Hilltop Sessions

Live independent music in Lewes

Live music and pubs. Two of the things we badly missed during lockdowns. So we created Hilltop Sessions to do something about it.


Every month Hilltop Sessions hosts two independent artists to perform original songs across a range of genres.

Join us every first Thursday of the month Upstairs at the Royal Oak in Lewes.

Upcoming Sessions

  • February 3 - Danny George Wilson + Memorial
    03 Feb, 20:00 – 20:05
    Lewes, 3 Station St, Lewes BN7 2DA, UK
    It's a real treat to welcome Danny George Wilson to our first Hilltop Session in 2022. Danny, bandleader of Danny and the Champions of the World, has just released Another Place, a stunning solo album. Danny will be supported by Brighton alt-folk duo Memorial. Another Hilltop treat!
  • March 3 - Cate Ferris + Jack Bowden
    03 Mar, 20:00 – 22:30
    Lewes, 3 Station St, Lewes BN7 2DA, UK
    We're delighted to have Brighton based multi-instrumentalist Cate Ferris come to March's Hilltop Session. You're in for a treat by this one woman symphony of lush textures, electronic beats and soulful harmonies. Cate will be supported by Kent songwriter and lyricist extraordinaire Jack Bowden.
  • April 7 - Michael Baker + Sophie Moore
    07 Apr, 20:00 – 08 Apr, 23:00
    The Royal Oak, 3 Station St, Lewes BN7 2DA, UK
    We're delighted that Brighton-based Michael Baker and his trio will join us for April's session. Michael's heartfelt and intimate songwriting and delivery will captivate all who spend an evening listening to him. Michael will be supported by Lewes singer-songwriter Sophie Moore.
  • May 5 - Marie White & Natsuma
    Thu, 05 May
    The Royal Oak
    05 May, 20:00 – 23:00 BST
    The Royal Oak, 3 Station St, Lewes BN7 2DA, UK
    Marie White returns to Hilltop Sessions with her beautiful melancholic songs and wonderful sense of humour. Expect cracking songs with beautiful harmonies and keys by Emmie Spence. Support will be by Brit school graduate, 18-year old singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Natsuma.

The Hilltop Sessions
Upstairs at the Royal Oak


Doors Open at 7.30 pm

The Royal Oak
3 Station Street
Lewes BN7 2DA

Royal Oak taps.jpg

About Hilltop Sessions

What is Hilltop Sessions?

Hilltop Sessions is a series of monthly live gigs featuring a range of independent artists performing original material. They take place upstairs at the Royal Oak in Lewes, (usually) on the first Thursday of every month.


Who is behind Hilltop Sessions?

Hilltop Sessions was created – and is curated - by Lewes based artist and musician Maia Eden and her husband Oliver Dudok van Heel, a member of pop-up busking troupe The Magnificent Kevens.


How did Hilltop Sessions come about?

We (Maia and Oliver) met through a shared love of music and had been talking for a while finding ways to bring quality music into people’s lives. When the pandemic hit and we realised how much we missed live music and how much the pandemic threatened musicians’ livelihoods and careers, we created Hilltop Sessions to give musicians a platform, once restrictions were lifted.


What type of music can you expect at a Hilltop Session?

We don’t want to limit the sessions to one style of music. Our first series of sessions includes legendary new wave pop, indie, piano ballads, indie-folk, rap and electronic music.

We don’t necessarily expect Hilltop Session audiences to come because their favourite artist is playing – though fans are very welcome! We hope people join us on a Thursday evening because they want to discover something new that they may not otherwise be drawn to. In other words, come with an open mind and let yourself be surprised. Think of it like the musical equivalent of monthly  surprise case of wine or crate of beer!

Our role as curators is to make sure that we bring quality singer-songwriters to each session. If you leave a session thinking ‘This was new and it was great’, we’ve done our job.


Are you looking for established or unknown artists?

A little bit of everything. We were delighted to have Chris Difford perform at the first Hilltop Session as he is an amazing artist and songwriter, but for the most part we will support artists who aren’t quite as well-known but are very good at what they do. A typical session will usually involve one headline artist with at least one album under their belt and a good following and one support artist who may not have recorded anything yet, but has already written some cracking songs and is ready to share them with a wider audience.


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