Simon Wilkes: Tributes paid to Hastings music scene legend after his sudden death

Tributes have been paid to the founder of some of Hastings’ most popular live music hotspots after his sudden death.

Pete and Simon Wilkes. Picture supplied by Mark Richards SUS-211008-171904001
Pete and Simon Wilkes. Picture supplied by Mark Richards SUS-211008-171904001

Simon Wilkes, who has been remembered as a ‘local live music scene legend’, died on July 28.

Alongside his brother Pete, Simon had founded live music hotspots The Street, The Brass Monkey and The Crypt.

He moved to Hastings in the late 1980s to manage the seafront venue Saturdays before taking on and transforming venues into the most popular music venues in town.

Gemma Murphy, the current owner of The Brass – formerly The Brass Monkey, in Havelock Road, said: “(Simon) went on to firmly cement his name in the local live music hall of fame when he and his brother Pete Wilkes took on and transformed The Street, then The Crypt, then The Brass Monkey into three of the most popular live music venues in the town.

“Simon and Pete brought countless big names to the town such as Coldplay, Gill Scott Heron and Bad Manners as well as championing local artists, employing hundreds of locals and giving generation after generation great nights out, great memories and the odd hangover.”

A celebration of Simon’s life will be held at Hastings Crematorium on Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 3.15pm but numbers will be limited. Due to limited space at the crematorium, The Brass (18 Havelock Road) will be live streaming the ceremony, then afterwards hosting his celebration, with live music and DJ sets from some of Simon’s favourite artists.

Simon will be making his final journey through town and will be in Havelock Road at around 2.30pm, heading from the seafront up towards the train station.

Gemma added: “It would be wonderful to see as many people as possible lining Havelock Road to see him off.

“At Simon’s request, his celebration will be raising money for St Michael’s Hospice and The Pevensey Ward and we would ask you to be generous with cash donations on the door upon entry.”