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Bebop Spoken There

Andrew Hadro: "It seems to me that everybody just puts out an album, they go through the motions, spend the money and they just sort of throw it out there into the sea of CDs and hope something comes back" - (DownBeat June 2018).

Jonnathan Blake (Blindfold Test): “Maybe it's someone from New Orleans who has lived in New York for a minute.” (DownBeat June 2018).

Today Wednesday May 23

Afternoon

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

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. £1.00. (Upstairs).

Jam Session - Dun Cow, Brandling Village, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 4RS. 8:00pm. Free.

Community Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm £3.00.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, 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.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

The Last Ship @ Northern Stage, Newcastle - April 4

I almost made one of the biggest mistakes of my life! I almost didn't go to see The Last Ship, the musical written by Sting and in the last week of its 4 weeks run at Newcastle's Northern Stage Theatre. The same theatre where Sting learned his craft as a bass guitarist with the Newcastle Big Band although the theatre was called the University Theatre back then.
I'd heard songs from the show on radio and seen clips on television which, away from the overall picture didn't even go close to revealing the experience it turned out to.
As I set off it was raining, no ordinary rain but such as brought to mind the expression "Not a fit night out for man nor beast".
I hesitated. Did I really want to sit in a theatre in wet clothes watching a musical about the closing of a shipyard?

I didn't, although having agreed to go with Cormac Loane, another alumnus of the Newcastle Big Band, I felt obliged to 'bite the rivet'. I discovered he too had had similar thoughts!
Both of us cast those thoughts, and the weather, aside after the show started.
From the opening Irish style folk dance by various shipyard workers to the triumphant finale the standing ovation received at the end was well-deserved.
The cast were brilliant both as actors, dancers and singers whilst the storyline managed to combine mirth and melancholy treading the fine balance between laughter and tears.
The script is very political. How could it not be given the subject matter? Just as Billy Elliott had the Miners Strike, The Last Ship has the end of shipbuilding in the northeast at its core.
That multi-millionaire Sting is able to write such a strong indictment of the  'them and us' society we live in could be regarded as hypocritical - I prefer to see it as, someone who has seen both sides of the coin.
The writing is powerful, the songs are melodic several of which could stand on their own merit away from the show. 
I'm not going to single out any one performer - they all contribute magnificently and, not surprisingly, several have parallel careers as singers as well as actors.
I'd willingly see the Sold Out show again.* 
Lance.
*There's an open-air performance at Spiller's Wharf on Newcastle Quayside on May 28 otherwise, it's next week in Liverpool (April 9-14); Birmingham (April 16-21); Northanpton (April 24-28); Leeds (May1-5); Nottingham (May 8-12); Cardiff (May 14-19); Dublin (June 4-9); Edinburgh (June 12-16); Glasgow (June 18-23); York June 25-30); Salford July 3-7).

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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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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