Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Tradivarious - Elaine Segura, Paul Way-Rider, Christine Knag, Angie Phillip

Music is an addiction…

An exciting new group, Tradivarious, has arrived on the Hastings music scene:  Sean O’Shea talks with Angie Phillip and her fellow musicians about the genesis of the group, their style of music and hopes for the future.

SOS: You have lived in various parts of the UK including Oxford and you’ve also lived abroad. What made you choose Hastings as your home?

Angie Phillip: There are lots of good answers as to what might have made Paul and myself choose Hastings as our home.  There is the sea. There are interesting buildings and everywhere you look there is a new set of shapes to delight the eye. The countryside is glorious and Hastings knows how to party. There are more feasts and festivals than anywhere I’ve ever lived. The place is full of interesting, friendly people who chat to you at bus stops. It is full of things to do.

All the above is true and there’s more but it’s not the real answer. What actually happened was that we came on a short holiday and a neighbour played her cello through the wall of the cottage where we were staying. Then she took us to a folk session at the Stag where Alan, the landlord, welcomed us as he welcomes everyone. We felt we’d come home and decided to move here as soon as possible. In this place you can be yourself, you can paint, play, and start a project, anything you can think of. Moving here feels almost like destiny and every day we wake up, look out of the window and are glad.

SOS: How did the group Tradivarious come about and how did you arrive at the name?

AP: Tradivarious consists of four of us: Paul Way-Rider (guitar and bass), Elaine Segura (fiddle), Christine Knag (fiddle) and myself, Angie Phillip (accordion, fiddle).

Paul and I started off playing jazz and folk and then discovered klezmer and East European music. We got together with quite a few people who enjoyed experimenting with klezmer. Eventually we morphed into the group of four and after a while discovered with delight the Hastings based group, the Moors, whose music is klezmer based.

Paul suggested the name Tradivarious as a spoof on Stradivarius because we started off as three fiddle players and a guitarist. We played traditional folk tunes from various places so the name seemed perfect.

SOS: What are your backgrounds and what are some of your main musical influences?

AP: My background is a South Derbyshire mining village where I was brought up by a mother who played piano, organ and mandolin. My father grew roses and apple trees and sang around the house, especially on Sundays when he didn’t have to go to work. I learned piano from an early age, failed to play the school violin but then returned to it nearly half a century later when I got to Hastings. My instruments are fiddle, accordion and keyboards. My musical influences are classical, folk music and old blues songs. My heroes are are Billie Holiday, Van Morrison, Nigel Kennedy and Garry Blakeley.

Paul Way-Rider: My background is pretty varied ranging from X-ray spectrometry to learning technologist with lots of different jobs in-between, including barman. My musical background is equally as varied, starting off as lead guitar in a school band playing mainly covers, and later guitar and bass in rock, blues, jazz and now folk outfits.

'Mrs B.' - double necked acoustic bass / 6 string guitar

Mrs B - double-necked acoustic bass/six-string guitar.

Since I came to Hastings I found myself regularly playing both guitar and bass in the sessions so I looked for a double-necked guitar/bass (I knew it was easy to find electric guitars like this). There were no acoustic examples to be found below £3,000 so I decided to make my own acoustic double-neck guitar/bass. After a few weeks sawing, gluing and sanding I now have such an instrument and she’s called Mrs B (don’t ask!).

My two main influences are Jimi Hendrix and Robert Fripp (still touring with King Crimson) – both amazing guitarists with hugely different approaches to playing.



Elaine Segura: I have always loved music and wanted to play from a very early age. My father was a classical violinist and pianist; my mother played piano and sang. My husband is from Spain so there is music from there, too. My first instrument was a guitar, which I played until I decided to take up the fiddle 10 years ago and have loved it ever since. I took up the fiddle at the same time as my sister, Helen, who was a big influence on my playing.

My favourite music is Irish and klezmer. I’ve dabbled in other instruments (guitar, mandolin, concertina, ukulele, keyboards) but my real love, more of an addiction really, is the fiddle which I hope to play for the rest of my life. I have played with Hastings Fiddle Choir as well as with Tradivarious.

Christine Knag: I’m English with Norwegian connections. I played piano and violin as a child, and then there were big gaps while I practised typing! I now play folk and bits of classical. I play in a band called Highly Strung (four fiddles and two guitars!), which plays for the Hastings & St. Leonards English Country Dance Club on some of their dance nights.  I love music in general, including classical, blues, folk and folk-rock.




So, Angie, how do you choose the selection of music you perform as Tradivarious?

AP: We perform traditional folk tunes from various places, ie from all over the world. We each have a large amount of music and we’ll bring tunes to the group. If we all like a particular tune then it will get included in our (bulging at the seams) repertoire. We especially like to find or compose arrangements for our mix of fiddle, accordion and guitar or bass.

SOS: You are a person of many talents being a painter, an applied linguist and contributor to Hastings Online Times. With continuing academic and other commitments, how do you find time for your music?

AP: Music is an addiction, it finds its own time.

SOS: It is said that Hastings has more artists per square mile than most places and that the light here is unique. Could you say something about your work as an artist, its development and the extent to which it is affected by your surroundings?

AP: Yes, Hastings delights the eye and the light lifts the spirits, but the most important influence on my painting comes from the people around me, especially from other painters, like Jill Levick, for example. In the past I have painted mainly abstracts and still life but more and more I enjoy drawing and painting portraits, which is what I mainly concentrate on now.

SOS: What of the future for yourself and for the group?

AP: Tradivarious performs for private events and charity shows. Our next big gig will be a charity performance round about Christmas (date still not set). This event will take place at the Old Bakery Basement in Harold Road and will include other artists, too – details and dates will be advertised on our website nearer the time.  An exciting development for Paul and myself is that we have set up an additional band called The Red Geraniums to explore jazz and some electric music with one or two singers who were keen to work with us.

Please see the websites for more information, sound samples and contact details:


The Red Geraniums.

All photos by Paul Way-Rider, who is also a member of the HOT editorial collective.

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Posted 20:22 Sunday, Oct 5, 2014 In: SOS

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