This weekend we ventured the The Stag for the first time in a little while because, quite simply, they had two of the best gigs in Hastings, two days on the trot.

On saturday Rattlesnake Joe and Whistlin’ KYK delivered as solid a demonstration of rootsy-blues as you are likely to hear this side of King Size Slim (who, as it happens, was in the crowd).

This was just the right vibe to kick off The Stag’s new live music policy – which essentially looks like being a smorgesbord of treats directly from the playlist of the pub’s new and forward-thinking owners.

On Sunday the treats just kept coming, as one of America’s greatest exponents of the country/punk crossover, Jason Ringenberg, took to the ‘stage’. For a few hours, on an otherwise quiet Sunday night, the corner of a small pub in the backstreets of Hastings’ Old Town transformed into a Nashville dive bar.

And for anyone who’s ever heard Hank William II’s ‘Straight to Hell’ album this is perhaps as close as you’re going to get up-close-and-personal in any pub in East Sussex…

Seriously – if this is the calibre of musician The Stag is going to be trotting out of a weekend there’s going to be queues down to the fishing beach before long!

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