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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Classic Swing @ The Marquis of Granby - September 25

Bob Wade (trumpet, flugelhorn & clarinet), Jim McBriarty (tenor saxophone, clarinet & vocals), Malcolm Armstrong (keyboards), Alan Rudd (double bass) & Olive Rudd (vocals)
(Review by Russell)
The Marquis of Granby in Sunniside is no stranger to jazz gigs. For a number of years the Maine Street Jazzmen maintained a residency and down the years other bands have come and gone at the Streetgate, Sunniside pub. Across Tyneside weekday lunchtime time sessions are booming – Cullercoats, East Boldon, Monkseaton and now Sunniside in Gateshead.
Northumberland based trumpeter Bob Wade has put together a new band of familiar names with a view to playing a small group swing repertoire rather than the New Orleans/Dixieland book that can be heard at the many fine venues in the region. ‘Classic Swing’ is the name and at this first gig Bob Wade expressed surprise that anyone would turn up to the band’s ‘first rehearsal’. Turn up they did and in good number. Classic Swing’s front line – Wade playing trumpet, flugelhorn and clarinet and Jim McBriarty on tenor sax, clarinet and vocals – enjoy an easy rapport, sharing the solo spots with Malcolm Armstrong, keyboards, and bassist Alan Rudd. The set list was by no means strictly swing material, although, as Wade said, it’ll take time to compile a book giving the band a truly distinctive sound on the local scene. Swing or not, the tunes were just fine – On the Sunny Side (Sunniside?) of the Street, It’s Only a Paper Moon, I’m Beginning to See the Light (McBriarty vocals), Rosetta, a good start to a new residency. Wade played some flugelhorn and, standing alongside the maestro himself, Mr J. McBriarty, clarinet!

Olive Rudd put on her dancin’ shoes and called out Dr Jazz. A trip to the dispensary (the bar) for a medicinal St Austell’s Tribute, a raffle ticket, the Marquis was doing good business. Perdido got the rehearsal’s second set under way, Wade switched to flugel to play Rockin’ Chair, Olive Rudd sang about Sunniside’s Blue Skies, later asking Am I Blue? A two-clarinet Creole Love Call provided an undoubted highlight of the afternoon with the contrasting styles of McBriarty and Wade.

Up tempo numbers kept the punters happy, not least ’S Wonderful (Olive Rudd vocals) and Avalon (McBriarty vocals). Classic Swing made an impressive debut. A band well worth hearing, get along to the Marquis of Granby on a Monday, one o’clock start. A fast, frequent, reliable bus service from Newcastle’s Eldon Square Bus Station drops off outside the pub. If you’re travelling from Consett it is much the same easy-to-get-to journey. So, why not enjoy a pint listening to some top class jazz from Classic Swing?
Russell.            

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