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Monday, October 5, 2015

HFG's Gecko Gig Broadens the Horizons

On Friday the Hastings Independent Press (HIP) published my review of the Hastings Friendship Group (HFG) gig in support of Horizons Community Learning as "Hastings Friendship Expands Horizons" (subtitled 'Quality Music for Everyone and All for Charity'). The previous week the Hastings Observer published a similar review by me under the title "Gecko Groove in Local Good Cause".

I have reproduced the HIP one below, including the picture of performer Jack Apps as used in the newspaper. I have also posted up pictures taken by Valerie Grove on the evening plus a couple (Vincent Turner and Trevor Webb) taken by me.

Hastings Friendship Expands Horizons
- Quality Music for Everyone and All for Charity

Please note that this article originally appeared on page 19 of the October 2nd 2015 edition of the Hastings Independent Press

Hastings Friendship Group (HFG) showcased a range of local musical talent at the Gecko Bar in St Leonard’s on Sunday (September 20) in aid of Horizons Community Learning.

Horizons provides free adult education and personal advice in Hollington, St Leonard’s and in Sidley near Bexhill. It relies on grants, donations and a highly dedicated team of volunteer and paid workers. HFG was founded by Hastings councillor Trevor Webb. HFG has hosted 40 gigs over two years, raising over £3,200 for 20 charities in the process.

Among those performing were Oksana Kirjuskina. She sung two ballads, one in her native Latvian, the other sung in English. Although her version of Richard Marx’s “Right Here Waiting” was excellently performed, the song made me wish she was still singing in Latvian. Oksana competed in the southern heats of the TV talent show “Britain’s Got Talent” and will hear in December whether she is through to the next round. Judging by this performance she will be.

By way of contrast, Jack Apps (pictured), growled and menaced his way through some self-penned, loosely Americana-style, songs. 

Jack Apps - mean and moody
The bravest performer of the evening was probably the youngest: Vincent Turner, who sang and played acoustic guitar. Playing only his second ever solo gig, Vincent writes his own songs and, like many of the performers, sometimes had to battle to be heard. Vincent also plays bass guitar in the alt-rock Hastings band, Liquid Chaos. Dan Wahnon did urban/RnB unplugged before performing an acoustic cover of the timeless rock n’ roll standard “Johnny B. Goode”.

The best covers performer of the night though, and the hardest working (he played three times), was singer/keyboardist Saspirella Sam. Sam performed jazz and blues grooves, including a rousing “Minnie the Moocher”, a song made famous by Cab Calloway.

Ghostfingers are Mike Guy on vocals and acoustic guitar, and Patrick McGurr on keyboards. They are unassuming but impressive. Their melding of “La Bamba” and “Twist and Shout” got the sometimes distracted audience engaged. Nick Warren played some nice covers, including songs by Tom Waits and Loudon Wainwright III, and performed an impressive version of the Python Lee Jackson/Rod Stewart classic “In A Broken Dream”. The evening was brought to a close by Saspirella Sam. Some £87 had been raised for Horizons.


Fearless Vincent Turner

Oksana wows 'em
Dan plays it cool

Ghostfingers - spirited duo
Nick Warren - quietly impressive
Saspirella Sam - the hardest workin' man in (local) showbusiness
Trevor gets it on to Ghostfingers

Sam (centre) with Horizons staff and supporters


Laura said...

A learned report of a great event, which deserves to be broadcast and supported widely.

Neil Partrick said...

Many thanks Laura. It's the quality of the responses that matters, obviously!