A jazzy overview

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Roger Hubbard and Louis Turpin playing at The Ship

Who knows where and what Bottle Alley is in Hastings? (actually from the pier to Warrior Square.) I do now, having celebrated the launch of Coastal Currents there on Friday. The haunting sound of a classical trio following us as we strolled along Bottle Alley where artists had decorated the pillars, between which we could see the full moon hanging over the sea. It certainly was a very different experience as an art launch.

Saturday, and with the sun shining on us I wandered up to the Kino with the Lindy Hoppers in full swing; so tempting to join in. Afterwards, the gentle Carter Burton trio was more calming for the many people who had gathered in the front garden of the cinema. Sadly the films planned did not materialize because the DVD had not been sent, definitely not the Kino’s fault.

On to the Ypres Castle where visitors and locals alike enjoyed the outdoor music of a Blues band. Apparently there have been a couple of complaints about the noise and of course for the people living around Church Square in earshot it can’t be easy, but the owner was very conscious of this, talked to the musicians to keep it down and was careful to put the quieter bands on late afternoon into the evening.

Martin McNeill's Bottleneck Blues Band
Martin McNeill’s Bottleneck Blues Band

Onwards to Landgate and I must say, for me, this was, so far, the best Blues band I experienced on the day – Martin McNeill’s Bottleneck Blues – Time to wander home for a break to be ready for the evening event (Astral Valentine) at the Queens Head but of course I just had to follow. as many others did, the Fat Tuesday 2nd Line Band with its wonderful brass sound.

Sunday, and now it was my turn to perform as the Rye Ukelele Experiment had its own gig at Pett Level, giving our all, a fundraiser for the Emergency Boat Rescue Service. It was great fun and we felt appreciated which is not always the case. Back in Rye we had to hotfoot it to the Buttermarket where the Brillos were playing. They are so good, hopefully one day we might give them “a run for their money”. Sadly I missed a musical afternoon bonanza at Lamb House.

Monday, unfortunately the weather broke but people were not deterred, listening to more jazz at the Borough Arms and Louis Turpin at the Ship

There were of course many other morsels of magical performances around town, some ticketed others free which I did not get to. The final event on Monday was at the Spectrum Jazz Lounge, which a lot of people looked forward to as last year it was quite magical. There was a problem about timing and while a few of us grumbled while waiting, everyone was just eager to get in and settle down to listen to the Dirty Martini Swing Band which had incredibly talented individual musicians. We were slightly disappointed that chairs were in rows rather than around tables (more intimate) but this gave more people the opportunity to enjoy the evening and in the second half a dance area was created which was great.

The next excitement: The Rye Arts Festival toward the end of September, I should have recovered by then.

Photos: Ray Prewer