Mardi Gras the album, features a host of local acts who have all played Hastings Fat Tuesday. They range from bands currently making headlines around the country such as Kid Kapichi, HotWax and Skinny Lister, to some of the town’s favourite heroes including Liane Carroll, Buddha Triangle, Kingsize Slim and the much-missed Matilda’s Scoundrels.
The album is the brainchild of Lawrie Dunster, founder of Old Town-based Curve Pusher record mastering and cutting studio, who came up with the idea to help raise money for the festival.
“I’d always enjoyed coming to Hastings for Fat Tuesday,” Lawrie explains, “so much so that we moved not only ourselves but the business to the Old Town.”
Curve Pusher – a world-renowned mastering studio and cutting plant that lists Tom Petty, Marvin Gaye, Amy Winehouse and Bob Marley among their clientele – had sponsored Fat Tuesday in the past, however Lawrie wanted to provide the festival with something more tangible and offered to cut and manufacture an album.
“It’s taken a few years for the idea to come together, but we finally got there. It might even become an ongoing project if there’s enough interest and we sell enough of the limited edition 500 copies this first year.”
For Tallulah Sim-Savage, singer and bass player with HotWax, being involved with the album was a no-brainer.
“It didn’t take a second to persuade us,” the singer said. “We’ve played the Tuesday tour four times now, and it’s so cool, always such a fun and exciting thing to do.”
The first year Sim-Savage played Fat Tuesday, with her previous band The Kiffs, she and the other members were only 14 and some of the venues wouldn’t let them in to play. Unfortunately, however, HotWax aren’t appearing at this year’s festival as they are the support act on Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ UK tour.
“Also, it felt like four times was enough for now, people might be getting a bit sick of us!” the singer says.
Another Fat Tuesday stalwart featured on the album is Hastings’ premier party band, Buddha Triangle. Like HotWax, the decision to offer a track for the project didn’t take long for singer and band leader Sam Margerison.
“We’ve played Fat Tuesday many, many times, often at the after show party, and the chance to help them out was too good to pass up,” Margerison said.
Margerison said he wrote the Buddha Triangle track, Slave To Your TV, some years ago, but later repurposed it before recording last year. It might be released ‘officially’ some time in the future, he says, but for now the Mardi Gras album is the only place it’s available.
“We have so many brilliant memories of Fat Tuesday. My favourite is probably the year we were last on at the Lord Nelson on Acoustic Saturday. It was a completely mad year, people were dancing on tables, it was complete chaos. Which sort of sums up the festival spirit, really.”
For one of Fat Tuesday’s founders, Bob Tipler, the album is another expression of the deep roots the festival has grown in the town over a decade and a half.
“Fat Tuesday has always been this big explosion of colour in the vast greyness of January, February, March,” he says, “a little stepping stone for people to enjoy getting from Christmas through to spring. And the quality of all these bands – from more modern ones to festival regulars – shows why people keep turning out over the five days, year after year.”
Bob also has another reason for liking the album: his now-defunct band The Cajun Dawgs, are also on the album.
“It’s not like we made it a condition of the album getting done to include my band!” he laughs. “But as I was kind of the founder of the original festival, Cajun Dawgs were the band that kicked off the very first one, so in a way the album nicely completes a little circle. Which is quite a sweet thing, really.”
Written by Andy Fyfe
Buy the album HERE