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Bebop Spoken There

Art Hirahara: "Playing with people is the most important thing to me, and not playing with people is torture." - (DownBeat August, 2020)

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11,767 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 907 of them this year alone and, so far, 44 this month (August 11).

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August

Tuesday 11: Happy Birthday Dave Hignett & Peter King (80).

Thursday 13: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

When in Shields Do as the Romans Do!!

For time immemorial I have spent Saturday afternoons in South Shields. The open air market is legendary, the charity shops many and the books and CDs I have picked up - with the exception of Miles' On The Corner - well worth the journey. Today however, it rained so I took shelter in a pub - Arbeias.
This used to be the British Legion Club where Charlie McKie A.K.A. Chic Cole - a talented but temperamental pianist - resided during the 1970's. It later became a glitzy disco bar the name of which I forget.  But now it's a bar et brasserie...
I'd read about it in the CAMRA magazine and was curious. As the name implies the theme was Roman. Busts of the Caesars Julius and Augustus abounded but not of the club band The Caesars who no doubt took centre stage back in the old days. The decor was distinctly art nouveau and I half expected to see Hercule Poirot emerge from behind an imitation Yukka. If he had done I'd have known the case he was on - find the missing customers! Despite the opulence, it was empty. A lady in black lace smiled appealingly and asked me if I was dining or merely drinking? I confessed to the latter sin and followed her to the bar where 7 hand-pulls, each with a sampler glass in front of them, beckoned me to try.
I groaned. I love real ale but this just wasn't the venue for them. A pint of Rivet Catcher took some pulling and wasn't wonderful. The Swedish Blonde (a beer) was better and I settled down to enjoy it on one of the plush seats.
Why am I telling you all this?
The sound system.
My ears were soothed with MJQ's Softly as in a Morning Sunrise, Brubeck's Blue Rondo, Cannonball's Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, Rollins, various Blue Note tracks, Django, a Bixian band, Stan Getz' Quiet Nights. In fact the best pub muzak I've ever heard! To top it all the manager gave me a bottle of Bohemia Lager for free saying, "It's only one day past its sell by."
I wonder why the pub was empty? Was it the music, the beer or, hopefully, the rain?
Lance.

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