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Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Jazz at the Fell @ the Legion. February 11th

Ray Harley (trumpet), Herbie Hudson (trombone, harmonica & vocals), Jim McBriarty (clarinet, alto sax & vocals), Malcolm Armstrong (piano), Alan Rudd (double bass), Ernie Jackson (drums) & Olive Rudd (vocals) Jazz at the Fell was recently bowled a bouncer by Gateshead Fell Cricket Club resulting in stumps and bails flying this way and that. Undeterred, Ron Pollard & co. have pitched up at the British Legion Club and with luck will occupy the crease for years to come.
The Legion's concert room has a large dance floor, ample seating, a car park and remarkably cheap beer. Book a top jazz band and you're onto a winner.
The ever busy Maine Street Jazzmen had the honour of playing the opening night. A good crowd turned out (some of them late comers - 'I couldn't find it', 'I went straight past it' were comments at the door).
The first number of the night was Just a Little While to Stay Here. A great gospel tune played with due reverence. How to follow that? With a rag - Panama Rag - and two bars in the dance floor was packed. Jim McBriarty sang If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight) and band vocalist Olive Rudd got up to tell us It Had To Be You. New Orleans came to the Legion in glorious style with a Bugle Boy March brolly parade and to quote Herbie Hudson... 'fantastic'. Vocalist Rudd returned to the stage to see out the final over before the interval and she really did Swing That Music.
The interval score: The Maine Street 100 not out, Gateshead Cricket Club all out for 0.
A raffle, a natter, a refill and the second set was under way. Jeepers Creepers, Black and Blue (excellent vocals from Hudson) and Varsity Drag (McBriarty's sober vocal style and excellent alto) came thick and fast. We heard Buddy's Habits and all went home happy parading down Bourbon Street.
The night was a resounding success; Jazz at the Fell @ the Legion and the Maine Street were still at the crease at the end of the night with an unbeaten 1000 not out. The non-jazz cricketing opposition? Nowhere to be seen.
In the coming weeks and months look our for Sammy Rimington, the Hot Antic Jazz Band and many more. Next week (Friday 18th) get along to the Legion (Coatsworth Road, Gateshead) to hear the Rae Brothers. Russell

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