Considering I’ve grown up in Hastings, and my Dad was in the Round Table for years so he used to help organise the bloody thing, it took me a long time to get with the Beer and Music Festival programme. I think I’ve been, like…twice.
Maybe if I’d been going since my early teens I might be bored with it by now, so I’m seeing it as a good thing – better late than never anyway. The important thing to know is that there is beer, and there is music, everyone parties it up in a massive tent, and it’s awesome.
With the last few week’s being an insanely weird time for everyone anyway, I think we’re all looking forward to putting politics and ‘the end of the world’ to one side and do what we do best as a community – drink loads, listen to amazing live music, and raise money for worthy local charities. It’s an event that makes me proud to come from this bonkers town – all the event staff are volunteers, and back in 2014 the festival raised an amazing £72,000 for local causes. We can be a generous lot when we want to be! (OK, I don’t know how much they raised last year… HBMF you need to update your website!)
My friends and I are (self-proclaimed?) Doozers. Which means that we like to go and watch The Do Theys – one of the South Coast’s best party bands with an incredible repertoire guaranteed to please anyone and everyone, with Vic Payne fronting the band along with Trevor White on guitar, Gary ‘Smiles’ (because HE NEVER SMILES) Stafford on Bass and Ollee Newby on Drums.
My mates and I can often be found dancing about like prats while they play at The Trader on a Sunday, and we always stand at the very front like the true groupies we are.
Yes, we have made up our own dance routines for some of their tracks. No, we are not ashamed. We probably would have made most bands feel awkward by now but not The Do Theys, they always give us a mention every time we come and see them play. Fancy dress is a regular occurrence when we go see our fave band… the weirder we look, the more supportive we are being, right?
We’re not the only ones who think The Do Theys kick ass however, their public Facebook page has just under 1,500 fans and their new private Facebook group, The Doozers, has 110 members and it’s growing every day.
Earlier this year, a rumour starting going around that The Do Theys were ACTUALLY HEADLINING THE BEER AND MUSIC FESTIVAL… It was indeed good times. And then finally, it was announced:
Most people when hearing that their favourite band are headlining a music festival will just do the normal thing and buy a ticket. Some might buy a couple of tickets for their mates. BUT NOT THE DOOZERS. No – all 110 Doozers have coordinated a fancy dress theme for Saturday night and four guys have gotten special HBMF 2016 tattoos. Yes, you heard me – they got special tattoos.
I asked Tommie Pitts, a well-known Doozer, why he wanted to get a tattoo: ‘Well, it all started like so many good ideas with us being drunk. It’s really just to celebrate the guys headlining, it’s the biggest night of their musical lives and we are proud that our friends have achieved it.’
I also asked another Doozer, Geoff Wallbank, why he got his tattoo and it turns out that he didn’t actually get one because no one told him that it was happening, so that was a bit awkward. Soz Geoff.
So, fancy knowing The Do They’s a little better? They very kindly agreed to answer some questions for me:
- How did The Do Theys get together at the beginning?
Vic: I was supposed to be doing a solo gig but I didn’t fancy playing it alone. I invited Ollee, Gary and Trev along who had never met before, let alone played together. We pretty much winged the entire gig, but the four of us had so much fun we decided to form a band.
2. What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever done as a band?
Trev: Being given the opportunity to headline the Hastings Beer and Music festival this year. We’ve been lucky enough to play it 3 times previously but on lower spots. The crowd response last year was phenomenal, having 6000 people singing back to you gave us all goosebumps. We’ve also had the privilege of being joined onstage with Ray Lewis of The Drifters.
3. What is it like being in a band in Hastings?
Gary: It’s great being surrounded by a thriving music scene full of top quality musicians. (Gary didn’t smile when he answered this. Gary never smiles.)
4. What’s coming up next for the band in 2016?
Ollee: Headlining The Hastings Beer and Music festival is the main thing this year, along with our weekly pub, party and wedding shows which we love.
5. Finish the sentence round…
Our fans are amazing because…
Doozers are for life, not just for Beer Festivals.
Our dream venue would be…
HEADLINING HASTINGS BEER FESTIVAL
If we weren’t playing in a band, we would be…
Putting the toys in kinder eggs.
The weirdest thing that ever happened to us at a gig was…
A man pooping himself and Andy Murray winning Wimbledon.
Playing in a band has taught us that…
Trev is the best subject matter of comedy.
The best part of a gig is…
The after party!!
We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for…
The Doozers, Mr Staff, Adam Harkin, Adam Streather and all the amazing pubs in Hastings that keep inviting us back.
Hastings Beer and Music Festival is a three day event and it’s been going since the 1980’s. Staged in Alexandra Park and managed by a committee of local Round Table Members. The festival offers over 90 real ales as well as lager, local ciders and wines. You might be a little late to get your tickets online now but you can get them at the entrance. The Beer Fest pledge is simple – great fun for great causes. Bring it!