Saturday 10th December is a busy night in Hastings, with a wide range of both free and ticketed gigs on offer.
Kick things off with a free show from The Twittern Revellers down at The Albion… a little bit of folk to whet your appetite.
Then maybe check out Al Mitchell and The Newborn Sinners at The Nest in High Street. Doors at 8pm and it’s free… fantastic original music from one of Hastings’ top talents…
Or if thigh-slapping bluegrass is more your thing then Christmas is starting early with Dr Bluegrass and the “Iillbilly 8 up at The Stag on All Saints Street.
Also free as ever, The Jenny Lind are showcasing The Wessex Pistols, with special guest Toni Boloni on bass helping the band play all the Punk Hits (and more) – Hillbilly Style.
Meanwhile up in Silverhill at The Clarence the fantastic Hi-Fi Collective are returning to Hastings, performing hits from the 50s to the present, including the likes of Elvis, The Jam, Joe Cocker, Tom Petty, Blur, Stereophonics and more.
At The Pig, Upbeat Sounds are hosting London-based Ska-kings, The Estimators, with a mix of resident DJs, plus Wendy May and Dean Neil Bloxham on the decks. Tickets for this are just £10 in advance or on the door.
Over at the Masonic Lodge in St Leonards the Winter Snowflake Ball is being held to raise funds for the Arts in the Park project. This one is sold out, but look out for more from the arts project team in the future.
St Leonards also sees a great triple-header line-up at The Piper. This one is for fans of everything alt-rock / Brit-punk, and is headlined by local upstarts Murderers are Optimists (who are launching their new single and hosting this noisy Christmas party) with able support from Paris Blue and Sunday Club. Tickets are £7.50 from DICE or you could get lucky and get one on the door.
If you fancy something a bit more Jazz then Hexagonal at the Kino Teatr in Norman Road, St Leonards, could be right up your street. The stellar sextet are accomplished players who have wowed audiences and played several Radio 3 sessions since they formed in 2016. A £15 ticket will be money well spent.
Then back in Hastings town centre there’s the option of the much-anticipated return of John The Revelator (Have Love Will Travel – London) to the Aquarius decks in the basement bar of the White Rock Hotel. He’ll be spinning his awesome collection of wild 60s garage-fuzz, and heavy psychedelic treasures from the golden age – accompanied by cult movies and a liquid light show. This one is cash on the door only and only £3.
Along the seafront at Trinity Townhouse there is an office Christmas party hosted by Office for Personal Development – a band who have emerged over the past year with a solid set of great tunes and a unique stage show. As well as OPD playing the headline set, Andy from Accounts (Andy Tourle) will be giving a motivational seminar and DJ Neil Povey will be providing the disco and karaoke till late. £5 will also get you access to the buffet. Dress for the office.
We mentioned free gigs, and there is a highly recommended one on at The Standard in Old Town. Hastings favourite hillbilly-boogie band The Haystingers are back with a bang, with their frontman just back from a tour of America where he was playing guitar as a part of indie legends The House of Love.
And lastly – but definitely not leastly – the De La Warr Pavilion is going to be rocking to a celebration of fifty years of Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel. After half a century Steve is still going strong and will be playing two full sets. Tickets for this one are £36, but looking at the seating plan there aren’t many left.
Sunday 11th December has a few free entry gigs happening in the Old Town that are definitely worth getting along to.
The Redcatz are going to be putting some proper rockabilly magic into the old town Christmas shopping weekend as they play a rare busking session in Butlers Gap from 12.30 to 2pm.
Back in St Leonards at 3pm in The Tower pub on the junction of London Road and Tower Road it’s The Other Band doing that blend of country blues they do so well.
Then later that afternoon from 4pm if you can squeeze into Porters winebar you’ll find Victoria McDonnell and Friends rocking (gently) around the Christmas tree. Or alternatively pop into the Jenny Lind for the regular 2nd-Sunday of the month residency show by local legends, Los Twangueros, who have been described as: “An awesome Balearic-Latin ensemble that takes you back to Cafe del Mar in its infancy”.
And then around the corner at The Nelson it’s The Idle Hands – a modern bluegrass band fronted by the one and only Rufus Stone.
The Albion will be the place to be from 7pm as one of our favourite bands, The United Stoats of America, will be dusting off the washboard and taking over the pub to deliver their usual incendiary set.
Some people don’t like Mondays – but Monday 12th December might change all that.
The Regency Rooms (57 Marina, St Leonards) are getting a very special visit from ZRI – The Red Hedgehog Tavern Band.
The Red Hedgehog Tavern in Vienna was where folk and classical intertwined late into the night, where composers like Brahms and Schubert heard the Gypsies play.
ZRI is the house band, re-creating the melting pot of after-hours music where Viennese Hungarian folk tunes danced into the night with Bach and Brahms, Solange and Donna Summer… Tickets can be found on Eventbrite from £15.
At the other end of town at the Jenny Lind, Mick Knight hosts the 6th monthly Acoustic Blues Club with all-star line-up for an end-of-the-year revue!
This show will be featuring Sister Suzie, Roger Hubbard, Jem Turpin, Piers Clark and Mick himself. As it’s taking place in the upstairs function room, capacity is limited, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Tuesday 13th December is Skiffle Night down at The Albion in the Old Town, where house band The Albion Skiffle Company play authentic 50s skiffle music on guitars, fiddle, mandolin, mouth harp, Tea chest bass, washboard, spoons and who knows what else! Great pub fun and free entry.
(The skiffle band play second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, and there’s an excellent traditional Irish music session on the first and third Tuesdays).
Another regular Tuesday treat is the Stag’s weekly traditional folk session. Musicians, singers and audience are all very welcome. Either turn up on the night or feel free to pre-book, because remember, it’s a small pub and very popular.
The Jenny Lind has live music again on Wednesday 14th December, and the pub is delighted to have Andy McKay, an award winning Scottish singer songwriter with long-term collaborator violinist Richard Moore (Lost Revellers) joining him on stage. Entry, as usual here, is free.
Also free as ever is The Stag’s Americana and Bluegrass Session – another regular weekly event offering warm, friendly night of lovely music. Everyone is welcome to sing, play or listen. A group of musicians gather around the table and play a selection of Americana & Bluegrass songs. This session has been going for years and will hopefully continue for many more.
The week ends on a real high note on Friday 16th December in Hastings town centre as Kid Kapichi come storming home to The Crypt to play what will undoubtedly be the most energetic gig of the week. With support from Monakis and Paris Blue, this is a chance for Hastings to welcome back a band who have spent the last year dominating gigs and festivals across the UK and who always put on a stupendous show.
For fans of all things hip-hop The Pig will be the place to be as Orvivid are presenting a full night of ‘Onwards and Upwards’ live music, opening at 7pm with Laura Cooper, followed by Adam Ohman, The Mongrelz, Reiss Mason, R4ge Music & Astro, and rounding off with drum and bass from Joseph Lillington mixed by Danny London.