Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Sister Suzie

Sister Suzie

HOT Style: Meet Susan Simms AKA ‘Sister Suzie’

Spotted soaking up the October sunshine on St Leonards seafront, HOT Style-Seeker Bevali Francis reports.

Why are you in St Leonards?

“Rock n Roll! I first came to Hastings with a piano player and I couldn’t believe the music scene. It reminded me of New Orleans. I immediately returned to Morpeth, my home at the time, sold everything I owned and moved here.

Living in Hastings has exceeded all my expectations. I’ve embraced every musical and dressing up experience. There’s nowhere quite like it, except perhaps New Orleans!”.

What do you do

“I’m a student, a singer and a professional scrubber! I’m studying for a degree in social sciences. I will be one of the last students to attend the Hastings campus of Brighton University. We protested to stop the closure.., it’s devastating. Students have had a bad deal, we can’t even get a cup of tea at uni anymore; we seem to have been forgotten here. On the plus side, I’ve had one-to-one education as there are so few students.

My passion is for performing and I’m currently a singer and leader of a six piece rhythm and blues band. I’ve been chasing the blues since my divorce ten years ago. My aim is to get everybody to dig the blues.

I went to New Orleans and it was there, while I was singing a Rufus Thomas song, that I discovered what singing the blues did to my voice and I loved it. Ever since, I’ve been singing the blues and I’ve accidentally got signed to a record label, ‘The Last Record Company’.

It’s a big deal for me; they have artists such as Jimmy Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt and Doctor John signed to them. I’m so chuffed.. it’s a blues label rather than a Rock n Roll one.

Since I’ve been in Hastings my life’s been in a constant spin. Luck and opportunities have come my way. The highlights have been performing at The 100 Club, being booked for next years Rhythm Riot and the release of my album, ‘Ain’t No Lady’. I hope in the future to take my band, ‘The Right Band’ to America… it would be amazing to perform there. I’m not bothered about money, it’s the performing I love so much”.

Sister Suzie

Sister Suzie

Where do you buy your clothes?

“Charity shops are my preferred choice, but I do go to vintage shops too”.

How would you describe your style?

“In the week I’m covered in Lycra for my cleaning job. When I wear my everyday clothes I’ve been described as looking like an extra from ‘Happy Days‘. That gives people the wrong idea of my music style, I probably look too Rock n Roll!

For stage wear I like to wear something really plain, so I can add amazing shoes and flowers in my hair. The colour of my stage clothes are chosen to hide the sweat. I think my stage clothes are more 40s era than 50s”.

Who inspires your look?

“I suppose I look a bit rockabilly but it’s the blues queens that inspire me: Billy Holliday, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Big Mama Thornton”.

What is your favourite item of clothing?

“My sparkly green ‘Irregular Choice’ shoes are my favourite stage shoes but my daytime choice would be my ‘Prison Blues’ jeans, because of the way they make your arse look”.

Have you got any style advice?

“Don’t be scared. I hate people saying “Look what she’s got on, what’s she wearing?” This is why I love Hastings people… they can wear anything, the more outrageous the better, nobody bats an eyelid. When I go home to Longhoughton I think people may think I look weird! I love Hastings it feels like you can be who you want to be”.

Sister Suzie’s album ‘Ain’t no Lady‘ can be bought from HMV, Rough Trade and independent record shops – and found on Spotify and Deezer. Check out her website page for gig info . Find her on Facebook and Instagram as ‘Sister Suzie’.

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Posted 13:13 Monday, Oct 29, 2018 In: HOT Style

1 Comment

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  1. Gezz

    Great article. Love the video. Miss Hastings BIG TIME.

    Comment by Gezz — Monday, Oct 29, 2018 @ 21:14

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