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Bebop Spoken There

Abbie Finn: "Even though there's a lot of great work being done to promote women in jazz, I still come up against some attitudes! I pulled up at a recording session with my drums in the car and the studio owner said, 'I'm sorry, this space is reserved for the drummer!'" - (Jazzwise April 2023).

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

15229 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 248 of them this year alone and, so far, 61 this month (March 20).

From This Moment On ...

March

Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Mo' Better Blues @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.
Fri 24: Ian Millar & Dominic Spencer @ Scarth Hall, Staindrop, Co. Durham. 8:00pm. £10.00.
Fri 24: Archipelago + Bulbils @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.

Sat 25: Vermont Big Band @ Walker Community Centre, Walker, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Fundraiser for Benfield Juniours Football Club. Hot food available, BYOB.
Sat 25: John Logan & Friends @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Rat Pack, Motown etc. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Outlines @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion (upstairs).

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 28: Sanaz Lavasani Trio @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. £12.00 (£10.00. adv).

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £2.00. All welcome.
Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. Back to 1:00pm stomp off. Free.
Thu 30: '58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm. Free.
Thu 30: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review: The Jazz Files (Poppy Denby Investigates) by Fiona Veitch Smith

(Review by Ann Alex)
Hurrah! I’ve been promoted by BSH to do a book review. I would actually claim to know more about books than I do about jazz, so here goes.
This book is a really good read, a romping page turner, but with an unmistakable dark side. Recommended for BSH readers, but don’t expect to read much about jazz, despite the title. The action takes place in the Summer of 1920, when the term ‘jazz’ was used to indicate aspects of the bright, new, modern life, as in Jazz Age, Roaring Twenties, the decade of the Bright Young People. The jazz tunes which we think of as belonging to this age didn’t reach London clubs until a few years after 1920, and the Charleston didn’t appear until 1924. The main direct reference to jazz is early in the novel, when Poppy, our heroine, and her friends, visit an imaginary London jazz club called ‘Oscars’ . They dance to a band with piano, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, banjo, drums and double bass (Dixieland?) playing Tiger Rag.

Poppy later gets a job as an editorial assistant on a newspaper, The Daily Globe, where there is a collection of files known as the ‘Jazz Files’ of the title, which are files outlining high society scandals where the stories are incomplete, so the files are kept in the hope that more information and scandal will be later revealed and proved, so that much can be made of them in the newspaper.

Mysterious deaths occur and Poppy takes a full part in sorting out solutions in this novel which I suppose could be classified as a crime novel with some differences. If I explained more of the plot I’d have to issue a spoiler alert, so you’ll all have to read the book for yourselves.

The characters are well presented.  Poppy is enterprising and risk taking, her actress friend Delilah is madly scatty, and there is an assortment of people working at the ‘Globe’. The writer used to work as a journalist and the office of the Globe has the ring of authenticity. (I used to know many journalists, and these characters are only slightly exaggerated, I can vouch for that). The novel doesn’t shy away from presenting people who are disabled, and there are hints of a lesbian relationship as well. And there’s plenty of period ‘feel’ such as descriptions of the clothes worn, and details of the cars driven, and no mention of anyone taking a driving test.

The dark side of the novel includes the information given about the Suffragette movement, The WSPU, their work and what they had to endure. And we are constantly reminded of the events which must have been in people’s minds in the 1920’s, the losses of the First World War and the Spanish flu epidemic. Poppy herself has lost her brother in the War.

Add various romances to the mix, and you have a really enjoyable read!
Ann Alex.
The Jazz Files (Poppy Denby Investigates) by Fiona Veitch Smith.
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Fiction (17 Sept. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782641750
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782641759
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 19.6 cm
  • £7.99.

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