Bare Faced Blues

It’s typical isn’t it? You wait for one new music festival to launch in Hastings and then three come along in the space of a few months. Mind you, we’re not complaining.

First we had a brand new Folk Fest in May, then the Sea Shanty Festival in July and now in September we’ll see the launch of Bare Faced Blues.

The Bare Faced Blues festival plays out over two Sunday’s in September, the 7th and 14th and will take place at the Gecko Bar, on the seafront in St Leonards. It’s all in a good cause too, as all profits will be going to St Michael’s Hospice.

As the name suggests, this new addition to the local music calendar will be Blues based. Showing, if we didn’t know it already, the huge variety of music being played in the Hastings area.

Bare Faced Blues is the brainchild of local promoter Barry Taylor, who once booked the Sex Pistols to play on Hastings Pier. He told me, “Blues music has always been a passion for me and St Michael’s Hospice has family connections”.

Barry has certainly gathered together a great line up of local Blues artists to appear. Sunday, 7th September see’s Buick 6, Jem Turpin Duo, Highway and Goo Goo’s playing.

Sunday, 14th September has Tea Chest Blues, Joe Rytlewski Band, King Size Slim, Pete O’Donnells Blues Band and Mick Bolton scheduled to appear. I’m sure you’d agree that that’s an impressive group of acts.

Both gigs run from 1.30pm to 9pm and entry will be free. There will a collection for St Michael’s Hospice during both gigs.

To coincide with the festival, a CD called “Blues for St Michael’s” is being released, featuring all the acts appearing over the two dates. Priced at just £5, you’ll be able to buy the CD on the day and afterwards at Gecko Bar and also online. All profits from the CD will go to St Michael’s Hospice.

So far, the reception to Barry’s Blues festival idea has been very positive. As he told me, “The first person I spoke to was Pete Prescott, because of his experience of fund raising through music, he was very enthusiastic. All the artists I approached have been very co-operative and I feel the line ups reflect the great variety within the local Blues genre”.

A dedicated Bare Faced Blues website will be coming very shortly, which will feature more info about the acts, the festival itself and also interviews with the performers.

So why not go along, see some great Blues music and help support a very worthy local charity as well. And who knows, maybe Bare Faced Blues will become an annual event?

Let’s hope so.

PS: The website is now live at: www.barefacedblues.co.uk

The Live Room

I think most of us would agree that music television isn’t what it once was.

With the notable exception of ‘Later…. with Jools Holland’, there really is nothing on mainstream TV these days to compete with the likes of The Tube, Old Grey Whistle Test, or even Top Of The Pops from days gone by.

Ok, so you can watch music videos to your hearts content, but that’s not the same as seeing a band, or act, playing live is it?

Thankfully the rise of the Internet, and sites such as YouTube, has enabled budding TV executives to go it alone and do it themselves.

Once such local man doing just that is producer Harvey Summers, who we have featured on the Pierless Music site before.

Harvey has just uploaded the second recorded session, called ‘The Live Room’, to his own Broadoak Studios YouTube channel.

This live session features local bluesman John Pearson, very ably backed by The Outriders, who are Sacha Trochet and Jem Turpin. If you like a bit of authentic blues, then I suggest you give the video a viewing.

When I asked Harvey why he had started this venture he told me, “The idea had been rattling around my head for a couple of years until eventually everything came together and I was able to go ahead. My thinking was that I love seeing musicians perform, and I love a great sound!”

“Also, nice interesting visuals help and atmosphere is key also. Nothing seemed to exist to satisfy my wants! There’s Later with Jools, and Live lounge etc, but apart from being a bit corporate and exclusive, they don’t have either vibey atmospheric surroundings nor a very interesting sound”

“I also wanted to create the opportunity to showcase some of the amazing talent there is around, but that doesn’t get a look in by the mainstream media”

A man after my own heart.

The plan is for ‘The Live Room’ sessions to be recorded and uploaded as near to monthly as possible. All sessions are filmed and recorded live at Harvey’s own Broadoak Studios. The next session, which features Claire Hamill, has already been recorded and is now at the editing stage.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Claire and her doing a live session for my recent radio shows on Carnival FM and if the quality is anything as good as that, we’re in for a treat.

When asked about future shows Harvey said, “Future shows look promising too! We’ve got Jemima Price (a singer Sacha Trochet works with) and Zoe Konez is also interested. And, I’m very pleased to hear that Danny Thompson can’t wait to come and do a show with us too! And who he performs with is going to be very interesting!

“If time allows, we may do a kind of Christmas special too, featuring a few different acts. I’ll be talking to a really wide range of musicians from all styles about it, some totally unknown, some very well-known!”

As for the criteria for the sessions, Harvey’s idea “Is to go for variety, no two shows will be the same – so choosing who to feature is guided by a few things, firstly, are they interesting performers? Secondly, is the quality right up there? and then, are they different, are they saying something in a unique way?”

We wish Harvey well with this venture. It’s good to see some of our areas great musicians playing and talking about the music that they love, or that they’ve written themselves.

Here’s to many more episodes of ‘The Live Room’. I, for one, will certainly be watching.