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Bebop Spoken There

Branford Marsalis: "As ignorance often forces us to do, you make a generalisation about a musician based on one specific record or one moment in time." - (Jazzwise June 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!"


15491 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 512 of them this year alone and, so far, 133 this month (May 31).

From This Moment On ...

Mon 05: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 06: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 06: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Sid White (drums).

Wed 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 07: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 07: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 07: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free. CANCELLED! BACK ON JUNE 15.
Thu 08: Easington Colliery Brass Band @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00.
Thu 08: Faye MacCalman + Blue Dust Archive @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 08: Dilutey Juice + Ceramic @ The Ampitheatre, Sea Road, South Shields. 7:00pm. Free. A South Tyneside Festival event.
Thu 08: Lara Jones w. Vigilance State @ Lubber Fiend, Blandford Square, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 08: Michael Littlefield @ the Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Country blues.
Thu 08: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 09: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 09: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: Castillo Nuevo @ Revolución de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Fri 09: Emma Rawicz @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sat 10: Front Porch Three @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. Americana, blues, jazz etc.
Sat 10: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.

Sun 11: WORKSHOP: Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Workshop @ JG Windows, Newcastle. Time TBC. Further details tel. 0191 232 1356.
Sun 11: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 11: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 11: Groovetrain @ Innisfree Sports & Social Club, Longbenton NE12 8TY. Doors 6:30pm. £15.00 (£7.00. under 16).
Sun 11: Jeffrey Hewer Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 12: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Yes @ Sage Gateshead - March 18

(Review by Steve T)
What a powerful weapon the finale to Stravinsky's Firebird Suite has been for this band. As Steve Howe led them out, a not quite packed three floors of Sage One stood to attention for one of the classic rock bands who refuse to go away. In fact, as happened in the eighties, there are two bands once more and the other is due at the City Hall in the summer.  
Yours is no Disgrace opened things up, the track that stunned the world in 1971, introducing their new guitarist - Steve Howe - and he's now entirely dominant in the band.
A Portuguese mandolin could mean either Your Move/I've Seen All Good People or Wondrous Stories and turned out to be the former, though we got the latter soon after. By the end we'd had said mandolin, two Gibson semi-acoustics, a Les Paul, a Strat, a slide guitar, an acoustic solo piece (Mood for a Day) and another on a stand, enabling a quick switch. Last time I saw him he was immense; and although tonight's performance wasn't quite up there, he’s still the one all eyes are drawn to, including those of Jon Anderson when he's there.
South Side of the Sky from Fragile followed by Sweet Dreams from their second album, the one before their 'giant step' which brought in Howe, and none of this band go back that far.
A song by way of tribute to bass player Chris Squire, founding member with Jon Anderson and the only constant throughout their existence before his death. This is the third time I've seen a band calling themselves Yes without Chris Squire and the first time I've noticed what a strong second vocalist he was. When Steve Howe gets the duty you know they're in trouble. 
And You and I closed the first set of 'greatest hits' with Howe promising excerpts from their most controversial album and an appearance by long-term drummer and Ferryhill lad Allan White. 
In 1973 they released a double album with four tracks each lasting about twenty minutes. This has divided opinion ever since with some, including Rick Wakeman (who left afterwards), thinking it an over-stretch and others thinking it's the pinnacle of Yes and maybe even prog-rock. I think it's a good album but some way short of their best, with three tracks about five minutes too long and the other about fifteen minutes too long. However, Steve Howe has rightly pointed out that this was precisely what people expected and wanted at that time.
Prior to its release, they played it in its entirety during a tour and their City Hall show is legendary as the one, during which, Rick Wakeman ate a curry. I was there but was too far back to smell the culinary distraction.
On Sunday we got two full tracks and excerpts from a third. Ritual is generally thought as the best, with an extended percussion break accompanied by some impressive lighting as Allan White took over the drum chair, the chap he replaced probably getting more from a tambourine.
They all came back for the inevitable encores of Roundabout and Starship Trooper which earned a standing ovation. 
Ricko Waco used to think there'll be a group called Yes years into the future when they're all part of the history books, but has since said any group without Jon Anderson is a tribute group, even one with his son on keys.
Steve Howe may have a credibility issue, with a keyboardist who played on one album in 1980 and has never played with Anderson, a super-fan who briefly played rhythm (like Howe needed it) handling bass, a singer who sounds like Anderson and a drummer. Bruford out of retirement? Unlikely. A certain Dylan? I'd certainly like to see that sometime in the future and it's high time he stopped being a Blockhead.
Meanwhile, Anderson has Wakeman as well as Trevor Raben, who reinvented the band in the eighties, though most think for the worse. Another Union perhaps, leading to another classic(ish) line-up? Watch this space!   
Steve T.

1 comment :

Steve T said...

Apparently there's a comment on facebook questioning whether this is Jazz. The short answer is no but the long answer is far more complex. Certainly the musicians in this band were all well versed in Jazz and they are one of the few rock bands who could stand with Jazz musicians. There was enormous cross-fertilisation between progressive rock and Jazz-rock, with Stanley Clark expressing his admiration for Chris Squire. Many of todays Jazz musicians take influences from prog rock. Some people think Soft Machine are Jazz but most think they're prog-rock. I saw Henry Cow at the London Jazz Festival a couple of years back. In his book, Listening to the Future, Martin put both these bands, as well as Jazz-rock mainstays Mahavishnu Orchestra (MO) in his 'front-line' of prog bands. Red era King Crimson may never have happened without MO. Experimental rock bands (progressive in all but name) like Zappa, Beefheart and Santana are all enormously influenced by Jazz.
Peel has been dead a while now and prog has been entirely re-evaluated and gained enormous credibility with hundreds of new bands and a highly successful mag. All despite over four decades of anti-prog in the media. It's worth noting that Yes, Genesis, Tull and Henry Cow were amongst Peels favourite bands in the early seventies until, spotting that rock was in decline, he swapped to punk-rock to extend his own career. In doing so he caused incalculable harm to music in this country and it's only now people are becoming interested in music again, instead of naughty popstars who are just so anti-establishment.
My own view is that Jazz will become the catch-all term for C20th music which isn't just the nice verses and choruses, haircuts and novelties of media music, and will include the best soul, funk and rock, including the best of the prog bands.

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