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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

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Today Friday December 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux CarréJazzmen - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. ‘Christmas Jazz Lunch’. Details from 0191 252 9429).

Dean Stockdale Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00.

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

Evening.

Jazz

‘An Evening of Swing & Sparkle’ - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. Tel: 0191 515 5555. 7:30pm. £35.00. Rat Pack evening inc. 4-course meal.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra - Yarm School, Stockton TS15 9EJ. Tel: 01642 786023. 7:30pm (6:30pm doors). £18.00. + £1.80. bf (£15.00. + £1.50. bf). 'Mistletoe & Miller'.

Blues, Funk/Soul etc.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, NewcastleNE2 1AP. £10.68 (inc. bf). ‘Big Xmas Knees Up’.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Acoustic Radars feat. Pat Rafferty + George Pallas & John Wilkins - Whitburn Cricket Club, East Street, Whitburn SR6 7BZ. Tel: 0191 529 3187. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). £7.50. admission by ticket only (from www.wegottickets.com). 'The Bents Road Sessions'.

Dead Skunk Skiffle & Blues Orchestra + Stetson Five - Station East, Hills Street, Gateshead NE8 2AN. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Zoe Gilby Quartet @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. December 30th

Zoe Gilby (vocals), Mark Williams (guitar), Andy Champion (double bass) & Richard Brown (drums) Arriving in Hexham there was a distinct lack of activity. Walking up the hill to the Queen's Hall I didn't see a single soul. The 4x4s, so beloved of Tyne Valley residents were nowhere to be seen. Perhaps the well heeled welly brigade were off skiing somewhere. The trees in the grounds of Hexham Abbey were adorned with simple white lights, there's none of that multi-coloured bling tat round these parts you know.
The Queen's Hall usually has an art exhibition worth looking at, so I wondered around the ground floor gallery, noticed a sign saying ''exhibition continues upstairs'' and duly climbed them to be met with a locked door to the first floor gallery.
Hmm. Is Hexham closed on a Thursday?
I wandered into the cafe fully expecting to be met by an empty room and so I was, almost. No punters, just Zoe and ''the boys''. The bar wasn't doing a roaring trade. A bottle of Allendale's Golden Plover seemed like a good idea although at £3.50. a bottle it made it seem like being at The Sage! I opted for a plush low-level sofa as the band prepared for the gig...at the bar.
The set started with No More Blues. Oh, yes, I almost forgot, the audience did materialise. Ms.Gilby had them just there, right from the off. In the absence of Noel Dennis (trumpet/flugelhorn) the spotlight fell on guitarist Mark Williams. Tunes from the latest CD Looking Glass featured on the set list. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, A Song For You (atmospheric bowing from bassist Andy Champion), Round Midnight (Williams quite brilliant, Joe Pass would have been proud), May I Come In (deep sonorous vocals), George Milburn's Take It Easy (But Take It) and others were performed with panache.
Drummer Richard Brown featured on Caravan producing everything you would hope for on the number (the rattle, the crash, the rhythm) and Gilby's vocals were full of imagination and improvisation. The highlight of the evening came at the end. The closer, Centrepiece, is a highlight any time, any where, but this was, well, something else. Gilby's vocals are great, regular readers can be in no doubt about that, but the last couple of bars produced a remarkable succession of notes in double quick time that I think Gilby herself didn't know she had in her locker. Amazing, absolutely amazing. Russell.

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