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Bebop Spoken There

Orrin Evans: “I’d like to see a younger audience and an audience that looks more like me at the clubs.” – (Down Beat November 2014).

Kevin Flanagan: "Besides, I'd got sick of playing jazz to people who looked like my father." - (Straight No Chaser Issue 0ne Summer 1988.)

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Today Saturday August 19

Afternoon
?????
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Evening
Lin Lee Wong (solo piano) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Smokehouse Blues Band - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Sokool Band - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £5. Brenda Sokell w. quartet.
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Rendezvous Jazz - Durham Cathedral. 7:30pm. £12 (£10 - Friends of Durham Cathedral).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Did You Go Agogo?

(Recollection by Roly)
I've just been down memory lane checking out a few links on Club Agogo at the Handyside Arcade, Percy Street.
I was in Percy Street today shopping and it brought it all back.
I seem to remember going towards the back of the arcade then up some stairs onto a higher level then into a doorway and up more stairs into the club. There were two rooms - one on the left with a stage for band and dance floor. To the right a more intimate room to sit and listen. The walls were painted with luminous paint that glowed in the dark - it was a New York skyline with all the famous NY clubs named.  It had great atmosphere and it was very exciting to go there and hear some great R’n’B bands. This would be in the mid 60s.  
Of many great bands, I particularly liked two regular visitors.  One was Alex Harvey's Soul Band (Alex later had commercial success but started as a pure folk blues and R'n'B exponent). He seemed to be a bit of a tough character and had a quite explicit stage act - no shrinking violet he! He had great charisma though and I remember he had in the band a fantastic guitarist who I suspect was a jazzer earning a few quid with a top R'n'B band. I've often wondered who it was. I asked Jim Mullen once but he denied it was him.
The other knockout band was Spencer Davis group. This was because of the amazing young prodigy - Steve Winwood.  Steve sang and played piano like Ray Charles, played great R’n’B styled guitar, played very good harmonica and generally sang, played, danced and had such a good time on stage it was just something else.  I believe Paul Booth has worked with him quite a lot in more recent times.
Ah well - the Swinging Sixties eh??  I wonder if any site visitors have any Club Agogo memories to relate?
Here are some links for anyone wanting to know more. 
http://www.hendrixnortheast.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/hendrix/clubagogo.htm
http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/lifestyle/nostalgia/club-oozing-real-up-gogo-1492046
Roly

3 comments :

  1. This sounds fabulous - really swinging!! I moved up in 1966 - but M and I never went .... shame, shame, shame!! I did used to go to the clubs in Brighton though - and there was a Whiskey A Gogo place, plus the infamous Starlight Rooms. Where many a young lad and lass went astray!!

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  2. Undoubtedly the best live music venue in Newcastle during the 60's. Along with a group of friends and colleagues from Redheads Advertising Ltd, we went there mainly on Thursday evenings and heard some of the best bands around at the time. One of my favourites was the Herbie Goins Band who I first saw at a beat club in Oxford Street, London, in the mid 60's and again shortly afterwards when they played the A'Gogo. Californian band, Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band were incredible. Also Julie Driscoll & the Brian Auger Trinity. I remember the Jazz Lounge was absolutely jam packed; the heat was unbearable and you could see condensation running down the walls. The Trinity came on stage and played an opening number, then just as Brian Auger brought Julie Driscoll onto stage to perform her first song, my then girlfriend fainted. Somehow we managed to carry her through to the 'Young Set' lounge where she eventually recovered...in the distance I could hear Julie singing 'This Wheels on Fire' which was her big hit at the time.

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  3. What a coincidence! Haven't checked this blog for years and immediately I see Roly's note about the Go Go club, somewhere I can closely relate to with fond memories. For a couple of years ('62-'64) I was proud to be a young bass player with the Mike Carr jazz group playing Saturday nights ten till two am in the jazz lounge. Mike was on piano and vibes, Johnny Butts drums, Ian Carr trumpet, Gary Cox tenor sax, and Willie Payne guitar. What a place, heaving with punters. Big name jazz players used to sit in after playing their gig at the City Hall or whatever. I learned so much in those two years in a terrific atmosphere with musicians who were up there with the best. Happy nights! (Hope you're keeping OK Roly).

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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