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Sunday, December 02, 2012

Lickety Split @ The Sage. December 2

Eddie Bellis (trombone), John Hudson (tenor saxophone), Alan Marshall (alto saxophone), Kevin Eland (trumpet & flugelhorn), Bill Brittain (piano), Roy Willis (guitar), Alan Rudd (electric bass) & Paul Wight (drums)
(Review by Russell)
A beautiful winter’s day. Bright sunshine, bitterly cold. Shoppers out in force. Recession? What recession? The Sage Gateshead. In from the cold. Eddie Bellis’ Lickety Split took to the concourse stage to entertain the brasserie’s brunching diners. The one hour set featured a lot of newer material together with one or two fixtures from the burgeoning band book.
This band is about the ensemble: great arrangements, first rate frontline harmonies and an in-the-pocket rhythm section. Solos were plentiful, immaculate and commendably brief. Imagine, if you will, your favourite (and for the most part long gone) West Coast musicians (you have them on CD, you have them on LP), recall the imperious Basie rhythm section (yes, you've got them on 78s and yes, they’re long gone) and the blues and gospel territory of the likes of Horace Silver. Well, Bellis’ combo is the band for you. So, the next time Lickety Split play a gig anywhere near you make the effort - turn off the CD player, switch off the telly and go out to hear this fantastic band.
‘Tis the season of course so we were treated to/endured (delete as appropriate) a couple of Christmas tunes. Seriously, they were good ones. A set full of A-list material (including Well You Needn't) bookended by White Christmas and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas had a similar effect to a tip-top winter warmer dark beer. Same again Mr Bartender! 
The brasserie’s patrons were, by and large, not listening. Nothing new there. The place was a hive of activity: a choir taking a break from rehearsal, Jamboners arriving for a workshop session (these kids are the next generation of jazz ‘names’), tutors rounding up their charges. The Sage is a magnificent community asset. Add your voice to the campaign to resist the cuts. Loose it or loose it, as they say. The Sage - and all other cultural institutions – is/are ours. Let’s keep it that way. Support live music.
Russell.

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