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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Cohen: "With the tenor, it's so iconic with jazz. With the clarinet, I can improvise, but it doesn't have to be called jazz." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Monday June 17

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Tenement Jazz Band - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:30pm (doors). Free (donations).

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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

House of the Black Gardenia @ Billy Bootleggers - Dec 9

(Review by Russell)
A third gig of the day for your correspondent. Arriving at Billy Bootleggers during the interval sometime around ten thirty, the joint was jumpin’. The basement juke joint on Nelson Street has rapidly established itself as the place to hang out, be seen, dance, drink beer (American, buddy) and hear the best dirt-kickin’ roadhouse blues, jazz and hokum east of the Mississippi.
The beer flowing (Shipyard Brewing Company, Portland, Maine), standing (and dancing) room only all night long, the House of the Black Gardenia were about to begin their second set. Frontwoman, the fabulous Bobbi Charleston, strapped on her washboard, the boys in the band ready to go, Blue Drag then Viper Mad. The band, all waistcoats and braces, stepped right out of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath to play some of the best stuff you’re ever likely to hear. Detached, dead-eye characters on the stand looked on as the revellers danced the night away. Bassist and sousaphonist Neil Hopper didn’t blink, similarly, guitarist Michael Littlefield (frontman with the King Bees) stared, vacantly, into the middle distance, looking not unlike an ‘other world’ Manouche.

 The HotBG horns wailed right side of stage. Piecing clarinet from a strictly smokin’ Keith Robinson attempted to make itself heard, Aussie trumpeter Richard Burns blew and blew, later confiding that he couldn’t hear a darn thing. Good, just as it should be! What a gig! To our left, somewhere on the floor, Ben Imrye rattled the 88s, drummer Kit Haigh wasn’t sighted all night, hidden as he was, way down in the engine room hole – Billy Bootleggers is one hell of a tight juke joint!

Make no mistake, Bobbi Charleston is the focal point. Star quality, great vocals and, if there is such a thing, a washboard virtuoso. Charleston exclaimed I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate as a dance floor full of budding Kates shimmied the night away. Baby Don’t Tear My Clothes pleaded Ms Charleston. A gentleman would never consider doing such a thing, would he? The HotBG is as good as it gets and Billy Bootleggers just can’t get enough of ’em. Weed Smoker’s Dream closed a brilliant performance. The next time House of the Black Gardenia hit your local dive bar be there, a good time is guaranteed.                        
Russell.

Bobbi Charleston (washboard & vocals), Richard Burns (trumpet), Keith Robinson (clarinet & tenor saxophone), Keiran Parnaby (trombone), Michael Littlefield (guitar & vocals), Ben Imrye (keyboards & vocals), Neil Hopper (double bass & sousaphone) & Kit Haigh (drums)  

1 comment :

Patti said...

Mr Be Bop Spoken Here reviewer has surpassed himself here - an ace review of an even 'acer' gig. This was a storming session - a fabulous atmosphere in the joint to start with, and a hotter than hades lowdown and dirty jazz band! The joint was jumping!

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