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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Barber for Sage Gateshead

(Preview by Russell).
The year is 1949. A young trombone player (and sometime bass player) hit the road playing one nighters up and down the land. Fast forward a mere sixty five years and Chris Barber is still at it. The tour bus has millions of miles on the clock, the service stations of the European road network familiar markers along the way, is it simply a matter of time before Barber calls it a day?
Ken Colyer kick-started Barber’s big time career, then, in 1953 they parted company, Colyer at the wheel of the revivalist bandwagon, Barber the restless pioneer fusing a passion for New Orleans jazz with an entrepreneurial spirit bringing American blues giants to the UK. Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee and Muddy Waters performed in concert halls and on university campuses. The so-called ‘British Blues Boom’ would
have looked somewhat different but for Barber.
Trumpeter Pat Halcox clocked-up fifty four years service with Barber (1954-2008) – surely something of a record for a British sideman? The new kid on the block – Amy Roberts (reeds) – joined the band in 2011 as an undergraduate at the Royal Northern College of Music and has Halcox’s record in her sights…in the year 2065!
Barber’s current band, the eleven piece ‘Big Chris Barber Band’ is named so as not to confuse with any notion of a Chris Barber Big Band. What you get is King Oliver, the blues, perhaps a trace of skiffle and Ellingtonia.     
The year is 2014 and the octogenarian Chris Barber shows no signs of slowing down. Retirement probably hasn’t crossed Barber’s mind and that is to our advantage. Catch
the great man on Thursday 11th December in the intimate surroundings of Hall Two
at Sage Gateshead. Contact the box office for details: 0191 443 4661.
Russell.

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