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:

Bare-Faced Blues Festival

Hot on the heels of the news that Hastings is to have its own Folk Festival in May 2014, comes the launch of a new Blues Festival in St Leonards.

To be called ‘Bare-Faced Blues’, the festival is being organised and promoted by local man Barry Taylor. For the uninitiated, Barry is the man who booked the Sex Pistols to play on Hastings Pier back in July 1976.

‘Bare-Faced Blues’ will take place at Gecko Bar, on St Leonards seafront, on Sunday’s, 7th and 14th of September 2014. The whole event is being organised to raise funds for St Michael’s Hospice, a very worthy cause I’m sure you’d agree.

Local acts already lined up include Buick 6, King Size Slim, Goo Goos and T Chest Blues, with more to be announced.

Barry would like to hear from any local Blues based acts who are interested in playing this charity event. You can contact him via email at:

If ‘Bare-Faced Blues’ is a success, Barry hopes to make it into an annual event to add to the Hastings musical calendar.

We wish him well.

Hastings Rock 2013

Well, it’s that time of year again.

Hastings Rock radio will be returning, license permitting, once again in May 2013. The station will be the on air from Saturday 4th May until midnight on Friday 31st May, probably on the usual 87.7FM frequency & also via the Internet.

This year will be the 20th anniversary of the very first Hastings Rock broadcast back in August of 1993. So there is bound be an air of celebration surrounding this years proceedings.

Local company Booker & Best are very kindly sponsoring this years Hastings Rock broadcast and the station will, once again, be supporting and raising awareness for St Michael’s Hospice throughout their 28 days on air.

I will give more information about this years Hastings Rock broadcast nearer the time, including a full programme schedule. But, for the moment I just wanted to publicise my own Local Music Shows that I’ll be doing once again on Sunday evenings throughout May.

This year those Local Music Shows will be on at the slightly later time of 8-10pm on Sunday evenings.

But, for those shows to take place I need your music. I have already started getting local music together for inclusion, but I know there’s more out there waiting to be heard. So, if your music fits the following criteria/rules please get in touch with me via Pierless Music. The email address is:

  1. All music must be original material, no cover versions.
  2. No swearing.
  3. You, or your band must come from the Hastings, Eastbourne, Rye, Battle and Robertsbridge area.
  4. All music must be on CD or mp3 and be of broadcastable quality.
  5. There is no guarantee that your music will be played on air.
  6. Music doesn’t have to be classed as Rock. I can move the musical boundaries for this show, within reason. Blues, Folk, World, Jazz and other genre’s have been included in the past.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Andy Gunton

PS: For those who aren’t already aware. I am the Chairman of Hastings Rock radio and therefore have an interest in the radio station.