Beat poet & lyricist supporting local homeless. By John Cornelius

It’s nothing unusual to walk past a local pub and hear a live band bashing out a couple of 1960s rock classics. What is unusual is to find that the author of those classics is on stage in that pub at that moment and is also a local resident.

Pete Brown sketched by John Cornelius

So it was on Friday night 28th September when Pete Brown and his fluidly staffed band the Hastings All Stars finished a masterly two sets of superb music with the Cream classics ‘White Room’ and ‘Sunshine of Your Love’, the lyrics to both of which Pete wrote in collaboration with the late lamented Jack Bruce. He delved deeply into more songs he worked on with Bruce, ‘Scenes from an Imaginary Western’ and the amazing ‘Under the Volcano’ based on the legendary novel by Malcolm Lowry, a beat classic which made those of us who read it feel we were the only ones who had done so.  Pete’s recollections are as he admits sometimes bitter and downbeat but always spiced with a dry sense of humour.

The All Stars outstanding line up of keyboards, guitar, horns, bass and drums were augmented and topped off with the astonishing soaring vocal talents of Leanne Chantelle Duncan, showcased on numbers like ‘Summer In the City’ and the Isleys’ ‘Summer Breeze’, breathing new life into both.

The gig was part of the fringe festival of music in support of the homeless and Pete admitted publicly that it was only the good fortune of having written the aforesaid classics at the right time, now recycled in numerous Cream CDs, that saved him from a precarious bedsit life which is the lot of so many poets.

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