Basement 26 – Blues Nights

Well known local musician Mike Raxworthy has taken the plunge as is promoting a brand new regular Blues related night at West Exit, the old Crypt, in Hastings.

Under the name of ‘Basement 26′, these nights are taking place every other Monday, from 24th March.

Here’s what’s coming up, complete with Mike’s own comments:

Monday March 24th – The Dave Jackson Band
Entrance £2 – Members FREE

The Dave Jackson Band gigs all over Europe and he’s made his mark on the live Blues scene. His appearance at the 100 Club was voted in the Top 5 gigs of 2012 as well as top 5 albums of 2011 in ‘Get Ready to Rock’. There is no set list, no contrived over rehearsed renditions, only spontaneous ‘in the moment’ Blues poured from the heart and soul.

Monday April 7th – Nicky Moore and Danny Kyle – Support: Emma Harwood and Andy Neate
Entrance £2.50 – Members £1

Nicky Moore has stayed at the top of his game since the sixties. Most famed for his Blues Corporation Band (I once saw Mitch Michell and Keith Emerson playing with him) he appears at Basement 26 with Danny Kyle where they will be showcasing their latest album as well as a whole host of classic blues. Both these guys were winners in the Best Musicians / Singers 2013 category in Blues Matters.

In support you’ll a rare chance to see Emma Harwood performing her ‘Blues with Andy’ set

Monday April 21st – The Nigel Bagge Band
Entrance £2 – Members FREE

Nigel returns to the club with his fantastic bunch of musicians. These guys have worked with Chicken Shack, Desperate Dan Band, and Shakin’ Stevens.

Monday May 5th – Buick 6, with support from Scott Free
Entrance £1 – Members FREE

Buick 6 are always a treat – non-stop authentic Blues from passionate musicians who give their all.
In support we have a young band from Lewes ‘Scott Free’ making their first appearance in Hastings.
They come with recommendations from top players so I’m looking forward to welcoming them to the club.”

If you want to get free entrance to most of the gigs and 10% off food, you become a member. It’s free to join….just check out their website: www.basement26.co.uk or contact Mike via Facebook. He will then make sure you have a membership card waiting for you when you arrive at the club.

Well done to Mike for starting this regular night of music. Coming just after the recent announcement of the ‘Bare-Faced Blues’ Festival, in September, it looks like the Blues scene in Hastings is finally getting some well deserved exposure.

Buick 6 – Live Video

Our last post mentioned the ‘Bare-Faced Blues’ Festival, which is taking place over two weekends in September 2014, at Gecko Bar in St Leonards.

Read more about it here: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/bare-faced-blues-festival/

One of the acts booked to play at ‘Bare-Faced Blues’ are Buick 6. Because of that, we thought we’d share this recent video with you. It comes from Harvey Summers’ video series ‘The Live Room’, recorded at his own Broadoak Studios.

If you don’t know of Buick 6, or have not seen them play live before, you really ought to watch this live session. It’s classy stuff.

Enjoy.

Bare-Faced Blues Festival

Hot on the heels of the news that Hastings is to have its own Folk Festival in May 2014, comes the launch of a new Blues Festival in St Leonards.

To be called ‘Bare-Faced Blues’, the festival is being organised and promoted by local man Barry Taylor. For the uninitiated, Barry is the man who booked the Sex Pistols to play on Hastings Pier back in July 1976.

‘Bare-Faced Blues’ will take place at Gecko Bar, on St Leonards seafront, on Sunday’s, 7th and 14th of September 2014. The whole event is being organised to raise funds for St Michael’s Hospice, a very worthy cause I’m sure you’d agree.

Local acts already lined up include Buick 6, King Size Slim, Goo Goos and T Chest Blues, with more to be announced.

Barry would like to hear from any local Blues based acts who are interested in playing this charity event. You can contact him via email at: barry.taylor145@gmail.com

If ‘Bare-Faced Blues’ is a success, Barry hopes to make it into an annual event to add to the Hastings musical calendar.

We wish him well.

SXSE 2014 – A Judges View

A musical recipe.

Take one stage, seven bands, five and a half hours of music, four judges, two sound engineers, several photographers, and countless enthusiastic observers.

Add one pre event band break up, and one last minute replacement act.

Mix all those ingredients together in The Union Bar, and you get SXSE (South by South East), supported by The Stinger magazine. Just one of the many events that took place over the weekend of Hastings Fat Tuesday 2014.

All seven bands were competing to fill the prestigious final slot on the Fat Tuesday Tour, which would see the ‘winners’ play three gigs, in three different venues, over the course of one evening.

First up were The Piercings, who various judges said reminded them of both The Housemartins, and The Lightning Seeds. Not a bad thing.

They were closely followed by Great Snakes, another of the recent surge in guitar and drums duo’s. Passion, energy and solid drumming.

To showcase the variety of the acts, next was Tom Cole, who was described as a ‘1960’s style protest singer’ by one judge. Good guitar work and a nice rapport with the audience too.

At this point, it is worth mentioning that the acts were judged on three main criteria. Musicianship and Tightness, Lyrics and Melody, Stage Presence and Charisma. All acts were given a maximum of ten marks for each category. They also had a twenty minute time slot.

Next, and upping the ante, were Wax. A tight quartet with an 80’s feel, sound effects, and even electric drum pads. Stage presence, and a sound described by one judge, and not in a bad way either, as ‘The Pet Shop Boys with guitars’.

Keeping up the quality were Irie Method, another quartet playing what they call ‘Skindie’ (Ska and Indie). Lively, fun, catchy and with audience participation, these guys got the toes tapping.

Last minute replacements Xup Sup got the house rocking. Tight, energetic pop-punk, a phenomenal drummer, and a great cover of ’99 Red Balloons’. One judge said ‘Xup Sup would not be out of place on a bill with the likes of Green Day, or Blink 182’. Praise indeed.

And so to the final act, Riddles. An air of expectation was apparent and they certainly didn’t disappoint. A trio creating a tight, intense, relentless (in a good way) sound, not unlike Hawkwind, this was a perfect way to end a musically rich afternoon. Half the judging panel said Riddles were the band they would personally choose to go and see again tomorrow.

But, there could only be one ‘winner’. There were several contenders, and no clear front runner. Advice was sought on exactly what was being voting for. Was it the best band on the day, the act with the most potential, or (as it turned out to be) the most suitable band for the Fat Tuesday Tour.

Any one of those options would probably have produced a different result. But, after much debate, Irie Method were invited to play the Fat Tuesday Tour, and by all accounts did SXSE proud.

It’s a bit of a cliche I know, but on the day local music was the winner.

The judges were very impressed with the quality of both the bands and the musicianship.

Unique among the judges, I’d seen most of the acts before, and thought I knew what to expect. But even I was pleasantly surprised by the standard of the music, and the performances on the day.

That can only be a good thing.

(All photo’s by John Powell: http://www.johnnypowell.net/)

Hastings – A Musical Town

You may have already seen the news that Hastings has been voted the most musical town in the UK.

I’m sure that comes as no surprise to most of you anyway and it certainly doesn’t to me. So, I thought I’d make a quick video giving my thoughts on this ‘award’.

Let me know what you think.