I run a sustainable fashion brand called Tom Cridland, probably best known for The 30 Year Collection - clothing that is so durable that we back it with a 30 Year repair or replacement guarantee.
We are launching an exciting charity campaign in aid of Help Musicians UK called "Real Music” on Wednesday 8 November. Sir Paul McCartney, Sting, Timothy B Schmit, James Hetfield, Robert Plant, Brian May, Eric Clapton, Carole King, Roger Daltry, Smokey Robinson, Frankie Valli, Stevie Nicks, Mick Hucknall, Hal Blaine, Nigel Olsson, Ringo Starr and Phil Collins have all kindly agreed to lend their image to this most worthy cause.
The Real Music campaign will raise funds for Help Musicians UK through the sale of "Real Music" sweatshirts and t-shirts, which feature all twenty of these musicians playing together as a supergroup, with 100% of profits donated directly to the charity. My experiences in my band, The Tomicks, led me to come up with this idea.
Since 2014, Tom Cridland have had the honour of making clothing for Nigel Olsson, Elton John’s drummer since 1969 and a great solo artist in his own right. Nigel has the most unbelievably crisp drum sound live and the first time I heard it I decided I was going to buy a drum kit and learn how to actually play music. Not long after taking up the drums, I met Nick Whitehead, a piano player and fellow rock n’ roll fanatic in 2015, when visiting Nigel act an Elton gig. We started jamming together and then, in 2016, writing together, subsequently forming The Tomicks with my girlfiend Debs. We were so happy with our original material that, using money my girlfriend and I had saved up to buy a house, we self-funded sessions for an album at The Village in Los Angeles in February.
Working on The Tomicks project made me all too aware how much musicians can suffer financially, physically and emotionally in creating their art. I only recently heard about how Help Musicians UK support professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement, offering help at time of crisis and times of opportunity, often supporting musicians at a crucial stage that could make or break their career.
If I wasn’t able to support pursuing my passion, The Tomicks, through my fashion and PR work, I could easily be finding life very difficult as a young musician starting out, and that is what moved me to create The Real Music Collection as soon as I came across this wonderful charity. It is so easy for an amazing artist or band to not be able to do what they love simply due to a lack of resources or support. It is an honour to be partnering with Help Musicians UK and all these wonderful artists, my heroes, to try to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
Click here to shop the Real Music Collection