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Bebop Spoken There

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13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Friday, June 01, 2012

Fenkle Street the Frith Street of the North

(By RUSSELL).
Hotel Indigo opened to the public today. A 4 star hotel on Fenkle Street in Newcastle, the launch was attended by...well, I'm sure things will pick up. In the foyer (Marco Pierre White Brasserie) Graham Brown played piano. The pianist's regular gig is with the Paul James Band (resident last Friday of the month at Jesmond Dene House Hotel). Free bubbly was on offer but I resisted all attempts to get me to imbibe. Brown played Route 66. He can play - tastefully, as was the requirement on this gig. Brown, together with other members of the Paul James Band, has secured a last Sunday in the month lunchtime jazz gig at the hotel. A diner's affair, it will set you back £24.95.. 

I moved on, all of three metres down Fenkle Street, to the Assembly Rooms. A street party was about to begin. For some reason bunting was abundant, tables were covered in red, white and blue tablecloths and the entertainment was about to begin. Brian Bennett, resplendent in dickie-bow, said Welcome folks to the assembled masses - all two of them seated at a tressle table - and the Vieux Carré Jazzmen kicked-off with drummer and vocalist Fred Thompson singing Margie
For the record: Brian Bennett (banjo & vocals), Barry Soulsby (clarinet & vocals), Fred Rowe (trumpet & vocals), Lawrence McBriarty (trombone), Fred Thompson (drums & vocals) & Phil Rutherford (sousaphone). A mountain of cucumber sandwiches had few takers, free Pimm's likewise and then the Vieux Carré's banner fell down. A hiatus ensued as Bennett and co. got to work with the gaffer tape. I went home to read the Morning Star.
RUSSELL.

2 comments :

Roly said...

Russell, I hope you found a few moments to pay homage to Joe Cowen (The Blaydon Brick) at his statue and to reflect on his great contribution to Victorian Tyneside in general and the Blaydon locality in particular. I'm sure he would be looking down on all this diverse jazz activity with approval.

Brian Bennett said...

Hi, Russell!
This pic was taken during the band's first break (about 30 minutes after you left) - by 3.30pm the place was packed.
A brilliant, fun afternoon enjoyed by everyone including Chi Onwurah MP who was one of the invited guests.

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