John Otway – almost (but not quite) a failure: live at The Fountain


As any promoter will tell you, it takes a special someone to sell out a gig in Hastings.

With so much free music on offer locals are spoilt for choice…so why fork out £10 to see a 65-year old wannabe-punk with delusions of fame beat himself up with a set of songs that (by his own admission) are largely chart failures?

Well The Fountain may not be the biggest venue in the world – but John Otway sold it out. 


And those who were there delighted in being part of a story that is the stuff of musical legend.

The on-going saga of a man who, despite having only managed to scrape the edge of the charts once and subsequently (and with huge effort), sneak into the top ten once, has sustained a touring career spanning four decades.

John Otway has a small army of hardcore fans. He has a self-deprecating manner. And he has the perfect combination of wit and wisdom coupled with finely judged stage presence to ensure every gig feels as fresh as the first.


If you are not familiar with Otway and you’re thinking after that description you might possible come and see him the next time he is Hastings just take a quick look at his Top of The Pops appearance for his number nine hit Bunsen Burner (and you can smile when he is introduced as John Otoway rather than Otway). It should make your mind up…

  Bunsen Burner – live on TOTP

And here’s how he does it today:

 Bunsen Burner – live at The Fountain

We should also say at this point that it makes a huge amount of sense to keep an eye on The Fountain’s events page…because Guy (the guy who runs the place) has a lot of music industry contacts, and it’s a safe bet every ticketed gig he puts on will be a sure-fire winner

Next up, for instance, The Fountain brings you Peter and the Test Tube Babies


Don’t expect any frills at The Fountain. It’s just an honest-to-goodness boozer with a good sound system and a small stage in the back room.

Keep music live and interesting – buy tickets as well as going to the free gigs.

Let’s keep building Hastings as a music city.


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