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Bebop Spoken There

Aubrey Logan: "I chose trombone because trombone just kicks my ass, and I needed to do something that was hard" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

King Bees @ Billy Bootleggers – Jan 5

Michael Littlefield (guitar & vocals), Scott Taylor (vocals, harmonica & guitar), Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar & vocals), Simon Hedley (double bass) & Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell). 
The Downbeat, the Newcastle New Orleans Jazz Club on Forth Banks, Club-A-Gogo, and latterly Crombie’s Jazz Café. Legendary venues, stories galore (apocryphal or not), add Billy Bootleggers to the list.   
Overheard at the bar: I stumbled across this place by chance. Now I come here all the time. The place is Billy Bootleggers, an American dive bar which is packed to the rafters every time. Blues, American beers, a seat if you’re lucky, and a dance floor full of jivers and wannabe jivers in front
of the band. On stage it’s lounge suits, collars loosened, sweat dripping, this is Chicago’s South Side circa 1950 relocated lock, stock and two smokin’ blues barrels to Newcastle, England 2018.

Tonite’s band, the King Bees, fronted by Michael Littlefield and Scott Taylor, delivered the goods. Close your eyes and you were in Chicago. Littlefield’s vocal style incorporates Sonny Boy (I Don’t Know, the evening’s opening number), Otis Rush (If You Were Mine) and Louis Jordan (Caldonia).  His guitar playing,  obsessive in its quest for authenticity, Littlefield’s approach is that of the Chicago guitar greats – he isn’t interested in flashy solos. Scott Taylor is a mean harp player (frustratingly a little low in the mix) with a terrific blues voice (Big Walter Horton’s Hard Hearted Woman). Dominic Hornsby could be Otis Spann playing piano, and he played guitar, and he sang. A talented young man. Talking of talent, the towering Simon Hedley’s double bass playing cut through – a welcome change from the usual, pragmatic electric bass alternative of so many blues band bass players. A young man sat obscured behind Littlefield and Taylor. His name? Giles Holt. Occupation? Rhythm and blues drummer par excellence. Secreted in the corner, not seen all night but heard playing the drums that many can’t/don’t/won’t play. Holt’s restrained style is to die for.                       
An unexpected instrumental, the only one of the night, covered for Littlefield as he changed a rare broken string, with the band playing Don’t Get Around Much Anymore. Restrung, Littlefield and co ripped through their set list culminating in no fewer than three encores with the band referencing a legendary early sixties appearance at Newport by Muddy Waters as the King Bees played Got My Mojo Working not once but twice! And, of course, Hoochie Coochie Man.The King Bees gig around town (Billy Bootleggers is the place to hear them), be sure to check them out, they’re the business.       
Russell.

2 comments :

Stewartd said...

Spot on Russell - I was there too, and will be back next month for their residency!

Anonymous said...

I was there too. Love this venue and loved the band. Spot on when it comes to the guitarist too - nothing your average person would call flashy but as a guitarist myself, I really appreciated his style - so authentic and so tasteful.

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