Diversity

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.

Enjoy.

Otti in the Castle

On Saturday Pierless Music was lucky enough to be at St Mary in the Castle, in Hastings, to see the wonderful Otti Albietz launch his brand new album ‘Bubbytone 2′, which has just been released on BBE Records: http://www.bbemusic.com/

From my point of view, part of the attraction of going to the gig was to see St Mary in the Castle once again. Many of you will probably be aware that the venue has been going through some strange times and has recently been taken over by Buckswood School.

The ‘deal’ does at least mean that this great venue will be used far more than it has been over recent years and Saturday’s gig was hopefully the first of many to come.

Proceedings were kicked off by performances from singer/songwriters Tim Hotye and Dollboy and we even had DJ’s to entertain us too.

Otti himself played a mixture of songs from both ‘Bubbytone 2′ and his first solo album ’1′. Gradually building his set from solo performance, to being accompanied by local flute player Geoff Leigh and finally with a full band, he even managed to fill the dance floor with revellers for his final song.

Special mention must be made of the visually stunning giant cardboard cut outs which decorated the stage. These were produced by bass player Thad Skews and were almost like extra band members.

St Mary in the Castle is certainly a pretty special place to see a gig. The surroundings are spectacular and not what you normally get in a venue. Add in the history of the place, which used to be a church and you’ve got all the ingredients for a special evening.

I hope that we’ll see many more gigs and events at St Mary in the Castle over the coming years and I wish it every success. It is certainly nice to see the place being put to good use once again. It is a unique space that deserves to be used and shared and it was encouraging to see such a good turn out on the evening.

My only concern is that, because of the huge space that has to be filled, the sound quality for louder and more amplified gigs can leave a little to be desired. This was even evident, to a degree, on Saturday. Maybe there is a solution? Having said that, that in no way detracted from what was a good gig and a great evening.

Andy Gunton

More info about St Mary in the Castle can be found here: http://stmaryinthecastle.co.uk/

(Otti Albietz photo courtesy of Sam Kinch Photography)