Hastings free concert: These are the bands and artists playing at Nearly On The Beach this weekend

The popular free two-day Nearly On The Beach Concert returns to raise money for local good causes on Saturday July 31 and Sunday August 1.

Mike Raxworthy, who selects the line-up, has given us his take on the bands and artists you can expect to see.

He said: “Saturday opens at noon with Joel White and band. I first saw this guy supporting 10cc at the White Rock Theatre a few years ago. There he was in front of a packed house, on his own with an acoustic guitar knocking out some great Soul songs in front of a packed house. I gave him a set at The Mid-Summer Fish Fest. When your sound guys say “wow, where did you find him?”, you know you’ve got someone special!

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“Alice Rowe is a local singer/songwriter with quite a following. I booked her recently at The Crypt Club in town and we sold out. She’s also packed the Pier, and been played on the BBC Her band are very special too.

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“I took a chance on The Kavemen at an earlier beach concert and they smashed it. Good, tight proper rock covers.

“Freak Flag play a whole lot of Hendrix, Some Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac with added triple Cream.

Finishing on Saturday,Blues Brothers - Soul Sisters play 90 minutes of non-stop Soul and Blues classics from the iconic film. Four great vocalists superbly backed up by a ten piece big soul band. A a great way to finish Saturday night.

“Doors open at 9.30am on Sunday August 1 with a two hour session I’ve named Reggae Brek. Hastings own Reggae Band, The Mighty Sounds will perform two 45 minute sets while you can enjoy our special Breakfast Special or a vegetarian option.

“I was over the moon when out-of-towners The Salts agreed, without hestitation, to come miles to Hastings to play this gig for charity. A great festival band who play sea shanties like you’ve never heard with a foundation of heavy drum beats and slap bass. I like to think of their music style as ‘The Beach Boys meet Led Zep and rock out on sea shanties.

“Hastings based singer songwriter ‘Kinsella’ serves up a fresh and individual vibe Heavily influenced by her love of r&b and hip hop, she delivers a sound that’s melodic and meaningful.

New boys (and girls) on the block Bowie Music are performing in Hastings for the very first time. This amazing 8 piece band will treat you to 45 minutes of Bowie Magic.

“The Do Theys are one of my favourite bands. Energetic, tight and entertaining. Frontman Vic will win you over in the first few minutes.

Grace and Danger are from Eastbourne. I was knocked out when last month I went over for their EP Launch. In their set they played three or four John Martyn songs. When I booked them, I mentioned the people of Hastings will love to hear these songs and that John was much loved over here. He had lived for a while in Hastings and even played on the beach about two hundred yards from where they would been playing. They neglected to tell me that frontman Rory Purdey and his brother, drummer Aiden Purdey were actually the nephews of the great man, and knew a lot more about him than I ever could have told them!

“Swing Street finish the weekend. This 20 piece swing band play some lovely arrangements of well-know songs from pop to swing and a little bit of jazz thrown in.

“Every single musician in each band mentioned above are doing this concert totally for free. Our bucketeers will be rattling buckets, so anything you can afford will be gratefully received. I hope our audiences will show theirs by giving all of them a fabulous reception and loads of claps and cheers.

“This event is a free-entry, family concert, so please buy at our bar, and at our food outlet. If, in these weird days, you have no cash on your person, you will be able to donate some money by credit or debit card. All our profits will be given donated to our own Hastings Lifeboat and to the Pett Level Rescue team. The latter are self-funding and are now in great need of some money.

“I hope our line-up has something for everyone.

“We’ve all been through some hard times these last through months, and this first gig on The Stade Open Space will be a chance for us all to let our hair down a bit. I would ask however, that everyone respect the right of others by to wear their masks if they feel the need, and allow that extra bit of space they might want.”