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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).

Archive

Today Thursday April 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - The Merry Monk, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 12:30pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Eliot Smith Dance: Triple Bill - Newbiggin Maritime Centre, Church Point, Newbiggin by the Sea NE64 6DB. Tel: 01670 811951. 7:30pm. £14.00. (£12.00. concs., £30.00. family). Performance inc Poppy (music composed by Jason Holcomb).

Julija Jaceniate Trio Black Swan, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00. concs). Jacenaite (vocals), Steve Glendinning (guitar), Paul Grainger (double bass).

Paul Skerritt Band - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. Tel: 01325 468411. 8:00pm. Free.

Paul Donnelly Quartet - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free. Tees Hot Club: Dormans Jazz Festival.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Saturday, June 09, 2018

King Bees @ The Magnesia Bank, North Shields - June 8

Michael Littlefield (guitar & vocals); Scott Taylor (vocals, harmonica & guitar); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar & vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass) & Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell)
If Friday at the Magnesia Bank isn’t busy then we really are struggling. In time, the punters arrived, the band on stage, back in time Chicago 19 and 55. The King Bees reign supreme playing a brand of South Side Chicago blues you expect to find only in your heavenly dreams. Down the Metro line in town a singer-songwriter inexplicably held 50,000 in his thrall, ready to do it again tonight, then a third time tomorrow night. Make no mistake, the Maggie Bank is where it was at.

Sonny Boy, Jimmy Rogers, Little Walter, Magic Sam…these are the guys to go hear. Yeah, they’re long gone but their music lives on thanks to many a two-bit bar room blues band. Find yourself the best blues band around and it puts things into perspective – King Bees are in a class of their own.
I Don’t Know opined frontman Scott Taylor…Sonny Boy would have approved, no two ways about it. You Got Me Cuckoo protested Michael Littlefield…Little Walter would have sympathised with the man. Taylor, vocals and harmonica to die for, Littlefield, student of rhythm and blues guitar, vocals too, these guys are the business and what’s more they’re probably still the right side of thirty. King Bees’ rhythm section is an unusual beast – Simon Hedley, the senior man of the partnership does it right…he plays double bass, sidekick Giles Holt, most definitely a twenty-something, doesn’t do blues-rock, he’s cut from the Chess Records’ back catalogue…can you hear Fred Below hollerin’ and a whoopin’ in praise of the young man?

Keep it to Yourself insisted Taylor/Sonny Boy, and a delirious Littlefield sang Little Walter: My baby gimme a high temperature, My baby gimme a high temperature, 101 when we kiss and dance, 102 for a night romance, 103, 4 and 5King Bees play the occasional instrumental. First set Hideaway, second set Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, the dancers were up shaking their thing, right in front of the band, on a night that the PA couldn’t have been worse - at one point harmonica ace Taylor a tad afraid to stand close to the mic for fear of an electric shock (!), stepping back to wail and shout on Big Walter’s Hard Hearted Woman.

The band’s piano player is a frontman in the making. Dominic Hornsby rattles the 88s, straps on a guitar from time to time, sings a rollicking Kansas City, yeah, not bad at all. Michael Littlefield is a fifties’ throwback, he’s got the look, he’s got the voice, great guitar too, move on over Louis Jordan, here comes Caldonia!                  

A ropey PA, distracting dancing queens, it all added up to a cracking night of Chicago blues down at the Maggie Bank. King Bees’ residency at Billy Bootleggers resumes July 6th. It’s the only one game in town.   
Russell

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