Live opera meets Sixties pop in a fab Christmas happening

Former Cream lyricist Pete BrownFormer Cream lyricist Pete Brown
Former Cream lyricist Pete Brown
Cream lyricist Pete Brown and composer Malcolm Bruce are to headline a musical evening inspired by the 1960s and featuring both internationally known and up and coming performers.

A Christmas 1960s Happening, at St Mary in the Castle, Pelham Crescent, on December 22, promises to be a fun-filled evening where live opera meets pop; and where talented young musicians at the start of their career get to perform alongside established artists and legends of the ‘60s.

The event is in aid of St Michael’s Hospice and Respond Academy.

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Director Michele Frankel said: “Sixties Hastings was certainly where it was at, with memories still strong among the older townsfolk of the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix headlining Hastings Pier. A Christmas 1960s Happening at St Mary in the Castle is a step towards celebrating that musical heritage, while also reflecting the diversity of today.”

Also on the line-up are three-piece delta blues band Buick 6 comprising three of the UK’s finest musicians - Roger Hubbard on guitar/vocals, Colin Gibson on bass and Steeleye Span’s Liam Genockey on drums.

Opening the evening will be talented young artists from Respond Academy, an alternative education and youth project, performing songs from the era, as well as performances from two talented young vocalists based in Lewes, Florence D’Haemer and Norina Dixon.

This will be followed by live opera in the form of The Telephone, a short romantic comedy, by Gian Carlo Menotti, set in the 1960’s ,design is by Chris Browne of Retro-Metro in St Leonards, and the set features original 1960s furniture from his shop in Kings Road.

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It stars two young performers, Czech soprano Gabriela Bohacova and baritone Timothy Patrick. Francis Rayner (international prize-winner) will provide piano accompaniment.

The second part of the evening will feature live music from a range of artists including singer/songwriter Odette Michell who is fast becoming recognised as a major talent on the UK singer songwriter scene, having played extensively on the UK circuit and abroad; The Locomotions, playing ‘60s funk by The Meters and James Brown; Peter O’Donnell singing songs by Bob Dylan; and west-end performer Rachel McCarron with songs from 1960s musicals.

Headliners Buick 6 and then Pete Brown and Malcolm Bruce will then close the evening.

From doors opening and in the breaks there will be ‘60s music, films and images. There will also be an opportunity to share memories from the 60’s, and and/or deliver short prepared talks. Anyone with musical anecdotes or photographs from 1960s Hastings is asked to email [email protected].

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The hosts will be MC LOX and Nick Johnson (Black Huts Festival), and more acts are still to be announced! Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12/£10 (concessions) and available from Hastings Tourist Information Centre and online at

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