Voodoo Fest 2013

We always like to do things a little differently here in Hastings and Halloween is no exception.

Where other towns are trick or treating and playing around with pumpkins, Hastings has Voodoo Fest.

Voodoo Fest, which is brought to you by the people behind ‘Fat Tuesday’, is now in its 3rd year. The organisers describe Voodoo Fest as the “closing music event for the Hastings Festival season. So anyone who was a pirate, got greened at Jack in the Green or blackened at bonfire, partied during old town carnival week, Fat Tuesday, or any of the other great things that happen in Hastings and St Leonards during 2013, this one’s for you”.

You can find out more on the Voodoo Fest website at:

http://www.hastingsfattuesday.co.uk/voodoofest/

As you’d imagine, the event takes place on All Hallows Eve itself, Thursday 31st October and this year the team are taking over the whole of The Carlisle pub, both downstairs and upstairs.

But, the Voodoo Fest event actually starts at 7pm at the General Havelock, in the town centre, with a ‘funeral gathering’. From there a coffin will be carried to The Carlisle, accompanied by the Hastings Second Line Jazz band.

From 8pm at The Carlisle, 5 bands and 2 DJ’s will be on hand to entertain you right through to the witching hour and beyond.

Bands performing include Junk Deluxe, made up of members of Alabama 3. Fat Whites, a band who were recently awarded ‘gig of the week’ in the NME. Local favourites The Kid Kapichi, who kicked up a storm during Fat Tuesday. The Vince Ray Rock and Roll Loser Machine and also Dr Savage and the Fat Tuesday Second Line.

Tickets cost £10 and can be bought via the Voodoo Fest website, or from Substance in Robertson St.

All guests are encouraged to dress up for the night and if you want some inspiration just have a look at the photo’s from last year on the event website.

There is also an Event page on Facebook, which you can find here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/244745675672885/

It promises to be yet another interesting and varied evening in Hastings.

Pierless Music and Fat Tuesday

You may have seen the news in todays edition of the Hastings Observer concerning Pierless Music teaming up with the Hastings Fat Tuesday duo of Adam Daly and Bob Tipler. If not here’s what you missed:

Obviously this is exciting news and something we’ll be talking about here in the days and months to come.

We have many great ideas and plans for the future and we’ll let you know all about them in due course. But, as you can imagine, there is plenty of hard work to come now to get this charity off of the ground.

But, we thought we’d just share this good news with you in the meantime.

Rock n Roll and Beer

We all know that rock n roll and beer make a great combination don’t we? It’s a match made in heaven.

But, it has to be said that the beer served in some venues, especially for us bitter drinkers, can leave a little bit to be desired at times. Many is the time that i’ve had to resort to, whisper it, lager to quench my thirst, because the alternative just wasn’t up to scratch.

We are blessed in the Hastings area with some very good local gig venues that serve great beer and now that very fact has been recognised by none other than the beer drinkers very own organisation CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).

The Dolphin down there in Rock A Nore, in the Old Town of Hastings, has recently been awarded the highly prized accolade of  ‘Camra, East Sussex Pub of the Year’ and very well deserved it is too.

Apart from, rather obviously, serving great beer The Dolphin is a very proud and active supporter of local music. Whether that be covers or original music.

The pub and its dedicated team have played host to such varied local acts as Blair, Liane Carroll, Sam Wills and The Sound, Slam, Roger Carey,  Pete Prescott, Blackman Band and even Claire Hamill complete with a choir!

The Dolphin also featured amongst the venues for the recent Fat Tuesday festivities. I was there myself for some of the Unplugged Saturday afternoon session, watching amongst others The Kid Kapichi and King Size Slim. A good time was certainly had by all on that occasion.

As you are no doubt well aware by now, here at Pierless Music we are very keen on supporting original local music and also those, such as The Dolphin, that help to give it the exposure that it richly deserves.

It’s also good to see a local venue get recognised for the beer that they serve to those thirsty gig goers as well. After all it is an essential part of the whole rock n roll experience. So, well done to all concerned.

(No hops were harmed in the writing of this post)

Fat Tuesday – Reflections

So, have you all recovered from the festivities yet? I think i have, but i’m still buzzing from a great evening on Tuesday.

For those of you who didn’t, or were unable to attend any of the Fat Tuesday events over the past weekend, you missed something just a little bit special.

Fat Tuesday is one of those things that the people of Hastings seem to do so much better than just about anywhere. Maybe with the possible exceptions of great cities like  New Orleans, or Rio. But, for a town of our size, we sure do pack a punch when it comes to celebrations.

Pierless Music were lucky enough to have been involved in a small way and we attended several of the weekends events. All of the ones that i went to personally were memorable. Whether that be for the atmosphere around the particular event, or because of the quality of the music and musicianship on display.

The addition of Saturdays ‘Unplugged’ gigs in the Old Town was particularly welcome. 100 gigs in 5 hours, across several different venues and involving many acts was great fun. And the sheer variety of the music played and heard was stunning.

As somebody said to me on that afternoon, “Give it a couple of years and this ‘Unplugged’ afternoon will be huge”. I can’t disagree with that.

Monday evening saw me at the Brass Monkey for ‘Slim Monday’ with, appropriately enough, King Size Slim. I’d only intended to pop into the venue to see someone, but ended up staying all evening because of the quality of the music and the band. It was that kind of weekend.

Of course the big night and the one that it’s really all about was Fat Tuesday itself.

I spent the evening with The Kid Kapichi, due to our involvement with them. But, this also meant that i was at the same venues directly before the ‘Special Guests’ were due to play. Venues were so busy that they were operating a ‘one out – one in’ policy. Hardly surprising since the word had got out that Skunk Anansie were in fact the ‘Special Guests’.

What a coup it was to have got a band of their stature to come to little old Hastings and then play in such venues as the Dragon Bar, The Nelson and The Carlisle. Well done to Skunk Anansie for doing that. They certainly seemed to have enoyed themselves and the experience too.

From a personal point of view, the highlight of the whole weekend was that final gig at The Carlisle. Standing by the side of the stage watching The Kid Kapichi play a storming set and gather many new fans in the process and then to see Skunk Anansie on the same stage immediately afterwards, was something rather special.

I’m sure that everyone who attended any of the events over the Fat Tuesday evening has got their own special memories too. And all of that is due to the organisation of Adam Daly, Bob Tipler and all their team who helped to make Fat Tuesday the event that it is. Huge thanks must go out to them. Well done guys.

I could go on about the general atmosphere surrounding Fat Tuesday, the great camaradarie of all the musicians and the wonderful costumes that people wore. But, i’ve already written more than i intended.

But, i’ll leave you with a video i recorded of The Kid Kapichi at The Carlisle on that special night. For me, it sums up that gig, Fat Tuesday itself and the great time that everbody had. Enjoy.

Fat Tuesday

Christmas is now a distant memory and spring is still some way over the hill. It’s still chilly, but the people of Hastings and St Leonards have something to look forward to with the approach of the annual Hastings Fat Tuesday Festival!

This is the fourth year of the New Orleans Mardi Gras themed event and it promises to be bigger and better than ever – with music, umbrella parades, food and drink events all included over the festival period running from Friday 8th to Tuesday 12th of February.

Dressing up in true Mardi Gras fashion is the order of the day – masks, face paint, fancy dress or colourful clothes – anything goes really.

Fat Tuesday has become one of Hastings most anticipated annual events. Attracting people from far and wide and recruiting enthusiastic volunteers whose valiant efforts raise awareness and also money for local charities.

Hastings Fat Tuesday has evolved over previous years into 2013′s five day programme of events, running from Friday 8th through till Tuesday 12 February.

Hastings Fat Tuesday aims to provide something for everyone. From a tongue in cheek “Cardi Gras” Cake Sale organised by the local Women’s  Institute,  “Unplugged” music  sessions in various local bars and restaurants, an Afro/Caribbean Party Night, a Grande Mardi Gras Ball and a colourful Umbrella Parade through the Town Centre which finishes with more live music and a street BBQ at the America Ground.

All of this builds up to the main event of Hastings Fat Tuesday itself, which this year falls on the 12th of February. This year 8 local venues squeeze in 16 bands, who each play 20 minutes sets in 3 of the venues. So each venue hosts 6 gigs between 8pm and at 11/11.30pm. This is then followed by the now legendary After Show Party at the Brass Monkey, with another great live act and DJ’s running through till 3AM.

The musical mayhem is built throughout the evening as those 16 bands criss-cross the town to get to their next gig. On the way passing groups of people moving onto their next venue to catch the band of their choice.

This year is set to be bigger and better than ever with more events, more locations, more bands and three incredibly exciting performances from a very special mystery guest!

Full details of all events including an online ticket office and information on other “fringe” events planned for the festival period can be found on the festival website: www.hastingsfatuesday.co.uk Info can also be found on the Pierless Music Gig Guide, including the full line up for the main Fat Tuesday gigs.

To see what’s in store, take a look at this video of the 2011 event:

Traditionally occurring on Shrove Tuesday, “Fat Tuesday” (English for Mardi Gras) is a day of serious partying in some parts of the world, as people let their hair down before observing the restrictions of Lent which starts on the following day, Ash Wednesday.

As with many early spring and Easter customs Mardi Gras has ancient roots, including the pagan Roman customs of Lupercalia and Saturnalia. Tied into the lunar calendar, the date marks the turning of the year from winter to spring – another reason to celebrate.

I’ll see you there.

(Written using the official Fat Tuesday press release)