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Bebop Spoken There

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Thursday February 25

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EDDIE BELLIS

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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Festival Report: Swaledale Festival – Liane Carroll and Friends - June 1

(From our foreign correspondent...)
On the evening of Monday 1 June your intrepid reporter ventured in wind and rain, out of the usual geographic boundaries of the beboposphere, into wild and woolly Richmondshire.
I chanced to hear an item on BBC Radio 3's Jazz Line Up about bassist Malcolm Creese and his label, Audio-B, which celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year.  In the course of this article the Swaledale Festival (Music, Arts and Walking in the Yorkshire Dales) was mentioned – Creese has been the Artistic Director of the festival since October 2007.  This gig was specifically mentioned – interesting, I thought, and e-tickets were duly purchased (fully up to date in Swaledale!).
I and my companions arrived late in Richmond thanks to the Gateshead Western Bypass.  With little time we headed to the town centre – every eaterie seems to be closed on a Monday evening!  We were, however, able to grab a quick bite in the Kings Head Hotel and arrived at the venue, the “Influence Church”, a couple of minutes after the 7.30pm start time.  This is not as strange as it may sound – the Church turns out to be a sizeable redundant cinema which serves both as a place of worship and a community facility.  We were able to sneak into the back row under the cover of some applause during the first number.
Liane Carroll was on vocals with Friends – Gwilym Simcock (piano and “Hammond”); Malcolm Creese (bass) and Dave Ohm (drums).  The format was very relaxed with Liane Carrol delivering jovial patter between numbers.  Sheep jokes seemed to be a feature.  But, to the music (more baabop than bebop – sorry!).  Liane Carroll sang and scatted with the band for most of the numbers.  For a couple of songs the boys took themselves off stage and Liane Carroll played piano and sang.  I was not taking notes but The Nearness of You (aka a claustrophobic ram – not my joke) featured, as did a couple of tracks from Carroll's most recent album, Ballads* (she wanted to call it A Load of Ballads, but this was disallowed!), including All About the Boy.  The first set lasted over one hour.  There was then a generous interval to allow the throng round the small bar to die down.  Liane herself came out to buy some wine – no freebies at this festival.  It was all very relaxed.
After about one half hour we went back in for the second set.  A surprise guest was announced as present in the audience – one Alexander Bone – although he had not brought his horn with him.  An alto sax appeared from nowhere and Alexander joined the band for a beautiful rendition of Bye-bye Blackbird as the final number.  Bows were duly taken to generous applause.  An encore ensued - Georgia provided a suitable end to the evening.
If, like me, you have not previously heard of the Swaledale Festival it is certainly worth keeping an eye out for next year.  All sorts of music is featured in all sorts of venues in the Swaledale area.  This gig was really well supported with the large auditorium well filled including a bus-load of Carroll's fans, all the way from Kent.
Hugh.
*Review by Debra of Ballads.

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