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Friday, July 26, 2013

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Millstone. July 25

Trumpets: Michael Lamb, Pete Tanton, Kevin Eland, Tom Hill, trombones: Mark Ferris, Alex Leathard, John Flood, Robert Perry, reeds: Laurie Rangecroft, Nadiah Killick, Steve Summers, Paul Gowland, Jamie Toms, guitar: Pawel Jedrzejewski, keyboards: Colm Rooney, bass: Michael Went, drums: Guy Swinton, vocals: Lindsay Hannon.
(Review by Russell)
The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s regular last Thursday in the month date at the Millstone in South Gosforth is, ostensibly, the band’s rehearsal night but to all intents and purposes it is a fully fledged concert performance. This month’s affair was hot, too darn hot. Beers and bottled water quenched a thirst as the heat wave continued. Windows closed, perhaps to placate nearby residents, the Millstone’s upstairs function room resembled a sauna for the duration.
Complete tunes (Gordon Goodwin’s I’ve Found a New Baby), part tunes (Satin Doll from five bars in), banter in the ranks (good to see Colm Rooney in as a dep) until MD Michael Lamb counted them in, then dedicated, working musicians giving it their best. A smattering of applause from the keen listeners, fanning themselves then ordering another round of drinks.
Tenor star Paul Gowland had a blow on Lester Leaps In, fellow tenorist Jamie Toms on a truncated Caravan. Vocalist Lindsay Hannon reiterated it was Too Darn Hot, got to grips with Orange Coloured Sky and later tackled Alright, Okay, You Win. The latter, by common agreement, needed more rehearsal time – they’re a self-deprecating lot the SSBB!
Chick Corea and Stan Kenton in the same pad? They’re in the Strictly Smokin’s! Spain, from eleven bars in, featured excellent tenor from Toms. The evening’s highlight – Fat Cat – roared like a big beast with a round of cracking solos (Pete Tanton, Steve Summers on alto, Pav guitar, Gowland, Alex Leathard trombone, Toms and excellent alto from Nadiah Killick). Paul Gowland’s current party piece – Body and Soul – illustrated the comprehensive talent of the tenor man and the night drew to a close with drummer Guy Swinton deservedly taking the spotlight on Skin Deep.
The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band can be heard at the Tyne Bar, Maling Street, Newcastle at five o’clock on Saturday 17 August. It is a free outdoor event – come rain or come shine – with a BBQ and fine beers. Leave the car at home, take the Quay Link bus along to the Ouseburn and enjoy a beer or two listening to a first rate big band.       
Russell.           

2 comments :

Unknown said...

Thanks Russell. The only slight amendment is that Nadiah should actually be Leath Teather who was dep'ping for us last night!

Russell said...

I thought I didn't recognise her! Thanks Michael.

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