Entertaining Mr Stone… Entertaining Rye

The name Entertaining Mr Stone is simply a play on lead singer Steve’s name and the Joe Orton farce Entertaining Mr Sloane; the musical offerings of the local three-piece band Entertaining Mr Stone have for some time been vital in entertaining the good people of Rye.


CommunityAd had the pleasure of a chat with violinist Paul who has only called Rye home for a few years but feels right at. We can’t stop him from singing the town’s praises: “It’s a brilliant place to live, with the sea in easy reach, good food shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. There’s also a great community here: I didn’t know anyone when I moved to Rye but with my violin was quickly welcomed. Pre-pandemic, music was certainly an important part of the social life here, and we live in hope that it will become so again.”


Entertaining Mr Stone is a trio featuring Steve Stone on vocals and guitar, Dave McKean on keyboards and vocals, and Paul Brasington on violin. They are happy as a three piece but Paul concedes “if that little-known local multi-instrumentalist Paul McCartney wanted to sit in on a few tunes we’d probably let him.”


“We got together shortly after I moved to Rye in 2017, though at that point with Phil Law on keyboards. Phil left after a year to do his own thing and Dave joined us. Most of our material is original, written by Steve, whose own background is in the south London post-punk scene, but whose major influences range from The Beatles through Leonard Cohen to Johnny Cash. Dave and I both have jazz and folk interests, and all these influences play out in the arrangements. We also do select covers, from mid-period Beatles through the Kinks to the Clash and the Stranglers. The instrumentation is a little unusual and allows us to make a big sound for just three people”.


If Entertaining Mr Stone were put into isolation by big Boris right now and were permitted only three singles to be able to listen to, firstly, would you be able to agree? Secondly, what would they be?

“I don’t imagine we could agree on three favourite singles. I’m not sure I could even agree with myself. As a band we have enough common ground to enjoy making the music we do, drawing on many different sources, and its diversity is part of that enjoyment.”


Are there any plans to perform for our readers over the festive period?

“We have established a good and loyal following in Rye, and were just beginning to push further afield when the pandemic hit, so that’s been frustrating: the only gigs we’ve been able to play in the last year have been outside at The Oak in Rye Foreign and the Benenden Jazz and Blues festival. I’ve also had to take some time out for health problems though happily they were all be behind me by the end of November. We had a gig booked for the Brewery Yard in Rye on Thursday 2nd December and are looking to expand our reach from now.

“Our ideal gig? Our only aim really is to reach as many people as possible, so anywhere with good capacity and decent acoustics would be an easy ideal. We’ll also be looking for openings on the summer festival circuit.”


Why is it so important that the community support live music venues and get to gigs now in this restriction-lifted world?

“I think most musicians have been hard hit by the pandemic, many financially but all emotionally. We’ve also really missed the opportunity to enjoy live music ourselves. The outlook is still pretty uncertain and it’s been tough for pubs and venues. It’s notable in Rye that at least two of the regular venues have for the moment at least stopped putting on live music, so it’s all the more important that people support those who continue to do so (if you don’t use it you will lose it)”.


To find out where to be entertained by Entertaining Mr Stone head to their Facebook or website.

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