BIGGER and better than ever, Fat Tuesday went by in a riot of colour and music that is unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry.
It began last Friday (February 8) with a gig at the Jenny Lind followed by an impromptu procession down George Street, a taste of things to come.
Saturday afternoon was filled with acoustic music as artists and bands of all descriptions toured the bars and restaurants of the Old Town, and Mama Putts and The Roomz in St Leonards, with everything from bluegrass to Cajun to jazz standards to be heard.
For that evening’s entertainment there was a tough choice between the Grande Mardi Gras Ball at Venuu, in George Street, where Swedish six-piece Evil Emil and the King Congo Cobras (who had flown over especially) headlined, and the African Mardi Gras Party at The Roomz, in St Leonards, featuring ska, roots, blues, soul and African music, along with an appearance from Black Elvis.
The Umbrella parade on Sunday, unfortunately dampened by torrential rain, still proved to be a colourful affair, and was followed by a party at The Printworks.
Slim Monday (February 11), was the calm before the storm of Fat Tuesday night itself, and saw King Size Slim perform at The Brass Monkey.
On Fat Tuesday evening, the culmination of the festival, there was standing room only (if that) at participating venues, as a selection of the town’s most talented performers gave it their all, to raise money for The Seaview Project.
Of course everyone was talking about the ‘special guests’, rock band Skunk Anansie, and packing into Dragon Bar, The Nelson, and The Carlisle to see the world-famous act at work.
They played some of their well-known songs from the ’90s as well as new material, and their final set at The Carlisle saw the crowd whipped up into a frenzy.
Organiser Adam Daly said: “What a fantastic success. Thanks go to all the people who rolled up their sleeves and got involved. It was a real team effort.
“It just keeps on growing and growing.
“My personal highlight was Skunk Anansie in The Carlisle. I think people will be talking about that night for some time to come.
“This year’s Fat Tuesday was yet another example of how much fantastic talent there is in the town, and of what can be achieved when people pull together.
He was delighted with the new addition of the unplugged sessions on Saturday, and said: “I think it encouraged a lot of people to come to the town over what is usually quite a quiet weekend.”
Entries are still being accepted to The Fat Photo competition for amateur photographers, until February 24. Find out more and enter at www.hastingsfattuesday.co.uk.
All PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF JOHN FOX PHOTOS