The Rockitmen (‘Rock-it-men’) came into being fifteen years ago but seem to have been around forever. They have a very loyal following in the Rye area and are a popular addition to any party, wedding or event. But they are more than just a band who perform: they raise a great deal of money for local charities and groups including Oliver Curd Trust, St Michael’s Hospice, Sara Lee Trust, the sea cadets, Out of the Blue and many more.
The band comprises Rick Nesbit (guitar), James Maxted (bass), Graham Sargent (drums), Rick Penecost on the piano and Tim Phillips (vocals). They are a fun band playing music that everyone knows. The dance floors are always heaving. I think what people love is that the music takes them back to times in their past when they had so much fun and their memories are stirred. The bands motivation for playing is to see people enjoying themselves and forgetting their worries for a few hours as they immerse themselves in the music. Tim says that music is his therapy and his happy place.
Tim said that his favourite events are Beatles Day, High Street Party, Hastings Old Town and Hastings Pier. Beatles Day in Hastings is a popular event. It is an annual celebration of the ‘Fab Four’ and brings together dancers and professional and amateur musicians to raise funds for the Sara Lee Trust. Since the inaugural event in 2000 the show has gone from strength to strength and it has become a hotspot in the Hastings cultural calendar. The Rockitmen are a very popular act in this event and enjoy the buzz of the enthusiastic audience. Some people have been coming to the event for over twenty years. This year there were three hundred musicians and dancers performing across three stages who raised over £15,000 for the charity.
Tim and the Rockitmen did a fundraiser for money needed to renovate the old Hastings lifeboats. They were also involved with “A Night at the Cathedral” which was a wonderful evening at Rochester Cathedral where solo artists and groups paid their tribute to the music of Queen to raise funds for Abigail’s Footsteps. This charity provides support and counselling for bereaved parents and families as well as specialist bereavement training for midwives and healthcare professionals.
Image Credits: The Rockitmen .