Fat Tuesday - Review
Eleven years ago Bob Tipler started a Mardis Gras celebration in the hope of raising enough money to buy a new piano accordion.
Now, with the help of event organiser Adam Daly, Hastings
Fat Tuesday engulfs the town on the eve of each Lent, leading us into Spring with a festival like no other.
For the first time the White Rock Theatre was used to launch the festival, and with the seats taken out it proved to be a venue worthy of the national touring circuit.
Kid Kapichi’s road-hardened rock set the place alight with local love, while Baxter Dury was the perfect headline act; charming, witty and eloquent as he peacocked across the stage, occasionally stopping to throw a shape or two.
Flanked by two very French-looking keyboard playing vocalists wearing Russian hats, he was the epitome of European style.
On Saturday the Unplugged Tour hit the streets. In another Fat Tuesday first, artists performed in St Leonards venues as well as Hastings Old Town, and it worked a treat.
Some of the local big hitters like Dr Savage, Helen Sharpe and King Size Slim ensured packed-out pubs, drawing in crowds who stayed on to listen to festival newcomers such as the fabulous Hayley Ross.
Stand out Old Town performances came from Dizraeli, Buddha Triangle, The Haystingers, The Shady Pines, The Colleens and Claire Nicholson.
The masked Mardis Gras Ball was entertained by a two-hour set of discotastic-fabulousness from The Funking Bar Stewards, followed by yet more dancing courtesy of funk and soul DJ legend Craig Charles.
Bad weather prevented the umbrella parade from snaking along the seafront, so instead second line bands, tap dancers, drummers and gorgeous dressed up kids paraded around the White Rock Theatre on an otherwise perfect Preservation Sunday.
Under the Radar provided a platform for some brilliant up and coming artists. Highlights were
Georgia Meek, whose powerful yet soulful tunes wowed the audience, and Beach Riot, who fuzz-guitared the hell out of the place.
Hastings is blessed with a plethora of incredible new young talent, and it was these names on everyone’s lips after the closing night’s Fat Tuesday Tour.
Hastings alma mater Greentea Peng led the charge, with Hot Wax, Mystic Shed and Blabbermouth firmly on her heels.
In fact, as Blabbermouth closed out the night at The Carlisle, the audience wouldn’t let them leave without hearing a second helping of their insanely catchy debut single, Youthful Haze.
Fat Tuesday may have been started to fund Bob’s new accordion, then grown on the talent of the town’s rich musical heritage, but it’s fast becoming an essential place to spot tomorrow’s stars.
By Fiona Clarke