Swamp Stomp String Band

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The Stag pub in Hastings dating back to the 16th century

On Saturday, July 10, I tried my first outing to a music gig inside a pub for ages, which was a novelty. The Stag in All Saints Street, Hastings was well prepared in terms of Covid-19 safety. People were sitting in bubbles, the musicians had see through covers where they were singing and playing their instruments – a scratchy washboard, guitar, banjo and double bass.

They were not an average string band, with the twangy banjo driving the guitar, double bass and washboard with a mixture of ragtime, jazz, blues and country music. Visitors were definitely enjoying it, clapping and stomping their feet to the rhythm. The band can be found on Facebook.

All Saints Street is worth a walk-through with the different architecture, mixing very old and new. The Cinque Ports Arms a little down the road dates back to 1642.

The Stag has an interesting history, dating back to 16th century. Recorded as a beer house after 1830, in 1835 it opened as the Stag Benefit Society. Then in 1838 the owners applied for a full licence. The pub was notorious for being used by smugglers. It is also said that there are still ghosts roaming around the building, a Dutch sea captain who was killed by fishermen and a young girl dressed in white. It is a beautiful building, outside as well as inside, and the people running it now are very welcoming.

The Stag is closed from Monday to Wednesday. Other music events are planned in the future, the next on Saturday, July 24, will feature an appearance of Big Joe Bone and his band, playing Delta blues, bluegrass, gospel and “absolutely nothing in between” You will need to book: 01424 438 791.

Image Credits: Heidi Foster , Mark Davis .

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