Hastings Fat Tuesday 2014

It’s very nearly time for another one of those highlights of the Hastings year, Fat Tuesday.

It all kicks off tomorrow, Friday 28th, and details of events across the whole five days can be found on the official website: http://www.hastingsfattuesday.co.uk/2014/

There is plenty to enjoy over the course of the celebrations, but one of the best aspects of Hastings Fat Tuesday is the opportunity it gives for local original musicians to showcase their talents to a wider audience. Fat Tuesday brings visitors from far and wide to Hastings. After all, everyone likes a party don’t they?

So, I thought I’d highlight some of the events, within the five days of celebrations, that help to showcase that original musical talent.

Friday evening brings the official Launch Party at The Jenny Lind, with The Cajun Dawgs sharing their authentic Cajun and Zydeco sounds, straight from the deep south of the UK.

There’s just time to catch your breath, and shake off that hangover, before The Unplugged Tour on Saturday afternoon between 1 and 6pm. 30 acts, performing 150 gigs, across several venues in Hastings Old Town.

This is only the second year of The Unplugged Tour, but it’s one of the events that I’m looking forward to the most. Many of our best local acts will be performing acoustic versions of their songs, quite possibly for the first time. So it’s a great opportunity to see those bands in a different light and often out of their comfort zone too.

Sunday afternoon see’s the return of SXSE at The Union Bar: https://www.facebook.com/events/261077317383850/

This showcase features 8 local bands aiming to claim the final slot on Tuesday nights Fat Tuesday Tour. I’m lucky enough to be one of the judges for this and it promises to be a great afternoon.

Monday gives you a chance to catch your breath a little with Slim Monday at the Brass Monkey. Performing on the night will be the appropriately named King Size Slim, and if he’s anywhere near as good as the last time I saw him play, this is another gig not to be missed.

Tuesday evening brings us to the highlight and climax of the whole Hastings Fat Tuesday celebrations with the Fat Tuesday Tour itself. 8 venues, and 16 bands playing 3 gigs each.

2013 set a benchmark with Skunk Anansie playing to excited crowds at the Dragon Bar, Lord Nelson and The Carlisle. So, 2014 has a lot to live up to, but I’ve no doubt that the levels of excitement and quality of music will be just as good.

See the official Fat Tuesday programme within the first issue of The Stinger magazine for full details of all the events.

Overall, Hastings Fat Tuesday 2014 will feature over 250 performances, by 65 artists, across 25 different venues. Now that’s quite some party!

And possibly the best thing about all the events I’ve mentioned here, is that they’re all absolutely free.

We’ve never really needed an excuse to party in Hastings, but if one was ever needed, Fat Tuesday is a far better one than most.

Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday everyone. See you there.

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.