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Looking Forward – West Exit

This Is Hastings was kindly invited to a preview night at West Exit (formerly The Crypt) which is set to officially open on March 30th.

The entrance (now situated on Roberston Street, between Yates and General Havelock) could be missed, with its minimal branding and black exterior. The black walls soon merge with an impressive open brickwork wall, coaxing you down the amply wide staircase.

The first thing that strikes you on entering West Exit is its scale, although memories of The Crypt are somewhat fuzzy, it feels a lot more open and airy – with open brick divides breaking up the space, and bomb-shelter style booths running down the side.

On closer inspection, it is a vast space – but you have to explore to find this out. Meaning there is no “empty school disco” feel when entering the space at less than capacity.

Rather than tucking the DJ booth into a corner, it is given pride of place running parallel to the dance floor, flanked by a massive sound system that looks like a distant cousin of Optimus Prime – and it sounds amazing!

The space is lit beautifully (both ceiling and floor) by strips of coloured spotlights, with atmospheric smoke subtly seeping out (rather than being intervally hit by the usual toxic gas explosion)

When you’re weary of busting moves, there is ample, stone bench seating skirting the dance floor, as well as in more sheltered, intimate compartments – there’s even raised seating in old chimney stacks … and it heated!

By some sort of technological wizardry you feel a soft glow of warmth emanating from the stone benches, which would otherwise leave you uncomfortably numb.

The low curved entrances offer a very nice aesthetic to the space, as well as shielding the sound if you’re in the mood for a chat – although the taller amongst us will have to stoop to avoid a bruised head by morning … but did we mention the seating is heated!

The staff, although made up of many a familiar face, seem transformed by the simple addition of white shirts / black trousers. Its a small detail, but makes the space feel all that bit smarter.

For many the point of contention with The Crypt were the toilets. This Is Hastings is happy to report that they have been relocated near the entrance, kitted out with stylish industrial sinks and airblade hand dryers.

West Exit is beautifully designed and incredibly exciting prospect for the town centre. Its both classy and ambitious, while still feeling inviting and eclectic.  This Is Hastings cannot wait to see this new venue enjoyed by the masses, its going to be big!


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OTTI @ St Mary’s in the Castle

P_223 WalletWandering the streets & hills humming to himself, an inspired contemporary songwriter and performer, his intimate songs bloom with the beauty and tragedy of epic human stories. Otti Albietz was born in Malaga, Spain, and grew up traveling around Europe and Morocco with his brother, and parents. Remembering rivers, scrapyards, kiosks, pavements, stray dogs, smugglers, motorways, and spending his late teenage years living independently between England, Germany, and Spain. His drive to make music led him to move to the UK.

 He has lived in England since 2005, spending the first 5 years as lead vocalist and writer in various bands, before choosing in April 2012 to pursue music under his own name. This has given him the freedom to collaborate on his songs with an orbiting group of individual musicians. These have included; experimental flautist Geoff Leigh (‘Henry Cow’), instrumentalist/artist Thad Skews (‘Phil Collins 3’/’Unicorndad vrs Robodad’), Musician/Producer Harvey Summers, Girlfriend/Soprano Anna Graebe, Drummers Benno Schlachter, and Sacha Trochet, amongst others.

 Otti creates image-laden songs with an intuitive sensitivity oscillating between intense realism and fantastical dreams. His self-produced debut album ‘One’ was released on ‘Big Village Records’ in January 2011, and toured through central Europe in August 2011, visiting Basel, Hamburg and Mullhouse.

 ‘Bubbytone II’, is Otti Albietz’s second album, and his debut with label BBE, recorded with friend, and Producer, Harvey Summers, in Harvey’s gorgeous Broadoak Studio, in East Sussex. Harvey has worked with a large number of artists, amongst them; Danny Thompson, Paul McCartney, John Pearson, Mumm Ra, and many more.

 Otti describes the drive for recording Bubbytone II as coming partly from “a personal need to put down a mountain of songs, that had accumulated in past years, which are likely to give birth to the majority of a third album too, though shhhsh about that for now; and partly an invitation from, and desire to work with Harvey Summers, more extensively, as before we’d only worked in short bursts”.

 He has since toured Europe once more in July 2012, and spent the year sharing stages, in London, Hastings, Brighton, and Oxford, with artists such as ‘She Makes War’, ‘The Mccarricks’, ‘Aaron King’, ‘Quintron and miss pussycat’ (New Orleans), ‘Zoe Konez’, ‘Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou’, ‘Billy Bones’, ‘Liz Green’, ‘More Like Trees’, and ‘Tim Hoyte’. The most striking feature of this music is the openness and intimacy that extends beyond the wonderfully crafted songs.

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This Is Hastings is very excited to announce that on Saturday 2nd March, Melt Yourself Down are back in Hastings @ The Printworks for another dose of colour and noise.

With intense, sweaty funk, uplifting horns and blistering Nubian drums, this tightly drilled unit will make you move.

only a few tickets remaining @ DYKE & DEAN!

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This Is Hastings Presents – Winter Wonderland @ The Printworks

This Is Hastings is very excited to announce that on Saturday December 22nd, for one night only The Printworks will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland!

We’re teaming up with Dyke & Dean to put on the ultimate Christmas Party for the good people of Hastings.

Tickets will be available to buy in Dyke & Dean on Monday (£5 if you like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter)

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Let’s Eat Local – Urban BBQ

Published on December 7, 2012 in Food & Drink

This Is Hastings is always in search of new local eateries, and Urban BBQ is as new as they come.

Filling the large space on Robertson Street that had been vacant for some time, Urban BBQ aims to fill empty stomachs with a wild array of meaty treats … and we mean wild. The bulging menu boasts not only your standard beef and chicken options, but also gourmet wild-boar and kangaroo burgers not to mention zebra steaks!

As much as Mr Hastings wanted to tear into 6 ounces of zebra flesh, its hefty (but justified) price tag reserves this stripey steak for true kings of the jungle.

Still wishing to walk on the wild side, a gourmet kangaroo burger was requested, with a side of seasoned chips and home-made Urban BBQ sauce, with which to dip.

Arriving promptly, Mr. Hastings was fast to dig in.

Having never tried kangaroo before, it is hard to draw comparison, but as promised it had a very “meaty taste” as well as that smokey barbeque tang you’d hope for – and with a little zesty lemon and garlic dressing, it was soon to disappear … perhaps too soon.

Although delicious, the burger was a touch on the thin side – presumably this kangaroo stayed lean in life, by saving irresponsible children trapped down wells.

Arguably the best bit of the meal was the seasoned chips – with a healthy dunk into the BBQ sauce the fork was soon replaced with the fist, for faster means of consumption.

Very filling, fairly priced, friendly staff and a tasty new option for town centre diners (even if entering the flame engulfed doors feels a little less barbeque, and more “adult accessories store.”)

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Local Talent – K Avery-Stallion

This is Hastings caught up with the lovely and talented “K” Avery-Stallion for a little chat about her locally named and run bag company St Leonards

(Not to be confused with the equally lovely new pub The St Leonard on London Rd.)

“K” started St Leonards in November 2010 and has recently celebrated her second year anniversary, going from strength to strength.

St Leonards has been featured in many high-end magazines such as Elle Decoration, Coast Magazine and the Sunday Telegraph (amongst many more)

 “K” has a long history of working in the fashion industry (buying and designing) but she had a serious drive to do something for herself: which is exactly what she did shortly after moving to sunny St Leonards, selling her own car to fund her first collection.

With their sell-out success and local support, “K”‘s dreams of world domination come ever closer.

Sat in her St Leonards studio, which is packed, bursting at the seams with ideas, samples and drawings with what Ms Hastings could only imagine contained marvelous magical handbag gems, we received a sneak preview of the sample “K” has been working on with the Jerwood Gallery.

Although sworn to secrecy This Is Hastings can tell you, it’s a great timeless design and its coming soon!

(Launches this Fri along with the Preview of the Jerwood Drawing Prize)

 “K” aims to eventually set up a dedicated workshop in St Leonards offering employment to local people and local graduates – to give back to the town that encouraged and inspired “K” so much to create the St Leonards brand.

 Until then however “K” will be having a fabulous Christmas Sample Sale in her home on December 9th

Selling her own samples along with a few other fantastically talented Hastings designers such as Aardvark Print Mongers, Tara Deighton’s South Coast Samples, Madrugar Millinery and Avery Stallion Photography.

This Is Hastings can’t wait to grab a bargain and see you all there

(Cash Only)

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JUMP / Film Screening In Hastings

This is Hatings briefly caught up with the director of JUMP, Bindu De Stoppani on one of her visits to Hastings.

We asked her about the film and what to expect at the screening.

“Here are a few details about the screening of the award winning feature film JUMP at The Electric Palace Cinema (in Hastings Old Town) on the 11th November 2012 at 8pm.

The screening will be introduced by myself and will have a Q&A at the end of the screening.
JUMP won 5 awards at the British Independent Film Festival 2012, including Best FilmBest DirectorBest CinematographyBest Actress (Claire Price) and Best Supporting Actor (Enzo Scanzi) as well as an Honorary Award at the Film Festival Centovalli 2012.
It was filmed in London and the beautiful mountain region of Italian speaking Switzerland. It was Edited here in Hastings (at The Printworks) and is currently doing the festival circuit and touring the Independent Cinemas around the world, including the UK, Switzerland and China.”
The synopsis  A romantic drama set in  an Italian Swiss village. Alice is a beautiful and troubled twenty-something who is on the run from a life that is out of control. When her estranged father dies she returns to the village of her childhood to execute his will. Here she meets the grandmother she never knew, a man who may hold the key to her heart and a young epileptic boy. We watch to see if Alice can mend the damage inflicted by warring parents. Ultimately Jump is an uplifting story about the power of friendship and love.
This is Hastings wishes the best of luck with all the screenings and hopes that you will try and make it to the Electric palace on sunday the 18th november.
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Get Involved – BBC1 Filming this Sunday

Calling all fish and chip lovers!

The BBC are looking for members of the public to participate in a fish and chip taste test this Sunday 16th September at Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival on East Hill.

This is for a planned BBC One primetime show presented by MasterChef’s Gregg Wallace & Chris Bavin, an award-winning greengrocer.

In this new show the presenters follow the journey of Fish & Chips from plot to plate and look at each element that makes up this traditional dish.


Date: Sunday 16th September 2012

Location: East Hill, Hastings Stade Open Space, Hastings Old Town, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 3AR

Time: 1.30pm (meet at East Hill lift Louis and Sophie will be there to guide you)

2pm- 6pm Filming 

You can contact us on: 07880 008 320 / dan.burnham@rdftelevision.com

16 + (under 18s must be accompanied by both parents)

Please bring a jumper/jacket to keep warm

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Looking Forward – HARMONICA @ The Printworks

The first floor of this unique listed building transformed into a den of retro electro future pleasure… A night of deliciously underground beats and major visuals in a fantastic new industrial venue. Eclectic music leading to a full on impossible not to dance clubnight dripping with dazzling imagery.

Underground vibes, amazing visuals, late license. The Printworks, 14 Claremont, America Ground, Hastings. 15/09/2012 9pm – 3am

Entry £5 at the door

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Looking Forward – Gary Hume : Flashback

Published on July 12, 2012 in Art & Design, News

This Saturday sees the opening of a brand new exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery.

Gary Hume : Flashback features a range of paintings and sculptures produced by the Turner Prize-nominated artist.

To celebrate its launch Gary Hume himself will be at the gallery for an exclusive “in conversation” event from 11am.

Tickets cost £10, which also includes entry to the rest of the gallery (perfect excuse to sit on the balcony and enjoy some lunch)


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