Mike's still rocking the city at 75

June 22 2017

ONE of the founding fathers of Bristol Music is all set to get the city rocking again this summer.

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ONE of the founding fathers of Bristol Music is all set to get the city rocking again this summer. 

Back in 1959, Westbury’s own Mike Tobin was the first local rock and roll singer to take to the stage of the Colston Hall, and this July - in honour of his 75th birthday - Mike will perform at another legendary Bristol venue, The Fleece, for two days of musical celebrations known as ‘Tobinfest’. 

Mike made his musical debut in 1958, when he joined a skiffle group at Westbury Methodist Youth Club, before forming his band The Magnettes. This decision set his path in life, as he dedicated himself to promoting Bristol music as well as taking him on an international journey working for some of the biggest names in pop, including Dolly Parton, Hall & Oates, Bad Manners, Hazel O'Connor, Iggy Pop and even David Bowie.

 “When I approached the Fleece to ask them if I could have an evening they said I could have a whole weekend – well how could I say no?” laughs Mike, who will himself be performing with the 1960 line up of his original band, The Magnettes, on the Saturday as well as a special guest with his former guitarist’s band Bula Bula on the Sunday.

 “All the bands are local and are either bands I’m linked to or bands I greatly admire. It’s going to be fantastic. 

“Bristol has always been known as a big music city,” adds Mike.  

“One of my favourites was the Corn Exchange, in what is now St Nick’s market. They used to host Rhythm and Blues clubs every Tuesday night and some huge names – Rod Stewart and John Lee Hooker – to name just a couple. The Magnettes and The Echoes alternated as support acts so we got to see some of the real greats perform.

 “During my ‘hippy years’ The Granary was a fantastic venue too. I often wonder whether the people who now live in those flats realise.” 

Mike also used to manage the great Bristol band Stackridge, and to make Tobinfest extra special the venue will be showing the world premiere of the   band’s 2015 ‘The Final Bow’ final concert film, which was filmed in their home city of Bristol – of course!

 Tobinfest takes place on Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16, and performers include Husky Tones, Bad Losers, Groundhogs, Pete Coggins and Soul Ingredients, Ricky Cool and the In Crowd, The Lewis Creaven Band, Jim Reynolds, Bula Bula, DLM and the Mutter Slater Band. As a special treat, on Saturday the former Granary DJ, Ed Newsome, will be taking to the decks to play tracks by some of the bands Mike has been involved with over the years. On Sunday, Bristol’s ‘King of Vinyl’ John Stapleton will be spinning the tunes. Tickets are £12 adv, weekend tickets £20. Contact www.thefleece.co.uk for more details.