John D Hastings


Press news

Exciting News! Showcase at The Bedford Pub, Balham confirmed: Tues. 27 August 2024. Acts: 8pm. FREE!

Yes, another amazing music pub with a classy repertoire of acts showcasing here including Ed Sheeran and Paolo Nutini! Doors 7pm, Acts 8pm performing in two sets during the evening.

Showcase set at The Dublin Castle, Camden. Monday 22 April 2024

John performed at this iconic music venue in North London. Foot-stomping LIONS, always popular live, is a tribute to the bravery of our LGBTQ+ community. Singing When It's Gone a cappella, you could hear a pin drop as John's plaintive plea to treat the Earth more kindly resounded across the room. John's set was an eclectic song mix showing his versatility in songwriting and vocal range!

The venue has been called the centre of the indie rock universe and no wonder! The stage has been graced by The Killers, Artic Monkeys, Amy Winehouse, Blur and Coldplay amongst others. Madness practically had a residency! How fantastic to be part of its musical heritage.  Audience reaction at John's recent gigs has been amazing and this one was no exception. When people sing and clap along on first hearing of his songs it's the best compliment he could receive! 


Listen to John’s first podcast, a 1979 interview with Tommy Vance on his British Forces Broadcasting Services (BFBS) UK show. Tommy interviewed John as lead singer and song writer for The Stilettos with Tom Atkinson, lead guitarist, following their journey as an unsigned band at the time.

John talks about his move down to London from the North East of England and how he found a publishing deal. He then needed to create a 16-track demo to take round the record companies, so the rest of the band jacked in their jobs to join him in London!

Tommy Vance was a popular DJ in the 70’s and 80’s so his support of The Stilettos as an unsigned power pop band was unprecedented. Tommy contributed to the music industry in so many ways in his lifetime. He and BFBS UK literally “adopted” the band! John appreciated the opportunity to talk about the struggle of an unknown gigging band on his show.  Tommy also played a couple of songs from the band’s slightly rough 8-track demo tape.

As Tommy says in the interview “we’re not going to cheat by taking on an established group with a recording contract signed sealed and delivered.”

The Stilettos were due to record new 16-track demos, so Tommy invited them back to BFBS UK to catch up and play some more songs. John was so pleased that Ariola BMG had signed The Stilettos within a few months of that first interview. The Stilettos’ second interview in November 1979, with John and Cliff the drummer covers the next stage in band’s music journey. The major record deal was music to Tommy’s ears!

Tommy Vance Interview Two: Now published! Find out how the lads went from sleeping rough on Wimbledon Common to getting parking tickets in London's posh hotspot in Mayfair!

With thanks to British Forces Broadcasting Services for giving permission to publish the two interviews.

Using music to unite and fight racism

This Land - Released to support Black History Month and #BlackLivesMatter

Singer songwriter John D Hastings living in Sutton, Surrey released this anti-racism anthem to support Black History Month and Black Lives Matter movement. 

His words of comfort to an Asian boy who was racially abused became the seeds for a new song This Land. Hearing someone, a child, being told to “F*** off back where you came from!” cut deep into John’s core values. Simply, that everyone belongs where they choose to live, to contribute their talents to their communities.

However, since February 2022 John has dedicated each live performance of This Land to UKRAINE. Volunteering with his wife at a local support group for Ukrainian guests, the stories they tell are heartbreaking. The song takes a wider stance against any form of persecution and bullying.

Performing this live recently, the audience sang along even on first hearing This Land! Such is the song’s powerful story and strong anthemic melody. By spreading this message through the release of This Land, John hopes we can all unite and fight racism together.

This Land is about the cracks and flaws in the UK today. It’s about how we could live in one nation, so let’s make it a united nation. The world’s population is more transient, let’s allow people to live their different cultures without fear or prejudice.

The most shocking thing about today’s society? John wrote these lyrics over 30 years ago; in some ways there is still an undercurrent of racism in the UK. Newly recorded and mastered, This Land is a call to action for us all to unite, fight and stand up to racial and cultural prejudice, persecution and cultural destruction. Once and for all.

For interviews and further info please contact me

(This Land Promo 1) (This Land Promo 2)

pdf Download This Land Press Release (155 KB)

More news:

Cleveland Archaeology Trust (CAT) is a Community Interest Company with a mission of “connecting People With Place by promoting well-being, belonging and cultural value through sustainable Heritage and Archaeology.” Our outside space, our place, is a canvas for everybody to enjoy, irrespective of ability, age or background.

Together, we can all make a difference to our environment and natural landscapes. This current world pandemic has helped us rediscover our open spaces, relearning the simple joy of sharing them with family and friends.

For more information, document download our press release about When It’s Gone here. (21 KB)

Please feel free to use the above song artwork and the photo below, with credit as follows:

Photograph © Paul Docherty 

Eston Hills Fires Paul Doherty with Friends of Eston Hills 300

Photos below of John may be downloaded for press and media purposes only, with credit as follows:

Photograph © Mark Neal Photography/John D Hastings

What people say about When It’s Gone:

Truly a powerful and meaningful song. If you haven’t heard it I highly recommend you listen


A very moving song with a powerful message


What People Say about John D Hastings & The Stilettos

Record of the Week review

“….. the lyrics and music are lively …. the kind of original sound that makes you sit up and listen, like no new name has done since the Police”

Record of the Week review

Gary, music fan

“I watched this band in ‘78/’79 in Putney, The Star and Garter, they were the dogs bollox!”

Gary, music fan

Robin Duke, West Lancashire Evening Gazette

“[The Stilettos’] music is fast and energetic and delivered tightly”

Robin Duke, West Lancashire Evening Gazette