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: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hastings-Free-Beach-Concert/695268400595809

Pay To Play

If you’re an aspiring band or artist and have ever attempted to get some gigs further afield from your home town, you’ve probably come across the phenomenon that is known as ‘Pay To Play’.

You know the kind of thing where the promoter, or venue says that they can’t or won’t pay you for your performance and tell you that ‘it will be good promotion for your band’ and that ‘that’s just the way things are these days’.

This may well suit you under certain circumstances, but…..

Well, you might be pleased to hear that it’s not just the new, up and coming artists that have to put up with this kind of thing. It seems that even the biggest acts in the world are spun the same rubbish as well. As this blog post by the very readable Helienne Lindvall shows:

http://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2013/dec/17/music-acts-radio-events-free-katy-perry

Of course this is not something that just happens in London and other big cities, it happens in most smaller towns as well. Thankfully not all venues and promoters do this, but many do.

This is a big issue, with several sides and varying points of view and one that I could probably talk about for hours, so I don’t intend to go into it all here.

What I thought I would do though is to point you towards a couple of Facebook groups that talk about these issues. If nothing else it proves that you’re not alone and that it’s not just the ‘little people’ that are affected.

Here’s a link to a Facebook group started up to highlight and discuss musicians being asked to play for free. The group was actually started after problems with the London 2012 Olympics. You might have to join the group to get involved:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NUMAO/

Of course, this doesn’t just affect the music industry. It has become an issue across many fields too, such as journalism.

Here’s a link to another Facebook group called ‘Stop Working For Free’, this time started by respected music journalist Barney Hoskyns. It’s aimed at journalists, musicians, photographers and others as well. Once again you may have to join to get the full benefit:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/263804607094399/

Why not share your own story?

 

Hastings Beach Concerts – Line Up

Pierless Music can now reveal to you the line up for the 2013 Hastings Beach Concerts.

The gigs will take place on Saturday and Sunday, 3rd and 4th of August. They will be held in their usual spot, just next to the Lifeboat Station.

As with any event like this, the line up is subject to change.

Saturday 3rd August – 1 to 9pm:

The Rhythm Section – Ugenix – The Vindickers – Dead Rabbits – King Bathmat – Anita Jardine – Tusk – Harry Osborne.

Sunday 4th August – 1 to 7pm:

Blair – 90% Proof – Under The Covers – The Fabulous Red Diesel – Star Scream.

As usual, there will a collection for the RNLI and there will also be a bar provided. Because of this, gig goers are asked not to bring their own alcohol.

Also, because of insurance restrictions, no BBQs are allowed on site. Please respect this.

At Pierless Music we are very happy to see so many local acts who write and perform their own music included in the line up this year. That’s great to see and let’s hope that it becomes a regular feature.

You may remember that Tony Streeter wrote a blog post for this site some time ago explaining what went into putting an event like the Beach Concerts on. It was certainly an eye opener. You can read it here:

http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/blog-posts/tony-streeter/rnli-hastings-beach-concert/

Tony mentioned in that post that it costs approx £4,000 to put these gigs on every year. This years Beach Concerts have been made possible by donations made by Bob Faulkner of The Carlisle. So, many thanks to him for helping to enable these 25th anniversary concerts to go ahead. Happy silver anniversary.

Of course, any post about the RNLI Hastings Beach Concerts is a great opportunity to watch, once again, the late and great John Martyn performing there back in 1991. Great stuff. See how many people you recognise.

Thanks to Tony Streeter and everyone involved with the Hastings Beach Concerts for all their hard work in helping to bring Hastings these wonderful gigs every year. They have become a fixture in the local calendar and long may they contune to be so.

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.

Blog Post – RNLI Hastings Beach Concert

I’m sure that just about any music lover in the Hastings area has attended one of the RNLI Hastings Beach Concerts at some time or other?

For the uninitiated, the Beach Concerts are held at the start of Old Town Carnival Week every year, usually around the first weekend of August. They have become a staple part of the local event calendar and attract hundreds of music lovers every year.

But, did you know that this year will be its 25th anniversary?

That’s quite an acheivement for the many people who have been involved with putting on the Beach Concerts over those 25 years and they all deserve much praise for all of their hard work. Not just for all the great music they’ve helped to provide, but also for all the money they’ve raised for the RNLI as well.

It wasn’t until recently though, that i came to realise myself just how much work goes into putting on a gig such as the Beach Concert.

Because of that, i asked Tony Streeter, one of the current crop of organisers, if he’d write a blog post for us here at Pierless Music, to give an idea of just what it takes to get it all up and running. What Tony writes may well surprise you, it certainly surprised me and i thought i knew a bit about these things.

You can find Tony’s post here:

http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/blog-posts/tony-streeter/rnli-hastings-beach-concert/

Don’t forget that what Tony has written is just an indication of what any promoter, or organiser of an outdoor event has to go through these days. It’s scary stuff and makes you wonder what hoops have to be jumped through to put on a festival such as Glastonbury!

Thanks to Tony for writing this post for us and we hope to have some more from him soon.

If you have any comments, please add them below Tony’s piece, we’d love to hear from you. Thanks.