Live music, and a healing quest of self-discovery... CHILDCARE are bringing their unique brand to the region.

CHILDCARE were formed by Ed Cares, formerly one of West London's most in-demand male nannies, hence the band's name. As a five-year-old child Ed was so into bridges that when his parents took him to the Tees Transporter Bridge in Stockton-on-Tees for a tour, he declared it the best year of his life. Now he's more into music, forming the band a couple of years ago.

Ed enlisted musicians Emma Topolski (bass/vocals), Rich Le Gate (guitar) and David Dyson (drums) to complete the group and they performed their first shows together at Reading & Leeds festival in 2016. Their skewed, off-centre, softcore psych has gained them eager fans across the continent and extensive BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music support.

Debut album Wabi-Sabi takes the listener on a self-healing quest of discovery; from dosings of Dr Dre in the album’s first song Omega Grey and cross-dressing experimentation in Getting Over You (Wabi-Sabi Cut) to psychedelic freak-out Magazines.

As part of the group’s Get Well Soon wellness campaign, those attending their gigs can expect a mixture of mindful eating, yogic breathing and mass meditation alongside the band’s usual collection of left-field performances.

As the band head for Stockton, Ed tells What's On about their journey...

Your first ever show as a band was at Reading & Leeds Festival in 2016. How did that come about?

They were through BBC Introducing. They'd taken an interest in London and fed back to Radio 1 so they picked us to headline their stages. It was a really fun weekend, I stomped around in a pair of short shorts and no top with stencils on my body, and we were okay!

You debut album Wabi-Sabi came out at the end of May. What's the reaction been like?

Yeah it's cool to have it out - some of the songs are three or four years old and we've been through so many songs that it was getting a bit silly that we hadn't put one out. It's a decent collection of songs and the reaction has been warm - we've been getting lots of Radio 1 play and Spotify support and fans are happy to hear some new music. It was very enjoyable to put it all together and think about interludes, introductions and segways, turning it in to a whole body of work as opposed to a collection of ten songs. That's what we're really interested in.

How would you describe your sound?

We're a normal band set-up and we'd be put in the indie camp, but we're much more original than most indie bands. Most of our tunes have half-time, hip-hop tempos, the melodies are inspired by r'n'b and we've got loads of harmonies - my days as a choirboy bearing fruit probably. We never get compared to any bands in particular and people never quite know how to describe us, which is exactly what we're after. I don't want to be in a group whose music makes you instantly think of another.

Can you tell us more about the "wellness" element of your live show?

Our normal shows are great anyway. My hip movement has been coming on leaps and bounds and guitarist Rich's hair is really looking good at the moment, but for this tour we're adding an extra wellness element to complement the album's wellness campaign. We've been running Personal Glory™ events where we hire out a yoga studio and take fans through our own version of yoga and mindfulness - so we're bringing a bit of this to the live shows. Expect yogic breathing, mindful eating and a space to find Personal Glory.

Wabi-sabi is Japanese for an acceptance of imperfection. Is this a term you feel fits with the band's outlook?

I suppose with regard to recording our music, we certainly have a sound which isn't overly polished and produced - it's honest. More broadly we the term, as well as sounding great, encapsulated what the album is all about - self improvement, growth and acceptance.

After the tour, what else have you got planned?

We'll be bringing our Personal Glory to more cities around the UK, Europe and the US and recording the best second album we've ever recorded.

CHILDCARE: The Sabi tour: Tynemouth, Surf Cafe, Nov 29; Georgian Theatre, Stockton-On-Tees, Dec 1; The Fulford Arms, York, Dec 19.