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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 2024).

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16590 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (July 14).

From This Moment On ...

July

Mon 15: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 15: Nathan Lawson Trio @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 16: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Terrace, Seaton Delaval NE25 0AT. 12:30pm. £15.00 (tel: 0191 237 3697). Summer BBQ in the Beer Graden.
Tue 16: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger & Abbie Finn.

Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 17: John Pope & John Garner + Nisha Ramayya @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £15.00. (£12.00. adv.). A Gem Arts Masala Festival event.

Thu 18 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle NE1 7BJ. 2:30pm. £4.00.
Thu 18: Theo Croker @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Brad Linde’s Continentals @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Eva Fox & the Jazz Guys @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 18: Ray Stubbs R&B All Stars @ The Mill Tavern, Hebburn. 8:00pm. Rhythm & blues.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band: Darlington Big Band.

Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 19: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.

Sat 20: Snake Davis & Helen Watson Duo @ Chopwell Community Centre NE17 7HZ. 7:30pm. £17.50.

Sun 21: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 21: Salty Dog @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 21: The Big Easy @ The White Room, Stanley. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: Ben Crosland Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A History of Jazz in Newcastle by John Pearce.

Alan Rudd sent me this article by the late John Pearce detailing Jazz in Newcastle up to about 1962. It's from The Journal Weekend Magazine.

A History of Jazz in Newcastle by John Pearce. 
Newcastle in the flapper era was like any other large city. The cloche hat, the Oxford bags, the Charleston, were rampant, and all were symptoms of a country attempting to throw off the mantle of wartime austerity and gloom. When the Original Dixieland Jazz Band appeared in London in 1921, they were a symbol of the Gay Twenties. The O.D.J.B. travelled North for a month's stay at the Oxford Galleries, and so jazz came to Newcastle. 

The year 1934 is important in New­castle's jazz history. Dick Kelly and a friend, students at King's College, per­suaded the management of the Oxford Galleries to let them hire a room. Thus was founded the Newcastle Rhythm Club, official number 57. After the war, the N.R.C. took up the reins again in premises in Ridley Place. The N.R.C. had several meeting places., the Bridge End Hotel; the Roma Cafe, in the Bigg Market (1949), where Stan Wilde and his Wildcats were resident; and the Crow's Nest Hotel (1952). 

Stan Wilde's band split up, and the Panama Jazzmen were formed by pianist Norman Rudd. He recruited Stan Martin (clarinet) and Ronnie MacLean (trombone) from the Wildcats, and added Joe McMullen (cornet) and Teddy Hutchinson (drums). At the same time, Hughie Aitchison formed his Benecia Jazz Band, which later became the Cellarmen. 

Early 1954 saw the opening of two new jazz clubs, the Alexandra, in Heaton, with the Clem Avery Jazzmen in residence, and the Pelican Club, in the News Theatre. In 1954, the N.R.C. moved first into King's Restaurant, in Northumberland Street, then to the Mahogany Hall, in the Royal Arcade. where it also changed its name to the Newcastle Jazz Club. The featured bands were the Panama, the Cellarmen, and the Clem Avery Jazzmen. When Clem left the band, it was taken over by the banjoist John Young, who, at the same time, assumed the name "Mighty Joe." 

It was about this time that King's College made its mark on the Newcastle jazz scene. In 1955, some good modern jazz was being played by a college group which included Don Armstrong (clarinet and tenor) and the Carr brothers, Mike and Ian (of whom more later). The next year saw the formation of the Quaysiders by clarinetist Peter Smailes; in 1957, the College Kings were launched by P e t e r McLoughlin (clarinet) and in 1958, Bill Croft formed his Blue Star Jazzmen. Later, the Wednesday night was opened by the Clem Avery Jazzmen, and eventually a third night, Thursday, was taken up by the College Kings. 

The College Kings evolved into the Commodore Jazzmen, led by myself (trumpet), with John Crone at the piano. In early 1955, banjoist Peter Deuchar formed the Vieux Carré Jazzmen, with Peter Gascoigne (trumpet), John Saxelby (clarinet), and Jim Stewart (drums). They were resident at the Club Martinique, also in the Royal Arcade. After about 18 months, the club moved to premises in St. James Street, and eventually to Melbourne Street, where it was renamed the New Orleans Club, with the Vieux Carre Jazzmen resident on Fridays and Sundays. 

The Mighty Joe Young Jazzmen, who later changed from New Orleans to Mainstream, started a Saturday night residency at the club. Gradually, every night of the week was taken up by different bands. For once, the vagaries of Services' postings benefited jazz. In 1959, L.A.C. Malcolm Cecil was posted to the North­-East, where he met Mike Carr. With Mike Jeffrey and two associates, they opened the Downbeat Jazz Club, where the now famous EmCee 5 first played. 

Early 1960 found the River City Jazz­men playing Saturday nights at the Downbeat. This band included Jack "Dad" Potts (trumpet) and Ray Shenton (tuba). Later that year, Bill Croft's Blue Star Jazzmen, with John Walters (trumpet) and Jeff Robinson (drums), began the Thursday night session, changing later to Friday night, to share the bill with the Kansas City 5, with Eric Burdon. John Pearce circa 1960.

12 comments :

Ian Huntly said...

I was a regular at The Newcastle Jazz Club in the 50s and 60s and was a great fan of Ronnie Robinson (Clarinet) - When I used to walk in he would play Sweet Lorraine.

The Club closed down and the area was razed to the ground. We had a "funeral" parade across the city to commemorate the loss of the club and it was a memorable day since I played my clarinet next to Ronnie.

The club was excellent.

Anonymous said...

Ronny was my Dad

Nick Telfer said...

I would be very interested to hear any recording of John Saxelby. I have a theory which at present I'm keeping to myself. I was a frequent visitor to Melbourne Street when Ronnie was playing there. Incidentally somewhere or other I have a recording of Eric Burdon singing "In The Evening" with the Mike Carr Five recorded in Blyth by Morton Sounds

Ian Huntly said...

Has there ever been a special commemoration of the Melbourne Street Jazz Club......I am at an age now that I sit and reminisce about days gone by....One of my happiest memories was being a regular at the club.-------Happy days...

Lance said...

Melbourne St., Nelson St., Royal Arcade, Forth Banks, Carliol Square - so many venues all worthy of Blue(s) Plaques. Someone needs to write the definitive study of Jazz in Newcastle. The late Chris Yates did a fantastic job with his Blue Horizons but it still left work to be done from earlier years and, as the vines drop from the trees, it needs to be sooner than later and, before you say how about you? this site takes up 24/7 of my time - I do know a man...

Anonymous said...

try and find a copy of sex, brown ale and rhythm and blues (the life that gave birth to the animals
) by george pearson. also remake remodel, roxy music 52 to 72 talks indepth at the start about jazz in newcastle in the late 50s. both great reads. stu, forest hall

Lance said...

I've got the Pearson book which is a really good read - an interesting mix of fact and fiction. I'm unfamiliar with the Roxy Music book but will look out for it. Another good one is Eric Burdon's "I Used to be an Animal But I'm Alright Now"

Russell said...

A new book is about to be published on the life and times of Eric Burdon covering his early years to his long-time exile in California. . Philip J Payne's 'Eric Burdon: Rebel Without a Pause' (Tyne Bridge Publishing) will be available in Newcastle City libraries and other selected outlets from November 1.. £7.50., 52 pages with 40 images.

Anonymous said...

My dad, Joe Shepherd, played jazz trombone at the Newcastle New Orleans Jazz Club around 1960. Does anyone remember hearing about him?

Anonymous said...

Hi all. My name is Mark I run Walden Records in Saffron Walden 2nd hand Record shop. I recently discovered a photograph album of Jazz musicians, bands playing live which are from the Newcastle area, I would say 1950s, King'c College Jazz Club etc. Please contact my via email koolkatz1@btinternet.com or search for walden records on Facebook. Many thanks. Mark.

Phil Cleary said...

Many great nights in The New Orleans Club. Used to chat to John Walters' girlfriend (stunning!!!). Stood next to a very drunk Eric Burdon in the bog then saw him leave the stage for a few seconds, chuck up in the corner,
and continue singing. Hardly any seats, drinking brown ale from the bottle. Magical!

Barry Aitchison said...

Years ago I had lots of information about jazz in the 1940s,1950s and 1960s. I was hoping to get enough information to put my own book together of the local history of jazz but I never got around to doing it.

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