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.

Mumm-ra are back (again)

It seems that you just can’t keep a good band down these days.

I wrote recently about how so many local bands are getting back together again, even if it’s just for the one night:

I mentioned in that piece about the Mumm-ra reunion gigs of 2012 and now it seems that that has whetted their appetite for something a bit more substantial. I had a funny feeling that it might have that effect.

There have been cryptic Twitter messages coming from the Mumm-ra camp recently which have now culminated in the following statement on their website:

“Hello everyone.

It’s been an awfully long time. Five years have passed and my word things have changed. Apparently our Myspace is no longer relevant? Dark times.

Fear not, however, for Mumm-Ra have stirred from their deep slumber and decided to give a home to those songs that never made it to the elusive ‘Album Two’.

Everything’s ready to go and we hope to have something for your ears in the next couple of months. To whet your appetite until that time, here is a little acoustic number called ‘Technicolour’.

Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter for all the latest Mumm-ra news, and check out our Soundcloud page where you can stream all our tracks.

It’s good to be back.

Love always,


Here’s the video that accompanies that new track ‘Technicolour’:

Nice, isn’t it?

It’s good to have them back once again and let’s hope that it’s for a little longer than two days this time around.

Mumm-ra website:


Deja Vu all over again

Just when you thought the whole local band reunion thing was over, along comes another gig featuring some old favourites.

Mumm-Ra (more about them later) and Youngplan started it all off with their gigs at Flairz in October 2012. Then The Candys decided to tread the boards one more time at the Brass Monkey in December and very good they were too.

Now, it’s the turn of Mookie, Star Scream (ok they never split up, they just don’t play locally) and The Crayons. They’ve even managed to rope in Sam Little, from such bands as Fleeing From Finales, to play an acoustic set.

The big reunion takes place at the Brass Monkey on Friday, 8th March and they’ve even got a Facebook Event page for you to visit to get more details:

Personally, i’ve never been a huge fan of band reunions. Maybe the cynic in me just ends up questioning the motives behind it all? But, i really don’t think that’s the case with these recent local band reunions. After all, it’s not as if they’re doing it for the money is it?

I intend to be at the Brass Monkey on March 8th to see these bands once again. After all, i’ve played all of them on Hastings Rock at some time in the past. So, it will be good to get reaquainted with their music.

Now back to Mumm-Ra.

Something seems to be stirring within the Mumm-Ra camp, as they’ve been posting cryptic Tweets recently. These Tweets lead you towards a new band website, which you can find here:

When you get there, all you see is the wording “Summer 2013″. Hmm… all very mysterious.

Watch this space for more developments.


Mumm-Ra & Youngplan – Gig Review

Well, did you manage to get tickets for either of the Mumm-Ra gigs over the weekend?

If so, what did you think?

Pierless Music were in attendance for Friday’s gig and Andy even managed to sneak back to see the gig on Saturday as well.

Here are his thoughts on both gigs:

Why not let us know your own thoughts on the gigs?

New Blog Post – Together Again

It seems these days that all bands that split up are destined to reform and play together once again.

Pierless Music’s Andy Gunton has written a blog post about this and how this trend seems to have caught on locally as well.


Find it here:


Mumm-Ra Reunion Show Tickets.

Tickets for the Mumm-Ra reunion show, with Youngplan supporting, are now on sale.

They can be bought from behind the bar at Flairz in Havelock Road, Hastings, the venue for the gig on 19th October.

Tickets are priced at £3 each and are expected to sell out very quickly, so hurry on down to Flairz. There are only a limited amount of tickets available from Flairz itself by the way.

Online ticket sales are expected to be announced any time now. So, keep your eyes and ears peeled.

We got ticket numbers 50 and 51 by the way :)


Tickets now on sale online: There are only 35 tickets available and they cost £5. The online price difference is not the fault of the band by the way. Now Sold Out!

But, if you didn’t manage to get tickets for this show, read this from the Facebook event page:


This extra date will also be at Flairz and will be on Saturday, 20th October 2012.

Mumm-Ra are back……

…. But, before you all get too excited, it’s only for one night.

The boys from Bexhill announced via their official Twitter page ( on the 27th September, that they’d be playing a one off gig at Flairz, in Hastings, on Friday 19th October 2012.

Tickets are only £3 and are sure to sell out very quickly. The doors open at 7.30pm on the night.

Mumm-Ra have also set up an event page for the gig on Facebook:

This is how they announced the gig there:

“54 Months ago Mumm-Ra played what would become their last ever gig in the Cambridge Barfly. It was a great moment, but since the band’s split it never felt like we really gave the close fans the send off they deserved… Until now…

The time has come… After almost 5 years in the musical abyss, Mumm-Ra are back for a one off show at Flairz in Hastings!!!

Not only that but we have an amazing support act lined up for a show that will surely take us back to a time when indie ruled the world!”

As yet, details of actual ticket sales haven’t been released.

As has been pointed out on the Facebook page, Flairz is not the biggest venue in the world. So, the scramble for those tickets could be interesting.

It’s amazing to think that it’s already been 5 years since Mumm-Ra split.

It’s good to have them back, albeit briefly.

Watch this space for more news.