Countdown to Somerstock…
The Christians – Black Friday – This is Queen – Rude Boy Mitch and the Two Tones – Matt Owens – Whole Lotta Led – Talisman – Area 52 – Jack Humphries – Hang 11 – Al O’Kane – Shoun Shoun – EveryPeople – Fonzy & Company – Aqila – Cover All Bases – Snake Snake Snake
Our headline band for Somerstock 2020 is The Christians. Named after the three Christian brothers, Gary, Roger and Russell, in the original lineup, and not a religious statement. In 1988, they released a cover of the Isley Brothers’ “Harvest for the World”, with all proceeds going to charity. The video for the track was an animation, created by four leading animation companies, including Aardman Animations. The video won several awards, and the single reached number 8 in the UK singles chart, their sixth consecutive British Top 40 hit.
1989 saw another charity single success, this time as performers on a version of “Ferry Cross the Mersey”, released in aid of those affected by the Hillsborough disaster. The single stayed at number one for several weeks in the UK charts and reached number 5 in Germany.
One of the returning bands we shall be welcoming back from Somerstock 2019 is Black Friday.
For over a decade the seven-strong, unstoppable Black Friday have been delivering their stomping, high energy, home-brew of folk, Celtic and punk music across the lands of Cornwall, Devon and beyond. Hailing from the Cornish village of St Germans, Black Friday began their journey in their local pub in 2006.
Their music has taken them across the seas to Ireland and Europe, gathering adventures and stories along the way. With music influenced by their Celtic roots and Irish heroes, alongside catchy original songs, Black Friday were brilliant last year and we’re really pleased that they wanted to return. The band performs well over a hundred gigs a year and they have racked up an impressive list of festivals to date in both the UK and Europe.
With the brilliant Bohemian Rhapsody film reminding us all of the fantastic music created by Queen we have decided to include This is Queen tribute band to play at Somerstock 2020. This is Queen is an authentic and rocking Queen tribute band playing festivals, functions and shows since 2011. The Queen experience is recreated with authentic costumes, equipment and 3-part harmonies, bringing everything from the squeal of Brian’s guitar solos to Freddie’s signature exchanges with the crowd.
Going back over the years the Somerton Music & Arts Festival (including in its previous ten day format) almost always included an evening of ska and two tone; and this year we feature Rude Boy Mitch and the Two Tones.
Rude Boy Mitch and The Two Tones are lively & entertaining & dress in a selection of suits, hats ties, braces & Doc Martins creating an authentic look to match their energy & charisma. They pack a powerful punch in their sound & front man Mitch leads the way with fun banter, dancing & audience participation.
Between them they have a broad range of professional experience ranging from theatre, classical music, pop music, studio recording & writing for television & dance as well as corporate performance and mainstream festivals such as Glastonbury, The Secret Garden Party, Download and The Big Chill.
They have all performed at venues of notoriety including The Royal Albert Hall and The Royal Festival Hall in London, The Lincoln Centre & Madison Square Gardens in New York, The World Art Stage in Edinburgh, The Queen’s Hall Theatre in Trinidad, Courchevel Ski-slope in France and The Yorkshire Playhouse and even York Minster.
Matt Owens is a British singer-songwriter and musician, who came to prominence as one of the founder members of indie-folk band Noah and the Whale, and for fronting Rock ‘n’ Roll band Little Mammoths. Matt’s Debut solo Album, ‘whiskey and orchids,’ is due out January 2020.
A Whole Lotta Led perform a world class tribute to the music of Led Zepplin. No wigs, no costumes, just music. A Whole Lotta Led are the longest running, full-time professional tribute to Led Zeppelin. Now in their twenty-third year they are undeniably the UK’s leading tribute to this iconic band.
Another band we welcome back from Somerstock 2019 is the reggae band Talisman from Bristol. Talisman were one of the UK’s top Roots Reggae bands in the later 70’s and early 80’s. The band’s prowess earned them support slots with acts as diverse as Burning Spear, The Clash and The Rolling Stones.
They reformed with the original line up after 30 years apart to support the re-release of their classic roots single ‘Dole Age’ on a brand new album: ’Dole Age – The 1981 Reggae Collection’.
Another returning band from 2019 is the fabulous Taunton based Area 52 and last year they certainly got the party going! When we announced their return on Facebook this was met with universal approval.
Area 52 is an energetic and exciting band who have been gigging throughout the South West (and further afield) for over ten years, playing classic soul, ska, disco, rock… in fact anything that gets people up and dancing from the 60’s to the present.
They are a professional band that really enjoys playing and this comes across in their performance, guaranteed to fill the dance floor… or in our case the Festival arena!
When Hang 11 performed in 2019 they were in the Wagonkered marquee and they were so impressive that we invited them back to perform on one of our two main stages.
Hang 11 is a young rock/funk/blues trio hailing from the Rhondda and Rhymney Valleys of South Wales. They were formed in September 2015 at the ages of 18, 16 and 14 and since then have been bringing their own brand of rock, with a bluesy funky edge, to venues and festivals throughout South Wales and the South West.
After 3 years of solidly gigging, honing their sound and improving their stage craft, the band decided that the time was right to enter the studio and recorded their long-awaited debut single ‘Seattle Boy’. This was released in November 2018. The band consists of Anwen Francis on drums, BradleyDickenson on vocals/guitar and Rosh Evans on bass quitar. Influences include Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Vulfpeck and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
From the Wagonkered Marquee to the Somerstock stage we’re also pleased to offer a place to Jack Humphries and his folk, blues, acoustic indie-rock influenced performance by this original singer songwriter and his loop pedal stomping floor percussion.