This band really caught our attention in 2019. Rob Clucas-Tomlinson spoke to Mike Libbiter to find out more about their unique sound.
Toadstone are a young three-piece band from Stroud who recently performed at the Stroud Song Contest in the Crown & Sceptre pub, enchanting the crowd with their haunting pagan sound. Made up of Lucy Newbould (vocals and percussion), Mike Libbiter (guitar, bass and vocals) and Bhavandeep Stephenson (flute), they describe their style of music as folky and pastoral, with the local landscape providing much inspiration.
“There’s a strong connection to, and an open mindedness towards, our historical tradition here,” explains Mike. “We have a song called ‘The Call of the Horned Piper’ which is based around historical events and traditions that happened in Painswick concerning the ancient god, Pan. There’s loads of this fascinating local history and legend, which make for some great songs!”
Mike and Lucy were friends together at school and formed the band in 2017 when Mike returned from university. They recorded their first album the following year, but were always on the look-out for new musicians to add depth to their vision. Bhavandeep, another school friend, currently plays with the Cheltenham Philharmonic Orchestra and seemed the ideal fit. “Last year, we found out that Bhavi was living fairly locally and was making a living as a flautist,” says Mike. “We asked her to join and we’re now writing new songs together which should see the light of day later this year.”
Their first album, the self-titled ‘Toadstone’, with songs such as ‘Circle of Stones’, ‘Moon Song’, and ‘Knights of the Cross’, is available on Bandcamp and via all major streaming services. Follow their Facebook page for updates and the occasional brilliant classic rock cover!