Off Axis – Fat Tuesday

(Updated 12.02.2015)

This years Hastings Fat Tuesday celebrations have several new additions to the already hectic schedule and Off Axis is just one of them.

But what is Off Axis and what can you expect to see and hear?

We have mentioned the Off Axis idea on Pierless Music before, as you can read here:

http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/off-axis-with-dorey-the-wise/

The aims of Off Axis are to “help bands to connect together and build audiences and networks across the UK”. That’s something that appeals to us here at Pierless Music and the Fat Tuesday team as well, hence getting them involved with this years festival.

You can out more and get involved here: http://offaxisnetwork.com/

This year there will be a dedicated Off Axis event at The Carlisle, on Sunday 15th February. A total of 12 bands will be playing 20 minute sets, upstairs and downstairs.

The acts are coming from as far afield as Bristol, Kent, Brighton and even Rouen in France. There will also be some local favourites to see too.

Here is a list of acts and proposed stage times (subject to change):

1.30pm: WAX – (Downstairs)

2pm: Joe Corbin – (Upstairs)

2.30pm: Native People – (Downstairs)

3pm: Follow – (Upstairs)

3.30pm: A Billion Lions – (Downstairs)

4pm: Of Empires – (Upstairs)

4.30pm: Less Than Worse – (Downstairs)

5pm: Dorey The Wise – (Upstairs)

5.30pm: Kid Kapichi – (Downstairs)

6pm: The Scruff – (Upstairs)

6.30pm: Candela – (Downstairs)

7pm: Lascaux – (Upstairs)

For more info about the bands and the event, visit the Fat Tuesday website:

http://www.hastingsfattuesday.co.uk/2015/sunday/#off_axis

Stallion – Back In The Saddle

You wait 30 years for a gig by local prog-rockers Stallion and then two come along within the space of 9 months.

We wrote about Stallion here at Pierless Music back in August of last year, just before their comeback gig at the Big Green Cardigan Festival: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/stallion-ride-again/

I was lucky enough to be at that gig and very good it was too. Obviously Stallion themselves must have enjoyed it as well, as they return for another gig this Friday, 11th April at The Carlisle, in Hastings.

Here’s the Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1389746621247897/

So, if you missed, or were unable to attend, that comeback gig, this time it’s all happening rather closer to home. It’s free entry too.

Keyboard player Phil Thornton told Pierless Music, “To play in Hastings again, the bands hometown, is a dream long overdue. It will indeed be a special occasion”. I’m sure many of the bands fans from back in the 1970′s feel the same way.

If you don’t know Stallion, or maybe you’re a bit too young to remember them first time around, here’s a video shot at that Big Green Cardigan Festival gig last year:

Friday’s gig is being billed as a one-off event once again. But I’m told that the gig is being both recorded and filmed, which rather suggests that Stallion mean business and that more gigs are on the cards. I have also been reliably informed that the band are even writing new material together.

I’m sure all of this is very welcome news to Stallion’s many fans from yesterday. And who knows, after Friday’s gig maybe there will some new converts?

Here’s the Stallion line-up for the upcoming gig:

Julian Carter – Vocals and Guitar                                                                                     Phil Thornton – Keyboards                                                                                            John Petri – Guitar                                                                                                           Phil Gill – Bass Guitar                                                                                                    Miles Gill – Drums

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.

Voodoo Fest 2013

We always like to do things a little differently here in Hastings and Halloween is no exception.

Where other towns are trick or treating and playing around with pumpkins, Hastings has Voodoo Fest.

Voodoo Fest, which is brought to you by the people behind ‘Fat Tuesday’, is now in its 3rd year. The organisers describe Voodoo Fest as the “closing music event for the Hastings Festival season. So anyone who was a pirate, got greened at Jack in the Green or blackened at bonfire, partied during old town carnival week, Fat Tuesday, or any of the other great things that happen in Hastings and St Leonards during 2013, this one’s for you”.

You can find out more on the Voodoo Fest website at:

http://www.hastingsfattuesday.co.uk/voodoofest/

As you’d imagine, the event takes place on All Hallows Eve itself, Thursday 31st October and this year the team are taking over the whole of The Carlisle pub, both downstairs and upstairs.

But, the Voodoo Fest event actually starts at 7pm at the General Havelock, in the town centre, with a ‘funeral gathering’. From there a coffin will be carried to The Carlisle, accompanied by the Hastings Second Line Jazz band.

From 8pm at The Carlisle, 5 bands and 2 DJ’s will be on hand to entertain you right through to the witching hour and beyond.

Bands performing include Junk Deluxe, made up of members of Alabama 3. Fat Whites, a band who were recently awarded ‘gig of the week’ in the NME. Local favourites The Kid Kapichi, who kicked up a storm during Fat Tuesday. The Vince Ray Rock and Roll Loser Machine and also Dr Savage and the Fat Tuesday Second Line.

Tickets cost £10 and can be bought via the Voodoo Fest website, or from Substance in Robertson St.

All guests are encouraged to dress up for the night and if you want some inspiration just have a look at the photo’s from last year on the event website.

There is also an Event page on Facebook, which you can find here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/244745675672885/

It promises to be yet another interesting and varied evening in Hastings.

Hastings Beach Concerts – Line Up

Pierless Music can now reveal to you the line up for the 2013 Hastings Beach Concerts.

The gigs will take place on Saturday and Sunday, 3rd and 4th of August. They will be held in their usual spot, just next to the Lifeboat Station.

As with any event like this, the line up is subject to change.

Saturday 3rd August – 1 to 9pm:

The Rhythm Section – Ugenix – The Vindickers – Dead Rabbits – King Bathmat – Anita Jardine – Tusk – Harry Osborne.

Sunday 4th August – 1 to 7pm:

Blair – 90% Proof – Under The Covers – The Fabulous Red Diesel – Star Scream.

As usual, there will a collection for the RNLI and there will also be a bar provided. Because of this, gig goers are asked not to bring their own alcohol.

Also, because of insurance restrictions, no BBQs are allowed on site. Please respect this.

At Pierless Music we are very happy to see so many local acts who write and perform their own music included in the line up this year. That’s great to see and let’s hope that it becomes a regular feature.

You may remember that Tony Streeter wrote a blog post for this site some time ago explaining what went into putting an event like the Beach Concerts on. It was certainly an eye opener. You can read it here:

http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/blog-posts/tony-streeter/rnli-hastings-beach-concert/

Tony mentioned in that post that it costs approx £4,000 to put these gigs on every year. This years Beach Concerts have been made possible by donations made by Bob Faulkner of The Carlisle. So, many thanks to him for helping to enable these 25th anniversary concerts to go ahead. Happy silver anniversary.

Of course, any post about the RNLI Hastings Beach Concerts is a great opportunity to watch, once again, the late and great John Martyn performing there back in 1991. Great stuff. See how many people you recognise.

Thanks to Tony Streeter and everyone involved with the Hastings Beach Concerts for all their hard work in helping to bring Hastings these wonderful gigs every year. They have become a fixture in the local calendar and long may they contune to be so.

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.

Blog Post – Venue, Venue, Venue

Having recently been to a gig at the newly refurbished Carlisle pub in Hastings, I thought I’d write a blog post concerning local live music venues.

Here it is: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/blog-posts/andy-gunton-2/venue-venue-venue/

Some venues are better than others and for several reasons too.

Have a read, see what you think and add your own comments below.

Here’s a photo from ‘the old days’ of The Carlisle: