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Bebop Spoken There

Lionel Loueke: "A mistake is just for the moment - make it the best mistake it can be, and that's it" - (JazzTimes, April 2019).

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Today Friday April 26

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - The Black Bull, Frosterley DL3 2SL. Tel: 01388 527784. Coach trip dep Tyneside 10:30am. Tickets: £15.00. Info: 0191 252 9429.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Noel Dennis Trio - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

The City Trio - Stack, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QE. Tel: 0191 216 1415. 5:00-7:00pm. Free. Alice Grace, Jennifer Davies, Ben Helm.

Evening.

Swing Bridge - Scott's, Forum Cinema, Market Place, Hexham NE46 1XF. Tel: 01434 601144. 6:20-7:15pm. Free. Gig in the cafe.

James Birkett & Emma Fisk - The Old Low Light, Clifford's Fort, North Shields Fish Quay NE30 1JA. Tel: 0191 257 4506. 7:00pm. £10.00. Advance booking required.

Baghdaddies - Ponteland Beer Festival, Ponteland Leisure Centre, Callerton Lane, Ponteland NE20 9EG. Baghdaddies 7:15pm (doors 6:00pm). £12.00.

Pepperland - Theatre Royal, Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6BR. Tel: 08448 112121. 7:30pm. £19.00. Mark Morris Dance Group's 50th anniversary celebration of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. MD Ethan Iverson leads seven-piece NYC band. First night of two.

The Ronnie Scott’s Story: 60th Anniversary Concert - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 8:00pm. £27.70. & £18.50. Support set by Jambone on concourse (7:00pm).

Sue Ferris Quintet - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01325 468177. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. Note new, earlier start time.

Blues/Soul/Funk

45 Spread - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Groove-a-matics @ The Magnesia Bank - April 21

Mick Cantwell (tenor saxophone, harmonica, vocals), Johnny Whitehill (guitar), Gordon Hall (keyboards); John Morgan (bass) & Barry Race (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
It was back in September 2012 that a blues band from the north east of England flew across the Atlantic to scoop the coveted ‘New Brunswick Battle of the Blues’ award. Then a four-piece, they returned home to continue to gig in pubs and clubs and at prestigious blues festivals. It’s what is expected of a blues band, fame and riches weren’t about to come their way, so Groove-a-matics kept on keepin’ on.
Last night at the Maggie Bank (Magnesia Bank) in North Shields, Groove-a-matics kept on keepin’ on. The now five-piece band – with the addition of keyboards – soundchecked to a loyal following, otherwise, the well-known Camden Street hostelry was very quiet. Bar staff said Saturdays, of late, had been unusually quiet. A ‘lively’ pint of Three Kings’ ‘Billy Mill’ (4%) brewed just along the road, seats were ‘take-your-pick’ with so few in as the best blues band around was ready to go.
They Call Me Good Time Charlie sang frontman Mick Cantwell. Yes, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland in North Shields! There is something about a blues band playing a pub gig, playing the music of its largely unrecognised American creators, playing it for the love of it. No reason why bar staff should know who Bobby Bland was, likewise the barfly propping up the bar, or was the bar propping up…? The band – Cantwell, harmonica, jumpin’ tenor sax and a voice to die for, the doyen of blues guitarists, Johnny Whitehill, the bass and drums engine room boys John Morgan and Barry Race and a new, recent recruit on keyboards – played to its audience. It took a little while but an audience did build, the set list seemingly tailored for the occasion…blues and other, non-blues, material.

I Can’t Stand the Rain. The blues? No matter, Mick Cantwell was singing, give him the phone book and you’d get the blues. Groove-a-matics write tunes. Mr Green pays homage to Peter Green. The guitar playing of Johnny Whitehill is right out of the British Blues Boom legend’s locker. Close your eyes and it was Green/Whitehill/Green!

Cantwell sings of being a ‘working class man’ insisting he’s ‘as good as anybody’…as a bluesman, he’s better than anyone else! Frankie Miller’s A Fool in Love mined a blues-rock seam, and, as the last Metro came down the line, Groove-a-matics went out on Mel London’s Messin’ with the Kid. In six days from now (Friday 27) Groove­-a-matics play Billy Bootleggers. Now then, that’s the place to hear them!       
Russell

1 comment :

Patti said...

Russell mentions the great Peter Green - and the band paid homage to him with a reworking of Need Your Love So Bad, and their rewrite of the lyrics - I want to thank you, Mr Green. Incidentally, B B King rated Peter Green highly - saying his tone was so sweet, his playing could keep him up at night and bring him out in cold sweats ...... or something like that! What an ace gig this was - and I'll be heading down the stairs to Billy Bootleggers on Friday night, that's for sure.

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