Tribute to Sonia London – 2012 – The Record Shop Hastings by Tony May

“Behind every great man there is a great woman”

Tribute to Sonia London 2012 –

By Tony May for Hastings Town Magazine

Along with her husband, Jack, Sonia served behind the counter of  ‘The Record Shop’ in Queens Road for over 44 years (until Jack finally decided to retire (aged 76) in November 2006). No-one who knew either of them will ever forget the unique atmosphere in the shop, their idiosyncrasies or the way they always made you feel so welcome every time you walked through the door…

No, the words ‘customer service’ were invented to suit Sonia and Jack and even feeling as I am I can find a smile when I recall how many times you’d enter the shop and find two or three people standing around chatting with a cup of hot tea or some beverage or cake nearby to sustain them.

The times may have changed outside but life at ‘The Record Shop’ changed little. In fact, in later years I think it was this that enabled the couple to keep the shop open. Jack’s shop was never renowned as ‘Hastings most trendy’ place to buy your records and by the mid 90’s (at the latest!) it was clear that the ‘golden age of vinyl’ was over and that records and record collecting was in steep decline. Trendy or not, it would be Sonia and Jack who would have the last laugh. When on the 25th of November 2006 Jack London shut up shop for the very last time he and ‘Son’ actually turned the lock in the key of Hastings LAST specialist record shop outlasting ANY of their rivals by some distance…

Read moreTribute to Sonia London – 2012 – The Record Shop Hastings by Tony May

Top Sounds – Johnny Mason

I used to write a weekly record column for the Hastings & St Leonards Observer. Thanks to Andre Martin for finding this. As anyone who writes for newspapers will know, your column gets chopped and cut and bits missed out, especially if more ads come in. At times the reviews did not make sense, not always down to my inability to write but due to the paper cutting out huge chucks of the review. This is why I gave this up.


Andy Qunta  – Johnny M’s Top Sounds was always a must-read!

Martyn Baker.…”Johnny Mason” was definitely part of my Hastings youth. Mostly very happy times

Charity Gig – Sussex Hotel Bexhill 17th August 2013

Chartiy Gig in aid of St Michaels Hospice

The Sussex Hotel , 92 London Road, Bexhill  Sat 17th August 2013 – from midday till late


and to be confirmed Big Blue & Rythmbound

£3.00 entry, free buffet included and all money goes to St Michaels Hospice.










The Waterboys – De La Warr Pavilion Sat 14th Dec 2013


This October it will be 25 years since the release of the classic Waterboys album Fisherman’s Blues. To celebrate this anniversary, on 14th October EMI Records will release a 7-CD boxset titled Fisherman’s Box, containing 121 tracks from the album sessions including all those on the original record and subsequent editions, plus an incredible 85 unreleased tracks.

The famous Fisherman’s Blues sessions ran from early 1986 to mid-1988 and marked a watershed in the musical evolution of The Waterboys. Rumours and bootlegs have circulated over the years telling of the huge amount of high quality music the band produced during this period, but the full story will be told on Fisherman’s Box.

The contents have been selected and annotated by Mike Scott, and additional sleevenotes are by Decemberists’ singer and long-time Fisherman’s Blues aficionado, Colin Meloy. Full tracklist to be announced.

As a further celebration, The Waterboys will tour Britain and Ireland in December 2013, with a special line-up reuniting Mike Scott and Steve Wickham with Fisherman’s-era members Anto Thistlethwaite and Trevor Hutchinsion. The four will be joined by current Waterboys drummer Ralph Salmins and the repertoire will be a re-exploration of the Fisherman’s Blues period. Said Mike Scott: “We won’t be playing the original Fisherman’s Blues album in order or anything tame like that. That’s not the Waterboys’ style. Instead we’ll be roaming the band’s old repertoire in a new expression of the freewheeling, improvised spirit of The Waterboys in those days. We want to get that old fire burning again, and I wanna hear Steve and Anto wailing like the two-man orchestra I remember.”

Expect souped-up, full power versions of lots of 1985-88 Waterboys numbers, plus hits, innovations and surprises.

T Rextasy – St Mary In The Castle – 9th Nov 2013



T.Rextasy are the only band to have been authorised and endorsed by Marc Bolan’s catalogue management, and are now recognised as the “official” Marc Bolan/T.Rex tribute band.

With their uncanny doppelganger lead singer and guitarist, Danielz, T.Rextasy perform a powerful and mesmerising presentation of Marc Bolan’s rock and pop anthems.

With a career spanning over 17 years, T.Rextasy have toured Worldwide, including Japan, Germany, Denmark, Abu Dhabi, Sweden and Marrakech, to name a few. They have not only performed with Bolan’s contemporaries such as Roy Wood, Steve Harley, Ian Hunter, Slade, and Gary Glitter, but they have played more than once at the impressive Wembley Arena in London, and headlined the gigantic Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan, and now they are coming to St Marys!!!!!


David Bowie Is Happening Now – Film

De La Warr Pavilion – Bexhill Tuesday 13th August 2013 – 7.00pm


A Live Nationwide Cinema Event

The Victoria and Albert Museum presents David Bowie is happening now, a nationwide cinema event screened live from David Bowie is, as the finale to the museum’s enormously successful exhibition.

This unique event will be your last opportunity to experience the V&A’s exhibition in the UK before it goes on international tour.  David Bowie is happening now will be introduced by exhibition curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh. It will feature special guests offering an insight into the stories behind some of the 300 objects from the David Bowie Archive, many of which have never before been displayed in public.

Directed by BAFTA winning director, Hamish Hamilton and produced by Done & Dusted Productions Ltd. The film will be distributed to cinemas by Picturehouse Entertainment Ltd.