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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

Archive

Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

?????

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, April 03, 2017

GIJF Day 2: Double Bill: GoGo Penguin; Shobaleader @ Sage Gateshead – April 1

GoGo Penguin
Nick Blacka (double bass); Chris Illingworth (piano); Rob Turner (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
This talented hard-working band were a sheer joy to hear. Their stated aim is to produce music which has an electronic sound, but on acoustic instruments. They had elements in common with 1970’s prog rock, but enough jazz-like aspects to be labelled ‘Jazz’. The bass produced deep beats and real tunes; the piano was skilled, occasionally played by manipulating the strings manually; the drummer was a full, energetic part of the band. The audience applauded with genuine enthusiasm; the lower level of Hall 1 was full. I wasn’t surprised to read that the band had been nominated for the Mercury Prize.
Full flowing melodies, sounds from computer games, strong beats, riff-based tunes tumbled out. Most of the music was taken from their third album, Man Made Object (with Blue Note Records).
Tracks with titles such as All Res; Initiate, Branches Break, Protest. Branches Break gave us some delightful ‘chuff, chuff’ sounding percussion, and Protest sounded like the title, the piano playing a flowing tune perhaps representing ‘good’ against the rest of the band roaring out ‘evil’.
The band well deserved the standing ovation that they received from many in the audience.
After seeing Shobaleader (pictured) I think I need counselling. I’ve never seen anything quite like it on a stage. Imagine the set-up, a darkened stage with lots of black box amplification to the left and electronic equipment to the right. Enter four men (I think they were men, but they could have been robots) dressed as monks, who played guitars, drums and did the electronics. Then their faces became light motifs, squares, triangles, snout shapes and circles, in a regular sequence of green, yellow, blue, red.
I wanted to laugh as one of the shapes was a wide sort of smile. Was this comedy? It certainly wasn’t
Jazz. Yet it was intriguing and I couldn’t stop watching.
The music was electronic, loud, beaty, often very tuneful, lots of riffs repeated. The face lights varied, sometimes multicoloured patterns, sometimes circles spinning round the heads. The sudden changes in patterns were amusing, and other people around me also found them humorous. The light show became wilder, flashing white lights, lots of dry ice. It was all too much for some of the audience as about 20 or so people left. There’s a photo of the band in action on the front of the Sage brochure covering March and April.
No words were spoken or sung during the performance, so I consulted the band’s website, which declares that the personnel go under the names of Strobe Hazard; Squarepusher; Company Laser  and Arg Nution. I tried to read an interview that the band gave, which made no sense at all, nor, I suspect, was it meant to. I must say that this band portrays the opposite of individualism, as we are no wiser about who they are. As I say, I was intrigued and rather enjoyed myself in an odd way, but I wouldn’t want to see them again. But they must have some lasting appeal to some audiences.
Were they dressed as monks because, I’m told, that Medieval cathedrals were actually massive light shows, because of the painted walls and light coming in through the stained glass windows? Just an interesting thought that I had on the metro, going home.
Ann Alex

1 comment :

Lance said...

You can fool some of the people etc. particularly on April 1...