing sell-out dates including, monthly at Scallywag Cafe in Tunbridge Wells.

You can have a right royal knees up with him at the Food and Drink Festival on Saturday at 2pm. www.carradinescockneysingalong.co.uk

You have a chance to listen to one of the county’s most amazing vocal performers on Saturday at 5.30pm.

Tonbridge’s own Charlotte Lubbock taught me to sing a song for my starring role in a Christmas special and if she can do that, trust me, her students will sound fab too when they perform earlier on Saturday.

Charlotte has achieved a world of experience over the past decade in all fields of music. Since her first stage appearance aged just seven, Charlotte has developed her craft through varying methods of learning and created her own style as a well-rounded musician and voice coach. www.charlottelubbock.com

Sam Dunstall is a renowned young blues musician whose voice and guitar playing need to be seen
to be believed. With years of experience under his belt, he is sharper than ever. You can see this remarkable performer on Saturday at 7pm. www.samdunstall.com

The Swallows Band treat audiences to an eclectic musical mix taking in everything from a grandiose piano take on Radiohead’s Creep to a wailing ukulele-led solo on Thin Lizzy’s Whiskey in a Jar, a hauntingly harmonica driven version of Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box to a swamp blues take on Gnarl’s Barkley’s Crazy.

The band delights audiences with quirky arrangements of old favourites. In 2014, the release of their first self-published EP ‘Particles’, raised money for two charities with which the band are closely connected – Positive East and Attitude is Everything. www.theswallowsband.com

The Tonbridge Music Station is presenting some brilliant acts throughout the weekend with Daisy Port, Darcie Mountney, Fintan Rawsthorne, Tallulah Swallow and their Soul Choir. www.musicstation.pro

I have had the pleasure of being involved in some of the biggest local events in recent years and am honoured to be running the entertainment at the Rotary Christmas festival and lights again this year. Having spent 40 years in the business I know quality acts when I see them and am very much looking forward to being a part of and comparing at this wonderful event where acts, most of them local, will again be entertaining thousands of people making Tonbridge a truly vibrant, energetic and culturally interesting place to live or visit.

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