Fat Tuesday festival in Hastings : review of key south coast event

FTlogo_webFat Tuesday (website is here) is fast becoming one of the key music events on the calendar.

A four day event in Hastings, it’s a key part of the small south coast town’s reinvention that has been going on quietly and successfully as it has become the ‘new Brighton’. Becoming a place for artists and musicians to relocate to the sea and live in a cheaper space away from the helter skelter property paradox of London and Brighton. The capital city is becoming almost impossible for many art types to live in and the same goes for Brighton which even if it happens to be where 90 per cent of the UK’s music journalists live and a beautiful city is also becoming challenging.

Hastings is a nice looking town – there’s plenty of regency, white christmas cake buildings and the blustery wind and choppy waves are a perfect British seaside backdrop – there is something magical about living in a seaside town and it’s a very London thing to relocate to the seaside – in the north people tend to head for the hills – places like Hebden Bridge but in the south east there is a different kind of tide (ha!) that flows into faded seaside towns and Eastbourne and Margate are also starting to boom. (maybe one day people will see the value of places like Blackpool or Morecambe?)

Hastings is happening anyway but Fat Tuesday is a key part of its cultural renaissance that sees an off kilter event that is a south coast version of the Mari Gras with a fancy dress parade winding its way through the old streets and pubs jam packed watching up to 200 bands. The town has some great venues in it and every year a few more new ones seem to open up – there is an electricity in the air and the standard of groups playing is high. This year we put festival organiser Adam Daly  on the spot and asked him his favourite bands at the event and although he wasn’t that keen to favour anyone he gave  a nod to

Jamie Smart

kid Kapichi
Nova Twins
Bless
We Are Zed
This list was one that we heard repeated many times with the remarkable performance by the Nova Twins being a lot of people’s stand out. The three piece band from Croydon are a great live experience with their collision of modern dance musics like grime and dub step but channelled through the open minded rock exploration of Rage Against the Machine and with a power and energy of their own. Nova Twins are one of the best live bands in the UK at the moment and it’s only a matter of time before they break out.
Fat Tuesday is great festival – it’s homespun and it’s homemade. This is DIY in action but on a big scale – venues are packed and the streets are a nature defying party of colour and good times that is not your typical Tuesday night in small town England. A bit of imagination and determination have created  spectacle on the south coast and as Hastings booms in the next few years this event will boom alongside it.

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  1. Bevali Francis

    Fat Tuesday is a brilliant event but please stop saying Hastings is the New Brighton, It’s Hastings unique and unlike any other place.

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