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Bebop Spoken There

Oscar Peterson: "I find most pianists use too many notes in a chord. They double up an awful lot" - (Crescendo May 1963).

Benny Green (British): "...there was a whole race of men who used to stand in front of their bands, waving their arms, pretending to conduct ... Many of the bandleaders we had worked for had been either crooks or imposters ... " - (Crescendo March 1963).

Today Friday September 21

Afternoon

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

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

Ladies of Midnight Blue - Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, Lime Street, Newcastle NE1 2PQ. Tel: 03000 3301095. 11:00am. £5.00.

Paul Edis - The Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192. 1:00pm. £5.00. Edis, solo piano.

Evening

Ronnie Scott's All Stars - Middlesbrough Theatre, The Avenue, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough TS5 6SA. Tel: 01642 815181. 8:00pm. £22.50.

Groove-a-matics - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Radars + Broken Levee - The Peacock, High St West, Sunderland SR1 3ES. Tel: 0191 511 1451. 7:00pm. £10.00. (+ £1.00. b/f). New blues venue.

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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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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