The Pierless Music Website

When myself and Richard Lock set up the Pierless Music website, way back in September 2012, we had no idea how long the journey would last.

We just had a head full, or should that be two heads full, of ideas after many hours spent passionately discussing local music, and what it meant to both of us, in various coffee shops and bars around Hastings and St Leonards.

A lot of what we talked about back then has come to fruition since those heady days, in one form or another. Something that we’re both very happy with.

As we said back in 2012 “Our aim is to promote, support and nurture original local music from Hastings and the surrounding area*.

We both feel, very passionately, that the quality of the original music that comes from the Hastings area, across all age groups and musical genres, is such that it deserves to be heard by a much wider audience.

Is there anywhere else quite like Hastings? Well, we certainly don’t think so and that’s why we’re here.”

Those words still hold true for both of us today.

The local music scene has certainly gone up a few notches during that time, even if we have had the odd setback along the way, the sad closure of The Tubman springs to mind in that category.

That music scene is as vibrant as ever, with new musicians moving to the area, bringing with them their expertise and enthusiasm.

The Pierless Music website served a purpose back then, but those times have changed, with other sites, or ideas, coming to the fore.

The Stinger magazine and website being one such example, a venture we both had a hand in, and an idea we’d discussed back in 2012.

Because of that the Pierless Music website has been rather quiet of late. In fact the last post was back in December 2015.

So we have taken the sad decision to close the Pierless Music website on 10th March.

The contents of the website will be archived, just in case we may want to use it in some form further down the road.

Richard and myself would like to thank everybody who has played a part in the Pierless Music journey. There are far too many of you to thank individually.

We are both very proud of what we did. It has certainly taken me down some interesting musical paths during the intervening years, and continues to do so.

Thanks for your support, and keep on supporting local music.

You know it makes sense.

Andy Gunton and Richard Lock

The Pierless Music Gig Guide

Regretfully, the Pierless Music Gig Guide will be closing up shop on New Years Eve 2015.

There are a number of reasons for this, one of them being that maintaining any type of Gig Guide is a thankless task. There are also many other Hastings based Gig Guides ‘competing’ for your attention.

A Gig Guide is only as good as the information provided and then listed within it. As hard as you may try, getting that info is not easy, as anyone who runs one of these services will tell you.

Some venues and promoters are good at providing gig info, but many are not, therefore no online Gig Guide is ever complete and definitive.

With that in mind The Stinger magazine have created a crowd sourced web based Gig Guide, called Gig Stinger, which is now ready for launch. You can access that Gig Guide via the link at the bottom of this post.

The idea behind Gig Stinger is that anyone, be they a band, venue, promoter or fan, can upload gig and event information to the site. This gig info will then be available for all to see, via an interactive map.

Suppliers of gig and event info will need to create a, free, account which will then enable them to upload that info. Those persons can then include extra info about their band, venue, event or gig, including social media links, photo’s etc.

Gig Stinger is already ‘live’, so why not have a look and create an account? It can be accessed via your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

We are intending to create a ‘User Guide’ to help anyone who may need it, but hopefully Gig Stinger isn’t too hard to use. We have already created ‘pages’ for a few local venues, but you are free to create your own, or add to those, once you are signed up.

There will be a submission process, to try to stop spurious info being uploaded.

The idea behind Gig Stinger is that the onus is put onto the band/act, venue, promoter etc to upload info about their own events and gigs, and promote them, this cuts out the ‘middle man’.

If Gig Stinger is not a success that will be because people haven’t uploaded and supplied information about their events. We will not be doing that on your behalf.

If Gig Stinger is a success, we already have ideas about how it can be expanded for other, non musical, events, and even for towns/cities further afield too.


Thanks for your support for the Pierless Music Gig Guide over the past few years, it is much appreciated.

The Pierless Music website will remain, although at present I’m not sure how much new content will be uploaded to it, as The Stinger magazine will take preference.

For future gigs please visit Gig Stinger:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival

The ever popular Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival takes place next weekend, 19th/20th September, and as usual music will feature throughout the event.

This year there is also an extra music event on the preceding Friday, 18th September.

All the musical entertainment has been arranged by Mike Raxworthy, and he felt that as the event marquee was already in place, why not make full use of it and put on an ‘extra’ gig, so he has.

The Friday evening event is being called “Super Ska Night” and features The Two Tones, plus Dub and Tuff. Tickets for this special gig are £7.50 in advance, from the Tourist Information Centre, and £10 on the door. The gig runs from 7.30 – 11pm.

Here is the line up for the main Festival itself:

12.00 – 1pm: Turpin & Walker
1.30 – 2.30: The A-Team
3.00 – 4.00: Nigel Bagge Band
4.30 – 5.30: The Chantelle Duncan Band
6.00 – 7.00: The Meow Meows

10.00 – 12.00: Liane Carroll’s Jazz Breakfast
(Tickets £15 from the Tourist Information Centre, or on the door – This is nearly sold out!)

1.15 – 2.15: The Southern Blues Kings
2.45 – 3.45: Lipstick and Beetnicks
4.15 – 5.30: The Boss (Bruce Springsteen tribute act)
6.00 – 7.30: Stax of Motown

Cost: Only £1 for an arm band in advance from the Tourist Information Centre, or
£2 on the door gets you into the music marquee all Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

As in previous years, all music events will take place in the special Entertainment Marquee, near the Lifeboat Station on the Stade Open Space.

Update: Support act for the Super Ska Night, on Friday 18th Sept, has been announced as ‘Dub and Tuff’

Gig Review – John Butler Trio – De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill

As you’re no doubt already aware, we don’t normally publish gig reviews of acts from outside of our local catchment area, but this is an exception.

We are currently having a few issues with The Stinger’s website, so to save delaying posting this review any longer, I decided to share it here.

So, without further ado, here’s my review of the John Butler Trio playing at De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, on Saturday 15th August 2015:

I’m sure the reaction of many friends of those attending last night’s John Butler Trio gig at the De La Warr Pavilion, in Bexhill, when told who they were going to see, was “Who?”

It’s fair to say that the Australian band aren’t very well known in the UK, but it did mean that just about everybody in the sizable audience were there for the right reasons. This was an audience of fans and fanatics, a fact borne out by this being one of the most enthusiastic audiences I’ve ever come across.

Preaching to the converted maybe, but to a relative newcomer to the delights the John Butler Trio like myself, this was a performance that showed exactly why those fans were here and why they are so enthusiastic.

For the uninitiated, the John Butler Trio play a rootsy musical melting pot of styles and genres, from rock to folk, with stops at reggae, funk, blues and more along the way. Formed in Western Australian in 1998, they are currently touring to support their sixth studio album “Flesh and Blood”, which was released last year.

John Butler himself is a virtuoso guitarist and banjo player, something he displayed to great effect during the two hour show. He was very ably assisted by fellow band members Grant Gerathy (drums, vocals and percussion) and Byron Kuiters (bass, double bass, vocals and keyboards).

I did hear a comment when leaving the gig afterwards saying that “he did drag the songs out a bit”. A fair point maybe, but when you have the musical ability of these guys and many of the songs in the set build in intensity and then maintain that for those extra minutes, as these did, that is forgivable and I don’t think many were complaining about that.

In fact, intensity is the one word I would use to sum up this gig. There may not have been a genuine hit single in sight, but that didn’t stop this, admittedly, biased crowd singing and dancing along throughout, and the band playing their hearts out as well.

John Butler is very much a musician’s musician and songwriter and he attracted a fair sprinkling of fellow players to this gig. His solo, acoustic rendition of “Ocean”, which lasted over 10 minutes, was just one shining example of why he is so well respected in the musical community. Just search on YouTube for a great video performance of the song.

A quick mention should also be made of the excellent lighting during the show and also the fact that this was standing gig, downstairs at least, something that always seems to add an extra level of atmosphere to a gig. Every little helps.

As an Australian friend of mine commented on my Facebook post, stating that I was at the gig, I was very lucky to see the John Butler Trio in Bexhill. I think that is a sentiment shared by everyone who was fortunate enough to have been present at the De La Warr Pavilion on Saturday evening.

Well done to the De La Warr also, for booking relatively unknown acts such as the John Butler Trio, and possibly taking a chance in doing so too. It certainly proved well worth while on this occasion and will no doubt do so in the future as well. Build it and they will come.

Andy Gunton

First Impressions Last

I’m in the lucky position of being a DJ on two local radio stations, Hastings Rock and Carnival FM, both of which only broadcast for a limited period every year. It’s something that I love doing.

A lot of what I play on both of those stations is new music and usually locally sourced as well. This has put me onto the radar for original bands from across the UK and even further afield too, especially because of Hastings Rock.

It’s a nice position to me in and I’m certainly not complaining about that, as I get to hear new music from all over, a lot of it very good. But there is one frustrating aspect to this and an example happened again today.

I get regular emails and the occasional phone call from bands and PR companies etc because my contact details are on the Hastings Rock website. But that website also clearly states the broadcast dates for the radio station, in fact that information is on the Home page, whereas those contact details aren’t.

So when I get an email, or a phone call as happened today, asking if I can play a particular new act as they have a new track being released, or interview the PR companies new rising stars on my show because they are playing a gig near Hastings in the near future, you’d think they would have checked to see whether the radio station was actually on the air at the time wouldn’t you?

While it is easier to forgive the sending of a blanket email, which is probably sent to radio stations and DJ’s across the UK, receiving a personal phone call from somebody representing a band is another thing entirely.

I know it is only a minor inconvenience for me, but doing a bit of basic research before you contact somebody you’re hoping to get interested in your band isn’t a bad idea. Especially when the relevant information is so readily available.

If you’re in a band, wherever you’re based, and you’re after airplay on a particular radio station or show, or you’re looking to be interviewed about that upcoming gig in a new town, then do your research first.

If you don’t do that initial research and you fail to notice that the radio station isn’t on the air, or you get the name of the station or DJ wrong, or you send a Rock track to a Jazz station, etc etc, you are not going to make a very good impression.

If you don’t get the basics right, the person or station you’ve contacted are going to be far less likely to give you the chance you’re looking for.

A person I used to work with once said to me, “first impressions last”. It’s something I’ve always tried to remember myself and I now know exactly what they meant.

Sometimes you only get one shot at making the right impression. So why not make sure you get it right?

Andy Gunton.

2015 RNLI Hastings Beach Concerts

Rumours of its demise have, thankfully, been rather premature because the annual RNLI Hastings Beach Concerts are going ahead in 2015 after all, albeit in a slightly different location.

This year the Beach Concerts are taking place on the Stade Open Space in Hastings. They will also be held at their traditional time, the opening weekend of Hastings Old Town Carnival Week. This year that will be on Saturday, 1st and Sunday, 2nd August.

The confirmed line ups for each day are as follows -

Saturday, 1st August:

2.00 – 2.45: Doghouse
3.15 – 3.45: Titus
4.15 – 5.00: Dr Savage
5.30 – 6.15: Highway
6.45 – 8.00: 1066 Rockitmen

Sunday, 2nd August:

2.00 – 2.30: Sean Fennessey and Friends
3.00 – 3.45: The Kytes
4.15 – 5.00: The Cajun Dawgs
5.30 – 7.00: The Blues Bros Show

The 2015 Beach Concerts have been arranged by Mike Raxworthy, who told me, “I’m putting on the music, staging and the sound, working in conjunction with the Old Town Traders Association who have been raising the money through sponsors in and around Hastings Old Town.

We are doing our own bar, and our own BBQ at very special prices, so we can plough absolutely every penny of the profit into the charity pot. We will also be selling candy floss and popcorn.

Mike added. “It’s a free concert, as usual, but we will have ‘Bucketeers’ circulating throughout the day. We are also selling t-shirts featuring our poster design at only £10….on sale from July 1st in some pubs and shops around the Old Town.”

So why the change of venue?

Well, it all comes down to work being done around the Lifeboat Station itself, which means that that area is unable to be used at present. It is hoped that the Beach Concerts can return to their ‘home’ once again in 2016.

In the meantime, lets hope for some sunny Hastings type weather for that weekend and indeed for the whole of Old Town Carnival Week.

I’m sure you’d all join me in saying well done to Mike Raxworthy, the Old Town Traders Association and the rest of the team for rescuing this event for 2015 and for all their hard work in doing so.

Enjoy the gigs, but don’t forget to put some money in the buckets, it’s for a very worthy cause after all.

PS: The organisers of the Beach Concert are looking for volunteer marshalls for both days. If you can help, please contact them via the new Facebook event page at:

Local Music Shows on Mixcloud

You can now listen again to the four Local Music Shows that I presented for this years Hastings Rock radio broadcast, in May 2015.

All four shows, minus the adverts, have been uploaded to the Hastings Rock Mixcloud site, which you can find here:

A full tracklist is provided for each of the shows.

These podcasts can only be streamed and not downloaded, this is to help protect the artists original work.

Other shows from the 2015 Hastings Rock radio broadcast are also available to be listened to again, via the same Mixcloud site.

Here’s the fourth and final Local Music Show, to help whet your musical appetite. Enjoy.

Local Music Show 4 – Hastings Rock 2015 by Hastings Rock on Mixcloud

Play at the Big Green Cardigan Festival 2015

Does your band, or act, fancy playing at a local festival in September? If the answer is ‘Yes’, then read on.

The Big Green Cardigan Festival, which takes place on the weekend of 4-6th September, are looking for original local acts to grace their stage.

Here’s what they told us:

“The Big Green Cardigan are proudly announcing the launch of a competition for up and coming and under the radar musicians, bands and performers to play at their festival in East Sussex, this September.

Entries are welcome and encouraged from all areas of the community, but emphasis will be on supporting local talent.

The competition opens on Monday 1st June and runs for two weeks.

To enter – bands and musicians simply post your music, or performance, to the Festivals Facebook page:, sharing a Soundcloud (, or YouTube ( link to one of your songs.Then, please invite your friends to like and share those links.

The Festival are looking for original material please, rather than cover versions. 

The general public can also nominate acts, and provided the performer/band in question is happy to participate, they will be included in the competition!
All entrants need to be free the weekend of the 4th, 5th, 6th September 2015.

Small print:

Entrants are to travel to and from the festival site themselves; the winning entry will obtain tickets for the entire festival weekend plus a performance slot.They will also win a ‘rider’ courtesy of Langham Brewery; a case of their award winning ales.

All applicants must be over the age of 18.

Winning disabled applicants will also win an adult ticket to support or supervise their participation (discounts will also be available for additional adults and family members).

The winning entrant will be chosen by the festival organisers.”

The Big Green Cardigan Festival is held at a site on Hawkhurst Road, Cripps Corner, E Sussex, TN32 5SA.

More info can be found on the Festivals website:

Entries close on Monday, 15th June 2015.

On The Road

A friend of mine shared the post below with me a few days ago.

It is called “Roadies – Unlikely Survivors In The Music Industry” and was originally published in the Wall Street Journal, not your average rock ‘n’ roll publication!

Although it’s not strictly about musicians, it is about a part of the music industry that even more people may be able to get into, maybe without realising it?

Roadies are often thought of as a bit of a figure of fun, but reading this post may make you see them in a different light, especially when you see how much they can earn per year. Yes, these may be figures from the USA, but road crew are used across the world and in ever increasing numbers too.

As mentioned in the post, touring is now an even more important part of any bands career than in the past, mainly because it’s often the best way for an act to make any money. After all record/CD and even download sales don’t exactly set any musicians bank manager wild with delight these days do they?

Another often missed aspect of a roadies world is that it’s not all about humping amps and drum kits from a truck to a stage anymore. Technology and stage shows have moved on and the skills needed and careers available are now a world away from what they were in the 1960′s and 70′s.

So, even if you’re not a musician, but quite fancy a life on the road with a band, take a look at this post. Maybe you are missing your vocation in life, or maybe you have skills that can be used to help get that show on the road, but you just never realised it?

Photo by tgraham on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Local Musical Meet Up?

Part of the recent Hastings Fat Tuesday celebrations was a two day music seminar/conference called Un-Convention, which was held over two days at St Mary In The Castle.

This was the 73rd Un-Convention event and the first to be held in the South East of the UK, that’s quite a coup. Musicians, promoters, writers, movers and shakers travelled from as far as Manchester to take part and share their own personal stories, experiences and wisdom to an engaged audience.

You can still see the aganda for the two days here, just in case you want to know what you may have missed:

One of the panels was titled ‘Local Scenes – Collaboration, Co-Operations and Making It Happen’, which I chaired, and was focussed on the current music scene in Hastings, with the panellists sharing their observations of local music scenes across the UK, all with a view to attempting to see how Hastings can learn from those towns and cities and move forward itself.

One idea that came out of that session was the setting up an informal regular meet up of interested parties, whether they be musicians, promoters, venue owners, producers etc etc…

Past Un-Convention events have encouraged this idea, as getting all those people together in a room, in an informal way, can help cement and grow a local music scene. Something that Pierless Music, Fat Tuesday and The Stinger magazine are very keen to do.

On the day, people in the audience thought that a regular meet up was a good idea and that they would support it. But what about you?

Is this something that you would want to get involved with and how should we go about it? The initial suggestions is for a monthly meeting, maybe on a quieter Monday evening, in a local hostelry.

If that sounds like something you would go to, please let us know by sending an email, and any suggestions, to:

As some of you may already be aware, Hastings Borough Council hosted a meeting recently all about the local music scene here in Hastings, as a part of their cultural policy.

Although this was very well attended, and the suggestion of a regular meeting was raised, many in the audience felt that any such meet up should be independent of any ‘official’ involvement. Hence why we are suggesting this idea of our own now.

Here’s your chance to get involved with the local music scene in Hastings, put your suggestions and ideas forward and maybe help make that scene even bigger and better than what it already is.

After all a collective voice is far better and more effective than a lone one.

We look forward to hearing from you.