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Bebop Spoken There

Art Hirahara: "Playing with people is the most important thing to me, and not playing with people is torture." - (DownBeat August, 2020)

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11,772 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 912 of them this year alone and, so far, 49 this month (August 13).

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August

Saturday 15: Anth Purdy - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Purdy’s solo ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’ show. Limited capacity.

Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, 27 Sunniside Rd., Gateshead NE16 5NA. 8:30pm.

Friday 21: Lindsay Hannon - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Strictly Soakin’ Big Band @ The Tyne Bar. August 20

(Review by Russell).
Summertime down by the Ouseburn. You can bet your bottom dollar the weather will be ‘interesting’. Michael Lamb’s roaring big band played its annual outdoor gig at the Tyne Bar and, as sure as Glenn Miller is missing, the good old British weather turned-up right on cue. Clothes pegs at the ready, the Maling Street wind tunnel would surely do its best.
Make that ‘worst’. Rain, of the torrential variety, arrived ahead of the band. A raincoat, a beanie, a baseball cap…and that was the band! The audience? It would take more than an unseasonal downpour of Noah’s Flood proportions to keep them away. Wind, rain, beer, and a fantastic big band, your typical Saturday afternoon down by the river.
The band started on time. What? Yes, the Tyne Bar’s advertised start time of three thirty meant what it said, no doubt catching some on the hop. Two dozen rain-soaked tunes and a typically stoic Geordie audience loved  every minute of the Strictly Soakin’ Big Band’s two sets ranging from St Louis Blues to Hallelujah I Love Her So. F’reez shared the vocal duties with Alice Grace. F’reez…an appropriate name on a day such as this! Our man did see the funny side of things singing: Sunny and On a Clear Day being two of his features. And a togged-up Alice Grace told us she was Too Darn Hot. Yes, the one-time National Youth Jazz Orchestra star sang with the band. You Make Me Feel So Young, Time After Time, a rollicking Route 66 (a rock n’ roll James Peacock), Ms Grace sang superbly, and the crowd showed its appreciation. Star quality is star quality.   

The band roared defiantly in the face of the weather gods. The trumpet section fired; Pete Tanton’s supporting solos to vocalist Grace, the depping Dave Hignett blowing away rain clouds, with MD Michael Lamb going for it. Steve Summers (alto, soprano & bedraggled  hat – Pork Pie?) grabbed  the lion’s share of the solos, Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar) played impressively and depping piano player, James Peacock, threatened to steal the show.

A summer holidays’ mix and match trombone section did a grand job, as did the bass and drums boys Michael Whent and Guy Swinton. The engine room partnership is never less than spot-on and this Tyne Bar gig was no different. The band, the material, the glorious weather (not), the Strictly Soakin’ Big Band (a one-off name change!) – what better way to spend a summer Saturday afternoon? 

The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s next gig with guest Hailey Tuck is at Hoochie Coochie on Sunday 18 September. It’s another late afternoon start, make sure you’re on time. The  doors open at four o’clock, first set at five. This will be a first opportunity to hear up and coming American singer Ms Tuck in Newcastle. It promises to be quite an occasion.                           
Russell.
Strictly Smokin’ Big Band: trumpets: Michael Lamb (MD), Pete Tanton, Dave Hignett, Stephen Wilkinson; trombones: David Barnes, Chris Kurgi-Smith, Robert 'Pez' Perry, Sarah Bolt; tenor saxophone: Jamie Toms, Alan Marshall; alto & soprano saxophones: Steve Summers; alto saxophone:  Mercedes Phillips; baritone saxophone: Alan Thompson (?); guitar: Pawel Jedrzejewski; keyboards: James Peacock; bass: Michael Whent; drums: Guy Swinton; vocals: Alice Grace & F’reez.

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