Never a frown when former Stranglers front man hits town

Paul Roberts - former frontman with The Stranglers SUS-151203-153323001
Paul Roberts - former frontman with The Stranglers SUS-151203-153323001

Talented musicians and singers take to the stage next week to compete in Hastings Music Festival’s Rockfest, performing in front of Paul Roberts, former lead vocalist with legendary punk band The Stranglers.

Rockfest is one of the main highlights in the three week Music Festival (which runs February 28 - March 21) and the competition is open to bands of any age. Performers will take to the stage in the main hall at the White Rock Theatre next Friday (March 20) at 6pm.

Returning to adjudicate the competition again is musician, actor and former frontman with 70’s punk band The Stranglers, Paul Roberts.

Mr Roberts, who left The Stranglers in 2006, after 16 years to dedicate more time to his own band Soulsec, has been an adjudicator at Rockfest for the past three years and he says he is delighted to return for a fourth time to cast his expert ear and eye over the event.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoy supporting the Hastings Music Festival - it’s a brilliant thing and a great platform to see and encourage so much young and older talent. It is fantastic. It’s what the world needs.”

The Hastings Music Festival is intended mainly for Amateurs who do not make their living from whichever competition in the Festival they enter. Rockfest entrants must have a minimum of three players preferably performing original material with no offensive lyrics and a maximum of three songs. Each band will be asked to provide a stage plan and will get a sound check prior to their performance.

When judging the bands who perform at Rockfest, Paul, who joined The Stranglers in 1990 and both appeared on and co-wrote the band’s albums Coup de Grace, About Time, Norfolk Coast, Stranglers In the Night, and Written in Red, said he looks for more than the run of the mill. He said: “I look for originality; unique sounds and direction and strong, great, ideas. I like it when someone tries something new.”

“I thank Molly Townson and all those involved in promoting the festival. To be a part of it makes me very happy indeed.”