The Lantern Society
Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou’s Lantern Society reads the hand stitched bunting, dappled in flickering candlelight and red glow. A thriving hubbub and forum, cauldron and big top. A throng of performers and listeners alike gathered from all over town and beyond jostle and meet. There’s no list for players to sign up, it’s not even first come first served, for at the Lantern Society fortune favours the brave. Faces with eyes and ears on tip toes are forced to climb in the doorway. Andy Gunton writes.
“Welcome to the Lantern Society, home of the Lantern Society Radio Hour. I’m Trevor Moss and this is my wife Hannah-Lou.”
In 2007, Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou established their now legendary acoustic club, ‘The Lantern Society’, upstairs in a small room above a Dickensian pub, The Betsy Trotwood, in the City of London. Over the coming years, their humble wooden stage would be graced by countless players from multi-million selling recording artists to fledgling talents.
In 2009, the club became home to ‘The Lantern Society Radio Hour’, an online radio show hosted by Trevor Moss, featuring the very best performances from their much coveted stage. The noteworthy result was the forging of a unique and definitive document, live from the frontline of a constantly evolving music scene.
With an old-school broadcasting style a la Bob Harris and the industrious spirit of Alan Lomax’s field recordings, their material was sought out by The British Library Sound Archive for inclusion and preservation.
Recording artists in their own rights, Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou passed the club on, in order to tour and promote their albums, and the London Lantern is still going strong today in the capable hands of Gibraltan poet laureate, Gabriel Moreno.
The pair, now settled in St. Leonards-on-Sea, having played everywhere from The Royal Albert Hall to The Ryman Auditorium, Nashville to the Warsaw Congress Hall, have decided it’s time to reignite The Lantern once more. With such a rich vein of musical talent and tradition in Hastings, the new radio hour will undoubtedly unearth and capture more treasures for generations to come to discover.
The Lantern Society takes place every first Thursday of the month at The Printworks, 14 Claremont, Hastings, TN34 1HA. For more information and to tune in, visit The Lantern Society.
This article continues below the poster, where Andy Gunton goes along to check The Lantern Society out for himself.
For the uninitiated, The Lantern Society is effectively an acoustic Open Mic Night, but with a difference. (Trevor and Hannah never refer to the evening as an Open Mic Night by the way.) The Printworks was decked out in bunting, soft lighting and appropriate background music, and unlike other Open Mic Nights I’ve been to, the place was packed right from the word go. This was ‘despite’ a three pound entry fee, proving that local people will pay to go to gigs, if you get it right.
The evening was kicked off, rather appropriately, by Trevor and Hannah themselves performing a trio of their own songs. The quality of performers and performances stayed high throughout the evening, not something you can always say about an Open Mic Night, with both young and not so young players taking to the stage.
There was also a nice mixture of local acts and a few old stalwarts of the original Lantern Society, who’d made the trip down from London, something which gave a nice balance to the event. The out of towners included Lily Ramona, James Burton, plus Tom and Chiara who really impressed the audience with their completely unplugged set, performed with just Chiara’s voice and Tom playing double bass and banjo. (A little birdy tells me that Tom and Chiara are moving to Hastings, so watch out for them at a venue near you.)
Local performers included Harry Osbourne, Otti Albietz, Alan King, Bill and Eddy Odel. And I have a feeling word will soon get around and more quality local acts will be beating a path to The Lantern Society over the coming months, I certainly hope so.
The evening was rounded off nicely by Trevor and Hannah singing ‘One and The Same’ from their excellent 2015 album ‘ExPatriot’.
I’ve often said to performers that they need to put on an ‘event’ rather than just a ‘gig’, as a way of pulling in the punters – and this was a case in point. A little bit of effort, forethought, preparation and choosing the right venue can go a long way.
This all helps to create a nice space, with a nice vibe, which was much in evidence on this occasion. So well done to Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou for doing just that with The Lantern Society. It certainly paid dividends.
Another different aspect of The Lantern Society is that the evening is recorded and then edited down to become ‘The Lantern Society Radio Hour’, an online radio show. I’m looking forward to reliving many of the performances, and also to the next installment. This is a ‘DFL’ I think we can all welcome to Hastings. A very pleasing addition to the local musical landscape… long may it shine.
These articles were originally posted in The Stinger.
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