Books, Art & Music

For the uninitiated, yesterday was World Book Night and to celebrate that there was an all day event down at the Hastings Art Forum, under Marine Court. Sounds a little confusing I know, but….

I had been meaning to go down anyway, see what was happening and relieve them of a few free books, if any took my fancy. But then I found out that one of those unique bands that Hastings tends to throw up every so often were playing during the evening session.

So, I made my way down to the Hastings Arts Forum yesterday evening, listened to some poetry, an acoustic performer and duly relieved them of three free books. All very good it was too and then came the closing act of this all day and very impressive event, Lockup Quartet.

I’d first seen this new band a couple of weeks ago at the Tubman and had been very impressed then. Why?

Well, as you can see from the photo above, the band consists of a few different elements. In fact Julian Humphries, who you can see there on the congas, described Lockup Quartet to me as being Multi – Ethnic, Gender and Generational. Add to that the fact that they describe their music as being World Fusion and you can see that we’re dealing with something just a little bit different here. And as I said earlier, something that Hastings excels in.

The sound has definite echoes of the Middle East and Arabia, but all the different elements involved mean that it all adds up to substantially more than that. There is variety and diversity within the songs and even the liberal use of a cowbell. That takes me back!

Although sounding pretty tight as a band, they still manage to sound loose as well. Not an easy thing to do, but when the musicians are this good it’s maybe not quite so hard?

As mentioned, this is only the second time I’ve seen Lockup Quartet as they are a new band on the local scene. But, on both occasions they’ve gone down a storm.

It’s just a case of leaving any musical prejudicies that you may have at the door and enjoying the music, the rythmns and some great playing. I did and it certainly worked for me. I suspect it would for you too.

Andy Gunton

Thanks to Sam Kinch Photography for the photo of Lockup Quartet.

As yet Lockup Quartet don’t appear to have either a website, or Facebook page. We’ll let you know if that changes.

Local Music News – April 2013

I mentioned not long ago that I was going to be writing a monthly Local Music News column for the Hastings Observer.

Well, the first and introductory column was published in March and the second appeared a week ago.

With the agreement of the Hastings Observer I shall be reposting those columns here, after a suitable pause.

So, without further delay here is my column for April:

“Two new albums by local tunesmiths and with a connection too, have come my way this month. Both are very worthy of your attention.

The first by Otti Albietz, Bubbytone 2, is released on BBE Records. I was lucky enough to attend the album launch gig at St Mary-in-the-Castle. An evening filled with great music and huge cardboard cut-outs.

Otti Albietz is one of those unique local talents that deserves wider attention and Bubbytone 2 demonstrates exactly why.

Bubbytone 2 is produced by Harvey Summers, who just happens to have recently released his own latest solo album Jupiter, which is already getting BBC radio play and quite rightly so. You always know that anything Harvey is involved with will sound great and Jupiter is no exception. The album is released on Big Village Records.

Tracks from both Bubbytone 2 and Jupiter are certain to be played on Hastings Rock radio which returns to the local airwaves again (87.7FM) on May 4.

As in previous years I will be presenting a local music show on the station. So, if you’re in a local band and want to hear yourselves on the radio contact me via:

All music must be original material, contain no swearing and be of broadcast quality.

Finally, The Garry Blakeley Band return for some local gigs just in time for the May Day festivities. Entitled Celebrate, the shows are in two parts. The first half is based around a day in the life of Thomas Hardy and the second is a rendition of Garry and Rose Blakeley’s The Ceremony of May album, which is a celebration of Jack-in-the-Green. Very appropriate. Local dates are; April 25/26 at Stables Theatre, Hastings, April 28 at Rye Community Centre.

More info can be found at:

See you again next month.

Andy Gunton

New Videos

You wait ages for a new local music video to come along and then several come along at once. But, we’re certainly not complaining.

So, here are three new videos which help showcase just some of the variety present within the local music scene.

First up is Maid of Ace: Their new video features Hastings itself. See how much you recognise.

Next we present Harvey Summers: and the title track from his new album ‘Jupiter’. The video features legendary double bass player Danny Thompson, who is best known for his past work with such musicians as John Martyn and Richard Thompson, amongst many others.

Finally, for this time at least, are Arivmia:

Their new album is released shortly and this is one of the tracks from it. Recorded live at The Dublin Castle, London.

ARIVMIA – Dragged Below. Live in London. from jumpingSOFA on Vimeo.

Happy viewing.

Album Review – Jupiter by Harvey Summers

The new album by local producer/musician and songwriter Harvey Summers has just been released. It’s called ‘Jupiter’ and very good it is too.

Tony May has kindly written a review of the album for Pierless Music.

You can read it here:

Harvey Summers is a keen supporter of original local music and has produced albums by several local bands/musicians, including the new album from Otti Albietz, ‘Bubbytone 2′.

You always know that when Harvey is involved with a project, it is going to sound great and ‘Jupiter’ is no exception to that rule.

Why not have a read and then take a listen?