Editor's Rating

Rating out of 10

Zooquarium Festival

Venue: Hastings Pier
Date: 15th July 2017

It was a windy afternoon but my friend and I were really looking forward to the highly anticipated Zooquarium Festival over on Hastings Pier. Those who are local to the area may remember that the pier burnt down a few years ago and was only reopened in 2o16. Local musicians and fans have been excited at the idea of being able to go to/play at music events at the legendary venue.

After buying our mandatory glasses of Prosecco to kick off the afternoon, we took a wander round to see what it was all about. The event was animal themed and we saw people wearing animal onesies, some with face paint on and some people were just smothered in glitter. ‘Cos, why not.

First up we went and had a listen to Joby. The young musician did a chilled acoustic set which included a really great Sex Pistols cover. It was still quite early on in the day so a lot of the audience were sitting but the music that Joby played was ideal for that atmosphere.

Blair & Friends was up next. Those who are aware of Blair know how great him and his band are at performing – it’s always incredibly entertaining. As if taking to the stage in a onesie wasn’t enough, Blair and crew then proceeded to perform their covers of Drake‘s ‘One Dance‘ and Julia Michaels‘ ‘Issues‘ – occasionally checking the lyrics on his phone because, let’s face it, those songs aren’t on his usual set list. Either way, they went down a treat with the crowd, who were mostly quite young. The rest of the set was awesome and included covers like ‘Stuck In The Middle With You, with a twist. Just like the entire set, really.

Someone Anyone were up next. The quintet combine guitars, drums, bass, keys and saxophone to produce a unique style of funky jazz, blues and rock. The group had a great stage presence and pulled in a fantastic amount of people for their set, considering their style of music was not typical of this festival line-up. During their set, there was also an appearance from Kid Kapichi drummer George Macdonald.

It’s pretty safe to say that Kid Kapichi were highly anticipated by everyone that was there to watch them. The crowd had probably doubled by this point, and from the moment they hit the stage, the guys had encapsulated the entire audience. Some were edging closer to the front to make sure they had the best view – including myself – and everyone was singing along to classics like ‘Ice Cream‘ and new single ‘Waster‘.

Alibi were up next and they managed to pull in a sweet amount of people to listen to their .  The indie rockers are beginning to really make a name for themselves in Hastings and the support they were met with at Zooquarium was definitely something to be proud of. The band also played their new single ‘Space, Man‘, which you can check out the video for, over on their Facebook page.

London based We-Are-Z were on another level. By this point in the evening, everyone was pretty pissed  – I was anyway – and the atmosphere was incredible. The band were one of the most eccentric I have witnessed on Hastings turf; there was glitter and confetti being thrown about and the band’s blend of indie-pop and disco-punk had everyone on their feet.

I sat down on the steps opposite the ‘Journey To The Deep‘ stage for Dorey The Wise as the atmosphere had become a lot more chilled out for their set. Their blend of Alt Rock and Indie Pop had loads of people on their feet, but for those that were getting tired, the steps were the perfect place to chill and enjoy the music. Dorey The Wise are getting to be quite a big name in Hastings and I was really happy to have the opportunity to see them smash it on Hastings Pier.

The headline of the night was Rat Boy, combining indie-rock, electro and Blur-esque cockney vocals. The Essex based lads managed to pull in a great crowd for the finale of the event and played some of their biggest hits so far to pull the night to a close. Definitely a band worth checking out if you haven’t already.

Overall, I had a fantastic time – getting to watch bands I love and bands I haven’t seen before – particularly celebrating the local talent in my hometown of Hastings. The pier is looking to be a great place to catch live music and I hope that there’s gonna be a lot more where that came from.

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Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/CharlieRichardsPhotography/