AMACs Fortnightly Five with Alec Tappenden, Musician and organiser of Hampton Originals Nights (HON)

For our next feature we had the pleasure of speaking to Alec Tappenden, musician in local band Pandamoanium and organiser of some new live original music nights at The Hampton Inn in Herne Bay.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started with the Hampton Originals Nights (HON)?

I started this as my own band, Pandamoanium have difficulty finding gigs, as the vast majority of venues predominantly want only covers bands, and many other acts find the same thing. New music venues are hard to find. The first night was June 2021 so it is quite a new thing, and there have now been 4 nights so far, all a success.

I advertise as much as my admittedly poor skills and time allow to attract acts, solo/duo/full bands of any genre to come and play 45 mins to 1 hour of their own music, and I encourage more to get in touch.

The aim is to have a cover free night of live music (but disappointingly a couple of acts have squeezed in a cover or 2 which really is not in keeping with the brief or the spirit or opportunity). Initially I requested 1 evening a month, but interest has been encouraging, making a second Monday every month a possibility. I do not want any more than 2 acts per evening as we all like to play longer sets with minimal changeover times.

The Hampton Inn is conveniently local to me, so I can easily walk there, and Monday nights is usually a very quiet night for them, being the only night they do not serve food. So everyone's a winner. Each performer gets an equal share of a percentage of that nights bar, and one free drink each.

I just organise which bands on which night and set up a group chat where the acts can sort out as much gear sharing as possible to reduce changeover time and clutter. I ask acts to provide as much of the equipment as they can but if there is something they simply cannot supply between them, I will try to source it for that night. There is no equipment provided by the venue.

2. Who are your influences or role models?

Roger Glover of Deep Purple got me playing bass, and Steve Harris taught me to play (well not really but I spent entire weekends listening to Iron Maiden albums, learning his bass lines).

3. What’s your proudest achievement to date?

My proudest (musical) achievement so far? I didn't gig until I was 27, but for my 12th ever gig I headlined the prestigious Marquee Club in London where some huge names have also appeared. Awesome.

4. Tell us an interesting fact or funny story about yourself

Difficult one. I have a solo, bass guitar only project going. I have written and recorded 3 tunes of 3-5 layers, but more will be done when time allows.

5. How can people find out more about what you do?

The Hampton Originals night is on Instagram, Twitter and the Venue has a page too (I am working on improving visibility but it's not my strong point tbh)

The next evening is Monday 25th October featuring Spyplane and Stella 'n The Loft - Free entry


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