Thank you everyone!


Did that actually just happen?

A massive thank you to our workshop students, instructors, guest artists, show goers, reception team, sponsors, photographers, video archivists and staff of The Brunswick. Another memorable and fully attended event has zoomed past!

We hope to see everyone again in 2019 for more harmonica merriment, but in the meantime we’ll leave you with this flashback to Rory McLeod and Richard Taylor on BBC Radio Sussex.

Listen to

Good harpin’ to you!

The HBTS Team

Monthly Drop-In Harmonica Workshops


Here at the Brunswick in Hove ..actually (near France)

Since Harpin’ By The Sea was first launched, an oft-heard question as people wend their weary way homeward is, ‘That was great! Why don’t you do it twice a year, or even monthly?‘ At which point Rich and Stu make like Forrest Gump and start run-ning! You can have too much of a good thing.

But times move on, and we’re delighted to announce that from 27th Feb 2018 you can enjoy a little shot of Harpin’ By The Sea magic once a month. It’s just that, unlike Forrest’s mum’s box of chocolates, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Dates and further information are on our flyer just below and at

Download our flyer

Make it your Tuesday night guilty pleasure. Bring the office. Bring a friend. For the musically uninhibited, there’s even a Jazz Jam afterwards where you can strut your augmented prowess. We look forward to seeing you for more free-reeding frolics.

Pre-Fest Warm Up


The Brunswick’s Cellar Bar – Friday 2nd Feb from 8.00pm

Join us for the HBTS8 pre-fest warm up. Entrance is free! The perfect chance to meet our special guests and mix with other festival-goers. Open mic and PA provided by the wonderful Harry Hornsey. Bring your harps, bring a smile and get the weekend underway.

The Brunswick



Look out, old monkey lips is back in town

Lee Sankey has been in touch this week with an update on his HBTS8 workshops for Intermediate and Advanced players.

ADVANCED PLAYERS: Get your chops round this beauty.
Lee will provide an explanation of the key techniques from his instrumental Monkey Lips. This song leans heavily on tongue blocking to create rhythm and alternative melodic ideas, while requiring accurate execution of multiple hole leaps at pace.

Listen to

You will gain insight into how the head riff is constructed and how to apply these approaches elsewhere. This session will stretch advance players and provide new territories to explore.

INTERMEDIATE PLAYERS: Your timings sucks, so let’s fix it.
Timing and groove is something that many intermediate players consistently struggle with and is, in Lee’s opinion, the single biggest factor limiting their musical development. In this workshop Lee will walk you through a series of structured exercises using bars through 12 of a twelve bar blues sequence that will help transform your timing.

Just to whet the appetite, here’s some Gary Primich delivering a fine example of timing in Queen of Complication..

Listen to

In the midnight hour, she cried ‘more, more, more…’
You can find a complete run down of workshop content and things you can prepare in our Event Info (Workshops) menu. Get on it gang!

HBTS Special Lunchtime Menu


HBTS Dirty Mac & Cheese

The Brunswick’s chefs have produced a special lunchtime menu at great prices for all our participants.

You can choose from.. 

  • Spicy beef chilli – £8.00
  • Spicy vegetarian chilli (veg) – £7.50
  • Dirty Mac ‘N Cheese (v) – £7.50
  • Dirty Mac ‘N Cheese with smoked ham – £8.50

Please order your food on arrival in the morning and we’ll have it ready for your lunch break at 12.30pm.

Main Menu items are also available on the day but will be served shortly after the above items.

Souvenir T-Shirts


Turn Up. Dig it. Tell all your friends.  

  Harmonica-Tees have produced a great souvenir event T-shirt, featuring..

Front: Logo and official event slogan
Turn up. Dig it. Tell ALL your friends.

Back: Event, artists, tutors, web address

Paul Gillings will be on site with samples of the HBTS and other harmonica T-shirts for you to check out. He’ll be available at lunchtime to take your order personally, which he’ll fulfil and mail out shortly afterwards.

HBTS souvenir T-shirts are £12.99 (inc postage). They are available in black and come in S, M, L, XL, XXLXXXL. Which all adds up to a rattling good deal and a great way to remember your day.

Intermediate Workshop News


We’re busy building up to the big event and to whet your appetite, there’s a link below to our INTERMEDIATE workshops.

If you’ve signed up for these, a big thank you. If you haven’t yet, you’d better get your skates on because there are only a few left.

Take a moment to visit our intermediate page as you will find useful pointers to help you prepare. We’ll be posting similar info for Beginners and Advanced attendees shortly.

HBTS8 – Announcing our Star Guest


Footsteps and heartbeats

With our theme of Busking & In Your Face Harmonica at HBTS8, it is only fitting that our star guest should be none other than international super-busker himself, Rory McLeod. Rory will be packing his lyrics, rhythms, harmonicas, guitar, spoons, whistles, dance board and charisma, and flying down from Edinburgh to entertain and amaze all our HBTS8 guests.

If you’ve never witnessed Rory in action, it’ll be an experience you will never forget. If you have, then you’ll understand how very proud we are to include Rory in our line up.

Tell all your friends!