Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

New folk roots Saturdays in America Ground

Jude Montague checks out the latest happening weekly music event in the Trinity Triangle.

Hanoushka’s Coffee Bar is the latest venue for a new style of music event that suits the Bohemian character of Hastings and St Leonards. Jason McNiff, Hasting’s country-blues-original troubadour who runs the Friday Sundowner shows at the Jenny Lind, is bringing a new country night to this surprisingly expansive venue that has never welcomed musicians before to its very atmospheric environment.

Jason will be inviting many of the friends he has met and admired in his long journey through life as a professional acoustic and folk inspired musician, as well as offering many songs from his own repertoire.

On the band this Saturday were regular collaborators bassist Matt Armstrong and the impressive talent of fellow songwriter Gabriel Moreno, who hails from Gibraltar. It was particularly poignant to hear Gabriel’s song which was a call for us all to write our own England.

Gibraltar is considered British by many and is still an important strategic outpost of the former British Empire, now a British Overseas Territory, even though it is located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, while on the southern side of the strait lie Morocca and Ceuta. The boundaries of Gibraltar were known in antiquity as the Pillars of Hercules.

Playing with Gabriel, Matt and Jason was musician Ned Cartwright, who added very musical contributions on the saxophone although perhaps he is better known for his keyboard talents.

Hanoushka, where the musicians are surrounded with books and the lighting is low, was the perfect venue for a coffee shop experience to please those interested in literature and the poetry of song. It reminded me of the legendary Bunjies Coffee House and Folk Cellar, and the other original folk venues of the 1950s and 1960s, where Tom Paxton, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Bob Dylan, Al Stewart and Paul Simon all played alongside later writers and artists. Jason McNiff and Gabriel Morena offered a mini homage to Leonard Cohen as part of their song repertoire at this opening event.

with Jason McNiff and friends
Saturdays 5.30-7.30pm
Hanushka Coffee House, 28-29 Robertson St

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Posted 20:02 Sunday, Jan 28, 2024 In: Music & Sound

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