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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Thursday July 27

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:oopm. Free.
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Tyne Valley Jazzmen - No 1 Champagne Bar, 1 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL4 7 NJ 12:30pm. Free.
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Evening.
Strictly Smokin' Big Band - The Millstone, Haddricks Mill Rd., South Gosforth NE3 3DB. 7pm. Cancelled for pub refurbishment. Back August 31.
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Alter Ego - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £5.
Jo Harrop & Paul Edis - The Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm
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Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter's Wheel, Sunniside NE16 5EE, 8:30pm. Free.
Ray Johnson & Richard Herdman - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling St., Gateshead NE2 2BA. 8pm. Free.
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Paul Skerritt Band - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. 9pm. Free.
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Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland (tpt); Donna Hewitt (alto); Graham Thompson (keys); Mark Hawkins (drums) - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Free. 9pm.
Pocket Jazz Orchestra "Jazz & Tapas" - No 60, Arc, Dovecote St., Stockton TS18 1LL 7pm. £10.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, April 03, 2017

GIJF Day 2: Double Bill: GoGo Penguin; Shobaleader @ Sage Gateshead – April 1

GoGo Penguin
Nick Blacka (double bass); Chris Illingworth (piano); Rob Turner (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
This talented hard-working band were a sheer joy to hear. Their stated aim is to produce music which has an electronic sound, but on acoustic instruments. They had elements in common with 1970’s prog rock, but enough jazz-like aspects to be labelled ‘Jazz’. The bass produced deep beats and real tunes; the piano was skilled, occasionally played by manipulating the strings manually; the drummer was a full, energetic part of the band. The audience applauded with genuine enthusiasm; the lower level of Hall 1 was full. I wasn’t surprised to read that the band had been nominated for the Mercury Prize.
Full flowing melodies, sounds from computer games, strong beats, riff-based tunes tumbled out. Most of the music was taken from their third album, Man Made Object (with Blue Note Records).
Tracks with titles such as All Res; Initiate, Branches Break, Protest. Branches Break gave us some delightful ‘chuff, chuff’ sounding percussion, and Protest sounded like the title, the piano playing a flowing tune perhaps representing ‘good’ against the rest of the band roaring out ‘evil’.
The band well deserved the standing ovation that they received from many in the audience.
After seeing Shobaleader (pictured) I think I need counselling. I’ve never seen anything quite like it on a stage. Imagine the set-up, a darkened stage with lots of black box amplification to the left and electronic equipment to the right. Enter four men (I think they were men, but they could have been robots) dressed as monks, who played guitars, drums and did the electronics. Then their faces became light motifs, squares, triangles, snout shapes and circles, in a regular sequence of green, yellow, blue, red.
I wanted to laugh as one of the shapes was a wide sort of smile. Was this comedy? It certainly wasn’t
Jazz. Yet it was intriguing and I couldn’t stop watching.
The music was electronic, loud, beaty, often very tuneful, lots of riffs repeated. The face lights varied, sometimes multicoloured patterns, sometimes circles spinning round the heads. The sudden changes in patterns were amusing, and other people around me also found them humorous. The light show became wilder, flashing white lights, lots of dry ice. It was all too much for some of the audience as about 20 or so people left. There’s a photo of the band in action on the front of the Sage brochure covering March and April.
No words were spoken or sung during the performance, so I consulted the band’s website, which declares that the personnel go under the names of Strobe Hazard; Squarepusher; Company Laser  and Arg Nution. I tried to read an interview that the band gave, which made no sense at all, nor, I suspect, was it meant to. I must say that this band portrays the opposite of individualism, as we are no wiser about who they are. As I say, I was intrigued and rather enjoyed myself in an odd way, but I wouldn’t want to see them again. But they must have some lasting appeal to some audiences.
Were they dressed as monks because, I’m told, that Medieval cathedrals were actually massive light shows, because of the painted walls and light coming in through the stained glass windows? Just an interesting thought that I had on the metro, going home.
Ann Alex

1 comment :

  1. You can fool some of the people etc. particularly on April 1...

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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