Walking along the seafront on Saturday evening, on my way home from another music event, I was struck by the variety of both the music and the venues that I’d experienced over the past few days.
I know that this is probably nothing new to most of you, but let me explain.
On Thursday afternoon I’d been lucky enough to go and see The Kid Kapichi doing some recording locally. I even managed to take some photo’s of the band ‘at work’ as well.
Thursday evening saw me at The Roomz, in St Leonards, to catch the first set by singer/songwriter/guitarist Keith Foster. He really ought to play more gigs you know.
On Friday evening I went to The Union Bar, formerly The Tubman, to watch Barb Wire Dolls and Maid Of Ace. And very good it was too.
And finally, early Saturday evening, I went to the launch of the new Book Buster bookshop in Queens Rd, Hastings. Apart from giving away free cake, and who can resist free cake, they also had an instore gig featuring both Tim Hoyte and Otti Albietz (plus Thad).
All the gigs were enjoyable. But, it was the diversity of both the music played at the gigs and the venues that they took place in that struck me on that stroll home along the prom.
Yes, I know that seeing The Kid Kapichi in the ‘studio’ wasn’t something that was open to all, but hopefully you get the idea?
From soft rock to loud punk rock, Indie rock to folky guitar tunes.
From a bookshop to a bar, a recording studio to a sweaty pub.
From being the only ‘gig’ goer to being one of nearly 100, including a man with no clothes on!
If you ever wanted to try and sum up the Hastings music scene, those few days would be a great place to start.
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:
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:
Finally we have some virtuoso guitar playing from James Blackshaw and his song ‘Love Is The Plan, The Plan Is Death’. Once again I only found James’ music this week, after being introduced to it by a friend.
One of the aims of Pierless Music has always been to see original local bands make that transition from being a local band, to being one that spreads its wings and starts to play outside of the area. Even if that means not playing locally as much anymore.
As if to emphasise this the Pierless Music slogan is ‘From Hastings to the World’. Hence the title of this particular post.
Well, three of our younger Hastings based bands are now doing just that.
Hornet, Maid Of Ace and The Kid Kapichi have progressed far enough for them to now be headlining London gigs. That can only be good news.
Recently, Hornet headlined the O2 Academy 2 in Islington.
On September 27th The Kid Kapichi are returning to headline the Barfly in Camden.
And on the following day Maid Of Ace are headlining the Black Heart venue, also in Camden.
This is of course no guarantee of any future success. But it does at least show that all three bands are both good enough to hold their own in London and that they all have the ambition and drive to move forward.
Let’s hope that Hornet, The Kid Kapichi and Maid Of Ace will be just the first three of many more local bands that make that transition. I know that there are already at least a couple more bands waiting in the wings to do just that.
This ‘Warm Up Party’ is one of the official pre festival gigs and features two bands from Hastings, which is why Pierless Music wanted to get involved. Those bands are The Kid Kapichi and Arivmia. The line up is completed by Ivy King, Classic Plastic and Plasticine.
The ‘Warm Up Party’ starts at 8pm and ends at 11.45pm. Entry is free for both The Great Escape Festival wristband holders and members of the public. So, why not come along and support two of Hastings finest original bands.
We are hoping that this will a great opportunity for both bands to get some great exposure in front of the movers and shakers of the music industry.
Find out more about The Great Escape Festival and the Warm Up Party here:
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.
Well, filming has been completed, editing has been finished and now the final version has been released for your viewing pleasure.
The Pierless Music documentary was made by Joffie Lovett, who apart from being a DJ on Hastings Rock, is also in the final year of his University studies in Hastings.
Part of his final course work was the requirement to produce, direct and edit a documentary about a subject of his choice. Joffie chose Pierless Music and the original music scene in Hastings as his topic, with just a little bit of persuading from Richard and myself!
Unfortunately we can’t embed the video onto this page.
Both Richard and myself are very pleased with how the documentary has turned out and we feel that it gives a very good account of how great Hastings is for music generally, but especially for original music.
All the music used in the documentary is by The Kid Kapichi. You can find out more about the band on their official website here: http://www.thekidkapichi.biz/
Please let us know what you think about documentary and also please feel free to share the link to the video and help tell the rest of the world just how good a town Hastings is for music.
If it’s anything like the Camden Barfly gig, it promises to be a great evening and well worth making the effort to get there.
If you can’t make that gig, or if you live further afield, The Kid Kapichi are playing two gigs in Liverpool on the following weekend.
Friday, 18th January – The Zanzibar Club, Liverpool (This gig has now been cancelled)
Saturday, 19th January – Lomax, Liverpool
PS: Disclosure time:
Myself and Rich must declare an interest here, as we both have a connection with The Kid Kapichi and have been doing some work with them recently. Mind you, that’s because we both know that they are very worthy of the attention and deserve to go far. In fact you will find us both at the Hoxton Underbelly gig and also in Liverpool.