The Lantern Society was started by Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou nearly ten years ago at The Betsy Trotwood pub in London.
After moving down from London themselves a few years ago they decided the time, and the local musical conditions, were ripe for bringing the idea to Hastings.
The original version of The Lantern Society is still going strong in London by the way.
You can read more about its background in a recent article on The Stinger website here: thestinger.org.uk/article
For the uninitiated, The Lantern Society is effectively an acoustic Open Mic Night, but with a difference.
Trevor and Hannah never refer to the evening as an Open Mic Night by the way.
The Printworks was decked out in bunting, soft lighting and appropriate background music, and unlike other Open Mic Nights I’ve been to, the place was packed right from the word go.
This was ‘despite’ a three pound entry fee, proving that local people will pay to go to gigs, if you get it right.
The evening was kicked off, rather appropriately, by Trevor and Hannah themselves performing a trio of their own songs.
The quality of performers and performances stayed high throughout the evening, not something you can always say about an Open Mic Night, with both young and not so young players taking to the stage.
There was also a nice mixture of local acts and a few old stalwarts of the original Lantern Society who’d made the trip down from London too, something which gave a nice balance to the event.
The out of towners included Lily Ramona, James Burton, plus Tom and Chiara who really impressed the audience with their completely unplugged set, performed with just Chiara’s voice and Tom playing double bass and banjo.
A little birdy tells me that Tom and Chiara are moving to Hastings, so watch out for them at a venue near you.
Local performers included Harry Osbourne, Otti Albietz, Alan King, Bill and Eddy Odel.
I have a feeling word will soon get around, and more quality local acts will be beating a path to The Lantern Society over the coming months, I certainly hope so.
The evening was rounded off nicely by Trevor and Hannah singing ‘One and The Same’ from their excellent 2015 album ‘ExPatriot’.
I’ve often said to performers that they need to put on an ‘Event’ rather than just a ‘Gig’, as a way of pulling in the punters, and this was a case in point.
A little bit of effort, forethought, preparation and choosing the right venue can go a long way.
This all helps to create a nice space, with a nice vibe, which was much in evidence on this occasion.
So well done to Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou for doing just that with The Lantern Society. It certainly paid dividends tonight.
Another different aspect of The Lantern Society is that the evening is recorded and then edited down to become ‘The Lantern Society Radio Hour’, an online radio show.
I’m looking forward to reliving many of tonights performances, and also to the next installment of the Lantern Society on Thursday, 2nd February.
This is a DFL I think we can all welcome to Hastings.
A very pleasing addition to the local musical landscape, long may it shine.
For more info about The Lantern Society visit the website at: thelanternsociety.co.uk