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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 1:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

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

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. CANCELLED!
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

June

Sat 01: Enrico Tomasso’s Swing Company @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 01: Play More Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning.
Sat 01: Hop, Skiffle & Jump: The Story of Skiffle @ 1719, Hendon, Sunderland. 6:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Dry Water Arts, Amble. 7:00pm. £15.00.
Sat 01: John Garner & John Pope @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 01: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The BBC Big Band: Swing Legends @ Middlesbrough Theatre - November 22

(Review by Russell)
The BBC Big Band made a rare visit to the region to play a concert at Middlesbrough Theatre with vocalist Jeff Hooper as special guest. As a full house took its seats a star-studded line-up ambled out onto stage bang on time…professional from beginning to end. The BBC’s Big Band Special is long gone from the Radio 2 schedules but the orchestra continues to defy the odds with a concert diary stretching into next year.
Les Brown’s Leap Frog opened the show and the first, albeit brief, soloist to stand up (there was a lot of standing up and sitting down and standing up as a section and sitting down and…) was Paul Booth on tenor. From these parts, well, slightly further north, Booth no doubt felt quite at home. An enthusiastic MD helps, and trooper Barry Forgie is nothing if not enthusiastic about big bands. The evening’s programme ranged across the great big band years and Forgie was keen to tell how the bands back in the day, or rather the band leaders, made small fortunes playing to packed dances, the next big selling 78 eagerly awaited by their adoring public.

Artie Shaw…Begin the Beguine (rec.1938), looking around the auditorium it appeared that one or two members of the audience could have been there first time around! And, what’s more, a dark, drizzly Middlesbrough November evening wasn’t going keep them at home. The trumpet section’s star man Martin Shaw made his way down to front of stage for a flugelhorn feature on Strayhorn’s  Lush Life. As with most of the band, Shaw was making a 600 miles round trip to play on Teesside, and this kind of made it all worthwhile. MD Forgie reckoned Terry Gibbs’ big band was something special, at this point introducing the BBC Big Band’s ‘secret weapon’ Mr Anthony Kerr. Something up tempo? Try Sweet Georgia Brown.

Time for a song. Welcome Mr Jeff Hooper. You know the routine…suave, debonair, this is Vegas, after all. Mack the Knife. One of life’s mysteries…how do vocalists remember the lyrics of this odd, faintly ridiculous, but ever-popular number? No such problems for Hooper, managing to reference the, by now, swinging BBC Big Band. The band motoring, Hooper didn’t miss a beat. Time to take it down a notch; I’ve Got You Under My Skin with Kieran McLeod’s spot on trombone blast, Nancy with the Laughing Face and more.  

Let’s have some Harry James. Vibes man Kerr featured, as did the killing trumpet section, on The Mole. Then some Tommy Dorsey (Opus One), Jimmie Lunceford (For Dancers Only), MD Forgie asked if we were dancing? Not exactly, more a toe-tapping shuffle. Aye, those were the days!

Hard liquor passed few lips during the interval, more like a hard-living choc ice (what the band got up to backstage is another matter!).

Quincey Jones’ arrangement of For Lena and Lennie for the Basie band reintroduced Anthony Kerr with a muted Martin Shaw featuring once again. A set-piece affair brought tenor men Julian Siegel and Paul Booth to front of stage to slug it out Herman’s Herd style on Hallelujah Time. An absolute blast! Phew! Ding! Ding! Break! Our pugilists returned to their cornermen (reeds’ section) Smiles, a score draw. There’ll be a rematch and when it happens, make sure you’re ringside.*  

The BBC Big Band’s pad is probably as comprehensive as any and MD Barry Forgie plucked from it Mood Indigo featuring the latter day Harry Carney, baritone saxophonist Adrian Wilkinson, and a further beautifully executed trumpet part by Martin Shaw. One O’Clock Jump bounded towards the finishing line with one final blast awaiting. Drummer Tom Gordon, a tower of strength throughout, brought the show to a thunderous close with an extended, exhausting solo on Sing, Sing, Sing.          Russell    
                      
*The BBC Big Band will be in concert at Darlington Hippodrome (formerly Darlington Civic Theatre)  on April 10th next year. There is no guarantee Messrs Siegel and Booth will be there, after all, they are very busy musicians, but you wouldn’t want to miss a rematch, would you? Telephone the box office now: 01325 405405.                 

Barry Forgie MD; Jeff Hooper (vocals); Euan Mayne, Danny Marsden, George ?, Martin Shaw (trumpets); Kieran McLeod, Liam Kirkman, Ashley Horton, Peter North (trombones); Julian Siegel, Paul Booth, Alan Barnes, Steve ?, Adrian Wilkinson (reeds); Anthony Kerr (vibes); Robin Aspland (piano); Nick Walsh (double bass); Tom Gordon (drums).  


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