The Pierless Music Gig Guide

We’re coming back in 2014!

As some of you may already know, the online UA Gig Guide is shutting down on 31st December 2013. This will, once again, create a big hole for the many local gig goers that rely on a decent Gig Guide to help them choose their evenings entertainment.

So, we’ve decided to try and fill that hole. But we need your help.

If you are a venue, a band/artist, or a promoter, we need you to tell us about your gig/event. After all if we don’t know about your gig, we can’t include it.

Please email your gig details to:

We will be listing gigs from 1st January 2014 and going live later this month. So, the sooner we have your info, the sooner we can include it ready for the launch.

The new Pierless Music Gig Guide is part of a wider project that we’ll be helping to launch in 2014. Details of which we’ll be telling you about in due course.

In the meantime, for more info on what we need from you and what we intend to include, please see:

Please help spread the word about the upcoming Pierless Music Gig Guide. Together we can make it a success.


Otti Albietz – Becoming Close

I mentioned in my last post about the diversity of both local talent and gig venues in Hastings. Well, this Saturday afternoon I went to another great example.

It did, once again, feature Otti Albietz. But, this time it was at ‘The America Ground Shop and Barefoot Records’ in Claremont, Hastings.

The event what was billed as ‘The Best Lil Gig In Town’ and it was certainly an intimate affair. As you can see from this video that I shot on my phone:

This was the third in a series of intimate gigs that the guys at Barefoot Records have been putting on in recent weeks. The first featured King Size Slim and last week it was the turn of Jeremiah Longshanks.

More gigs are proposed for future Saturday afternoons. Just turn up for 3pm and see who who they are managing to squeeze into the shop that week.

While you’re there why not check out their great selection of vinyl records? I recoginsed many from my own past collection, now sadly sold.


Walking along the seafront on Saturday evening, on my way home from another music event, I was struck by the variety of both the music and the venues that I’d experienced over the past few days.

I know that this is probably nothing new to most of you, but let me explain.

On Thursday afternoon I’d been lucky enough to go and see The Kid Kapichi doing some recording locally. I even managed to take some photo’s of the band ‘at work’ as well.

Thursday evening saw me at The Roomz, in St Leonards, to catch the first set by singer/songwriter/guitarist Keith Foster. He really ought to play more gigs you know.

On Friday evening I went to The Union Bar, formerly The Tubman, to watch Barb Wire Dolls and Maid Of Ace. And very good it was too.

And finally, early Saturday evening, I went to the launch of the new Book Buster bookshop in Queens Rd, Hastings. Apart from giving away free cake, and who can resist free cake, they also had an instore gig featuring both Tim Hoyte and Otti Albietz (plus Thad).

All the gigs were enjoyable. But, it was the diversity of both the music played at the gigs and the venues that they took place in that struck me on that stroll home along the prom.

Yes, I know that seeing The Kid Kapichi in the ‘studio’ wasn’t something that was open to all, but hopefully you get the idea?

From soft rock to loud punk rock, Indie rock to folky guitar tunes.

From a bookshop to a bar, a recording studio to a sweaty pub.

From being the only ‘gig’ goer to being one of nearly 100, including a man with no clothes on!

If you ever wanted to try and sum up the Hastings music scene, those few days would be a great place to start.


The Tabs – An acoustic reunion

One of the most successful and well respected local bands of recent years are back, albeit with a slightly different line up.

The Tabs are playing an acoustic reunion gig at the Royal Victoria Hotel in St Leonards on Friday 13th December. Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets are £8 from B&T Music in Claremont, or you can buy them online for £8.80 at:

For the uninitiated, The Tabs played gigs nationwide between 1990 and 2004, including a slot at the prestigious Fairport Convention Cropedy Festival in 1995 in front of 20,000 people. They also released four critically acclaimed albums during their career.

As to why the band have reformed, founder member Garry Blakeley told me, “In January this year the present acoustic line-up were all at a party with an open mic for anyone who fancied playing. It was suggested during the course of the evening that we play some Tabs stuff (a little risky as it had been a while) but we did. Everyone enjoyed it so we thought it made sense to play a few gigs”

The Tabs have already been lined up for more gigs in 2014, including during the Hastings Jack In The Green festival. There has also been some interest from a few festivals, so watch out for more info.

I asked Garry why this reunion gig was an acoustic affair, rather than a full electric gig that The Tabs were known for? He told me, “Acoustically means that it will be much simpler for setting up a PA etc – much fewer sound problems to deal with and we know that the music still works really well.”

The band are planning to record any gigs that they play with the view to, possibly, releasing an album in due course.

I’m not a huge fan of band reunions, as they are often done for all the wrong reasons. But this is one that I’m certainly looking forward to.

Some reunions are just better than others.

Promoters and Venues

Here at Pierless Music we often get emails from original bands and artists wanting us to help them get gigs in the Hastings area. I get many personal requests as well.

Although a lot of these musicians are from outside of our Pierless Music catchment area, we’d like to be able to help them if we can. After all, they do want to play in Hastings.

The styles of music played by these artists ranges from Heavy Rock, via Indie to solo Folk singers and much inbetween.

So, we’d like to hear from any local gig promoters and venues that would be happy to receive forwarded emails from the bands and musicians that contact us.

If you’re interested, please contact us via and we’ll put you on our list.

If you wish to tell us which types of music you’re looking for, that’s fine by us. That way we’ll try and make sure you only get emails for those artists that may interest you.

Here’s a video from one such singer/songwriter, from Eastbourne, who contacted us today. Well worth watching I think.


2013 is rapidly turning into the year of the reformation. The reformation of local bands that is.

Latest to join this ever growing list are rockers Zucchini, who are getting back together for a one off gig at Flairz, in Hastings on Saturday 23rd November.

I can remember seeing Zucchini several times during their heyday of around 2004 at such venues as The Crypt and I’m sure I’m not alone. I even remember playing their music on Hastings Rock as well. They were a good live band back then, so it promises to be a great night and one to help relive many past memories.

Gig entry is free and doors open at 8pm. See the Facebook Event page for more details:

Support on the night is provided by Star Scream, Jetpack Elastic and Anal Dave.

The band told me they felt that the time was right for a one off renunion. And as far as I’m aware, there are no plans for further gigs, or recordings.

This gig is also aiming to raise money for the Cancer Research UK charity, a very worthy cause. Any donations will get you a copy of Zucchini’s 2004 album ‘Fallen Star’, which can’t be bad.

I think I’m going to have to dig out my own copy to refresh my memory in time for the gig.

It’s been a while.

Keane at The Forum

Regular contributor to the Pierless Music site, Stuart Huggett, recently had the chance to see Keane in the intimate surroundings of The Forum in Tunbridge Wells. Lucky man.

This is his review of that up close and personal gig.

Keane – Tunbridge Wells Forum, October 25th 2013:

Keane are helping celebrate several anniversaries at tonight’s back-to-basics gig, an intimate affair in Tunbridge Wells’ famed Forum. The Battle band mark 10 years of huge international success with a ‘Best Of’ album next month, and this show is an early present for their original home Fierce Panda Records, soon to reach 20 years of talent spotting. The Forum also turned 20 this year, one of the country’s great toilet circuit survivors.

For me, it’s also an anniversary show. It’s been 13 years to the month since I first saw Keane live, supporting Northern Soul-loving indiepop group Spearmint at the Crypt. This was the early years of Keane, then a struggling four-piece band (guitarist Dominic Scott would quit a year later) yet to settle on the piano-led sound that would make their name.

Aside from Tom Chaplin’s patient frustration with their billing – the Crypt was publicising them variously as both ‘Kean’ and ‘Keen’ – all I really remember of their set that evening was the would-be epic edge that differentiated them from the usual post-grunge supports we were used to seeing. Credit to the anonymous writer for The Fly magazine, though, who reviewed the show and noted that, “Once again the Crypt has delivered a band that could make it in the current market.” Despite many opportunities, I’ve not caught Keane live since, until tonight.

There were reports in the press earlier this week that the band were ready to announce their split, a story already rubbished by Chaplin. Certainly Keane are in extremely high spirits tonight, enjoying the chance to tease each other on the smaller stage, joking with the crowd and reminiscing about the time they got bumped off the bill at the Forum by the almost-forgotten Stellastarr. If they’re ready to take a break, they’re leaving in a fine mood.

Photo taken of the crowd at the Forum by Keane’s drummer Richard Hughes

Pleasingly for this nostalgia trip, the set leans heavily on Keane’s mega-selling debut ‘Hopes And Fears’. The addition of bassist Jesse Quin means you’d have to squint pretty hard to pretend this was a three-piece Keane gig from back in the day, and Chaplin himself is a much more lean and confident figure than he once was, but by restricting Tim Rice-Oxley to just the one keyboard the sound is as clean and clear as during their breakthrough era. Even the treated synth squall of ‘Is It Any Wonder?’ is stripped down to its piano essentials.

Old songs are resurrected, unplayed b-sides are unearthed and even the two new songs from the ‘Best Of’ (‘Watch How You Go’ and ‘Higher Than The Sun’) are met with singalongs. Some of the most devoted fans apparently started queueing at 2am this morning so they keep Keane onstage as long as the venue’s able.

10 million sales and counting, this is a jubilant celebration of local boys done good. From the Weald to the world. See you in another 13 years for the comeback.

Stuart Huggett

Setlist: Bend And Break / Black Burning Heart / Everybody’s Changing / Myth / Silenced By The Night / Watch How You Go / This Is The Last Time / Is It Any Wonder? / Sea Fog / Won’t Be Broken / Somewhere Only We Know / Sovereign Light Café / Bedshaped.
Encore: Snowed Under / Higher Than The Sun / Crystal Ball.

Keane website:

Stuart Huggett:

King Size Slim

I’m sure many of you Hastings folk will already be aware of the “Fat Roots Boogie” of Toby Barelli, aka King Size Slim, and if you’re not then now is the time to take notice.

This is a man who revels in live performances, something that is backed up by these figures from his website for 2012.
“146 shows, 13,972 miles travelled, 4 new tyres, 1 new gearbox, 98 sets of guitar strings, 12 harmonicas, 24 guitar picks, 6 thumb picks, 8 finger picks…..” See what I mean?

This year King Size Slim released his 3rd album ‘Milk Drunk’ (which I can heartily recommend by the way) and he has spent the year touring to share it with the world. The end of that tour brings him back home to the Brass Monkey in Hastings on Friday 25th October.

More details can be found here:

This gig see’s him performing with a band. But whether solo, or with that band, his live show is one well worth checking out. The energy of his performances and the infectious rhythms of his music can’t fail to get your feet tapping.

I had the privilege of interviewing Toby about his musical journey and seeing him perform an intimate live radio session earlier this year, during the course of which he managed to destroy a guitar case by stamping on it in time to his music!

So get on down to the Brass Monkey, or buy the ‘Milk Drunk’ album and see what all the fuss is about. I guarantee that you’ll not be disappointed.

King Size Slim website:

Protest Songs and Rebel Sounds

Politics and music are not always the greatest bedfellows, at least according to some. But it can’t be denied that that combination has produced some great songs and performers over the years.

Protest songs have probably been around for as long as the guitar has been invented, after all there’s always something to moan about isn’t there?
Some performers, such as Bob Dylan and Billy Bragg have made a whole career out of it and now we have someone in Hastings trying to do the same.

Gareth Hooker has been playing original music for the past decade in various local bands and as a solo act too. I actually remember being given a CD of his very first band called Overland, which I played tracks from on Hastings Rock radio. How time flies….

Gareth is probably best known though for fronting the sadly departed Youngplan. At one time Youngplan were at the forefront of what was then called ‘Rotherbeat’, along with their mates Mumm-Ra. They were widely regarded as a band going places, but unfortunately they never quite got there and split around five years ago.

Well now Gareth has resurfaced as a folk singer of what he calls “protest songs and rebel sounds” and he says that “this time it’s serious”.

As Gareth told me “I’ve always felt that there’s no point getting up on a stage in front of a load of people unless you have something to say. And there’s no point having something to say unless you act on it“

To that end Gareth is performing at The Fountain in Queens Road in Hastings this Friday, 4th October. The gig is in support of the Hastings and District Trades Council and there will be guest speakers as well.

Many would argue that there’s plenty to be angry about in the world at the moment and it’s good to see people like Gareth getting up and singing about it.

And you don’t even have to wave a flag, or hold a banner to get involved. Just pop down to The Fountain pub on Friday evening, have a beer and listen to some of those “protest songs and rebel sounds”. They might just strike a chord with you.

Vile Electrodes

I mentioned in a recent post about listening to and discovering local music online, and one band that I first listened to online are Vile Electrodes.

Vile Electrodes have just released their first album, ‘The Future Through A Lens, after a series of three EP’s and very good it is too.

When we think about local music, we tend to think of bands just playing the standard guitar, bass, drums and usually from the Rock end of the musical spectrum too. This is usually because that’s what we generally see being played live. But there is far more to the local music scene than just traditional Rock music and Vile Electrodes are one band proving that.

Vile Electrodes, who are Neon and Swan ‘plus an army of synthesizers’, describe themselves as playing ‘Dirty Pop, Electronica, New Wave and Dark Disco’ and that’s something I wouldn’t disagree with. They name such groups as Depeche Mode, Human League and OMD among their many influences and that can certainly be heard in their music. It’s catchy, toe tapping and radio friendly.

You can listen to ‘The Future Through A Lens’ via Spotify and it can also be heard and bought via Bandcamp at:

If you like what you hear and want to see them live, Vile Electrodes are playing The Roomz on Thursday 26th September, along with Rhododendron and Frontier Telegraph. It’s free entry and the evening starts at 7pm.

Local music comes in many forms and genre’s. It’s not just about Rock music and it’s good to see bands such as Vile Electrodes setting out to prove that.

You can find more about Vile Electrodes here: