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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Customs House Big Band Open Rehearsal/Concert @ The New Crown. March 4

(Review by Russell)
MD Peter Morgan assembles his troops first Tuesday in the month at the New Crown Hotel down on South Shields seafront. The hotel’s function room resembles the Village Vanguard or the Iridium on a typical Monday night, a musician’s night. Alright, the hotel doesn’t resemble any of the New York nite spots. One can but dream! A pint of Marston’s Pedigree (medicinal purposes, ‘man flu’), a front row seat, the audience outnumbered by the band by a ratio of at least 3:1.
Sitting close up it is possible to observe the inner workings of a big band. A section, saxophones on this occasion, dismantled, diagnosed, repaired, like Humpty Dumpty, put together again. To the casual observer the trombones and trumpets weren’t paying attention – chatter, a joke, minds elsewhere. But wait: Let’s take it from bar 38 (or some such point) and all are ready under the baton of Mr Morgan. Hold it, hold it! Morgan has spotted an errant semi-quaver. Such is the attention to detail.
The band is fast approaching its next concert date – March 21, Customs House, South Shields – and vocalist Ruth Lambert arrived keen to run through two or three numbers. The Lady is a Tramp, Somewhere Over the Rainbow (how do singers remember the lyrics?), Come Fly with Me (a Desert Island tune, for sure) were just three of the pieces worked on. It’ll be alright on the night, that’s for certain. Make a date – the Customs House, March 21 and first Tuesday in the month at the New Crown Hotel on Mowbray Road, South Shields. Keep checking Bebop Spoken Here for news of the Customs House Big Band’s forthcoming concert dates.             
Russell.

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