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Bebop Spoken There

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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Early Morning Americana @ Sage Gateshead. July 20

(Review by Russell)
Saturday morning brought the massed ranks of the Suumertyne Gospel Choir to the concourse at Sage Gateshead led by Sharon Durant for a Gospel Brunch meeting with first time visitors to the UK, the fabulous McCrary Sisters. Four sisters, Ann, Deborah, Regina and Alfreda, the daughters of the late Rev Samuel McCrary, backed by an ace band (keyboards, guitar, bass and drums), gave a stunning display of gospel singing to a huge crowd hanging on their every word. Café, bars, stairs, balconies, every vantage point was taken. The McCrarys set about lifting us up. Rise up! Jesus is in the house! There’s a train a comin’. You get the picture. Lots of clapping (mostly in time), swaying (some wobbling) and much applause. The McCrary Sisters will be back, no doubt about it.
The Jumpin’ Hot outdoor stage got under way at noon. The place was packed. Deck chairs, picnic hampers, bottles of wine, bottles of beer. The King Bees from Tyneside, a young five piece band, are odds on to win Bebop Spoken Here’s Best Dressed at Americana Award. Immaculately turned out – suits, haircuts, a waistcoat or two, braces. The good news…these lads could play. Front man Scott Taylor (harmonica and vocals) looked the part. So much so he could have been behind the wheel of the gleaming ’56 Buick Special on show across the way with other vintage automobiles…Every woman I know, crazy ‘bout an automobile…Taylor’s frontline partner, guitarist Michael Littlefield, played it authentic blues-style and the piano, bass (double bass!) and drums boys snapped to it – namely Dominic Hornsby, Paul Emmett and Aidan Spink. The King Bees reached out across the Atlantic to their heroes in Chicago, Illinois and beyond. Little Walter (any self-respecting harp player goes to school on the man), Sonny Boy Williamson I, all classic stuff. Junior Wells’s take on Sonny Boy’s Early in the Morning typified the Tyneside lads’ approach. A band well worth checking out. The Summertyne Americana Festival continues, inside and out, at Sage Gateshead throughout the weekend.                 
Russell.     

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