Headliners’ interview: The Wholls
This year’s headliners on the Bandstand are Bedford-boys-done-good, The Wholls. Pronounced ‘wolz’, the group was formed by vocalist/guitarist Tordy Cocchiarella, guitarist/vocalist Santino Cocchiarella, bassist Joe Stevenson and drummer Daniel De Feo while they were still at St Thomas More and Mark Rutherford upper schools.
The quartet’s edgy and energetic performances caught the attention of BBC Introducing in 2016 and they haven’t looked back since. Playlist slots on Radio 1 followed plus they’ve played at a wealth of festivals around the world. Their debut album was released last year and we’re thrilled that they’ve found time in their schedule to hit up the Taste Bandstand.
Ahead of their performance, we grilled Tordy about everything from the bands’ favourite festival food to the best pub(s) in Bedford and here are our findings:
1. What’s the best festival you’ve ever played at?
The Sound of the Forest Festival in Germany was amazing and something we will never forget.
The crowd was full of people wearing our t-shirts and singing our songs back at us.
The BBC Introducing… stage at Reading Festival is a close second.
2. What is the best festival food?
I’d say that a bacon breakfast roll brings you back to life the morning after, otherwise a proper hot dog.
It’s got to be a proper English sausage, though. Not the cheap ones either.
3. Are you good cooks? If we came round for dinner, what’s the signature dish you’d serve?
We love cooking and to be honest we can all cook.
Three quarters of the band are Italian heritage so food is important.
Our signature dish is a Neapolitan lasagne, no béchamel sauce… those that know…know.
[We want to know! – Ed]
4. What can Taste Bedford visitors expect from your headline bandstand set?
High energy rock n roll with a twist, but you’ll need to come and have a look for yourself!
5. Have you ever played on a bandstand before?
6. What three words sum up Bedford to you?
Culture, friends and family.
7. What’s the best boozer in Bedford?
Too hard to narrow it down to just one, so it’s between The Flute, The Devonshire Arms,
The Tiger Moth, The Wellington Arms, the Gordon Arms and the Bluebell.
8. Best breakfast in Bedford?
Got to be the Gordon Arms on Castle Road. Locally sourced goodness.
9. Best curry in Bedford?
Bala on Midland Road or the Cochin on Tavistock Street.
10. What’s the one thing a visitor to Bedford should do?
Go to Esquires the finest live music venue for miles.
Take a walk down the river and go on the Wholls’ best boozer pub crawl*.
If you wanna burn the roof of your mouth get a molten pizza wrap from Stone Willy’s.
See you beautiful people soon X
Find out more about where the Wholls are touring and listen to their latest release at thewholls.com.
*To undertake the Wholls’ pub crawl you’ll need the number of friendly cab company or a designated driver: The Flute (2 Ram Yard, MK40 1AL), The Devonshire Arms (32 Dudley Street, MK40 3TB), The Tiger Moth (20 Avon Drive, MK41 7AF), The Wellington Arms (40-42 Wellington St, Bedford MK40 2JX), the Gordon Arms (118 Castle Rd, Bedford MK40 3QY) and the Bluebell (115 Putnoe Ln, Bedford MK41 9AH)
Esquires: 60A Bromham Rd, Bedford MK40 2QG bedfordesquires.co.uk
Bala:111 Midland Rd, Bedford MK40 1DA
Cochin: 76 Tavistock St, Bedford MK40 2RP cochinindian-bedford.co.uk
Stone Willy’s: 7, North Parade, Greyfriars, Bedford MK40 1JF stonewillysbedford.co.uk