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Inaugural cover-boy: Dave Parsons of Sham 69.

New music magazine prepares for take-off

Hastings is soon to have its very own original music magazine in the form of The Stinger. With its launch fast approaching, Grace Vogiatzis went to find out more from Andy Gunton, part of the team.

Andy has long been a devotee of the Hastings music scene; in 2012 he was part of the launch of a website/general platform for Hastings music, Pierless Music. “We had so many plans for Pierless Music,” Andy tells me, “In many ways The Stinger is fulfilling part of that.” Working alongside the Fat Tuesday charity, the new magazine has been brought into stylish creation, with the first issue also serving as the Fat Tuesday events programme. Distributed for free, and to be released bi-monthly, it will encompass all genres, focusing on original music from within the 1066 area, with Hastings firmly at its heart.

Andy has expansive ambitions for the magazine, looking to delve into all areas around music culture – from reviewing local performances and venues, to discussing issues around the more gritty legal and business sides of the music industry. As well as focusing on the happenings of the present, The Stinger will also look to the past, with an ‘I was there’ section celebrating Hastings’ impressive music heritage – the first issue kicks off with memories of the infamous Sex Pistols performing on the pier.

Fundamentally The Stinger aims to support and promote local music, something Andy rightly enthuses about: “There’s something about the area, because of the deprivation, because the transport links aren’t great – those sorts of places seem to have better artists, not just musicians, but artists more generally – writers, painters. Talking to other musicians who’ve moved to the town, they all say there’s nowhere quite like it.”

According to Andy, having a creative scene that is so condensed into smaller areas – the Old Town, St Leonards, the town centre – creates an atmosphere that’s unique to Hastings: “There’s a great spirit of collaboration, between bands and musicians, between different generations and organisations,” – both this scene and the town deserve celebrating.

Beyond the printed magazine, there will be more to be found online, with extended interviews, articles and recordings. The magazine will not be a guide to what’s on as such: “The problem,” Andy says, “with gigs lists is that they’re out of date as soon as they’re printed.” As a brilliant solution the team are working on an interactive gig guide app for tablets and mobiles, for those looking to plan ahead or hunt down live music and performance.

Raring to go: Andy Gunton, left, Rachael Kamara, Bob Tipler and Adam Daly.

Run by volunteers, The Stinger is keen for artists, writers, photographers and music fans to get involved with the project.

The magazine will hit Hastings in style with a launch party at the Dragon Bar in George Street on 19 February – more details to be found here.

 

It will be distributed at venues and other places where music fans gather – but if you have trouble getting a copy, write to contact@the stinger.org.uk to let them know.

 

 

 

 

Posted 16:37 Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 In: Music & Sound

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