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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

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Today Friday December 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux CarréJazzmen - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. ‘Christmas Jazz Lunch’. Details from 0191 252 9429).

Dean Stockdale Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.

Jazz

‘An Evening of Swing & Sparkle’ - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. Tel: 0191 515 5555. 7:30pm. £35.00. Rat Pack evening inc. 4-course meal.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra - Yarm School, Stockton TS15 9EJ. Tel: 01642 786023. 7:30pm (6:30pm doors). £18.00. + £1.80. bf (£15.00. + £1.50. bf). 'Mistletoe & Miller'.

Blues, Funk/Soul etc.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, NewcastleNE2 1AP. £10.68 (inc. bf). ‘Big Xmas Knees Up’.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Acoustic Radars feat. Pat Rafferty + George Pallas & John Wilkins - Whitburn Cricket Club, East Street, Whitburn SR6 7BZ. Tel: 0191 529 3187. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). £7.50. admission by ticket only (from www.wegottickets.com). 'The Bents Road Sessions'.

Dead Skunk Skiffle & Blues Orchestra + Stetson Five - Station East, Hills Street, Gateshead NE8 2AN. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Monday, June 11, 2018

DJazz reflections...

(...by Steve H)
Just a brief note on the bands from the Djazz festival that I saw but haven’t had a previous mention on BSH.
On Friday night, the Empty Shop hosted 2 bands from out of town.
First up was Manchester’s Early Nite. I had enjoyed seeing them about a year ago at The Bridge and once again they produced a very enjoyable set. The band play short sharp improvised pieces with a high degree of energy. They also like to add a touch of humour to their performances which is fine in small doses but, on this occasion, they possibly overdid the jokes to the detriment of an otherwise very fine performance.
Belfast outfit Robocobra Quartet concluded the proceedings for day one of the festival.  

Billed as ‘minininfluence from jazz, hardcore and contemporary classical music’ they seemed as close to jazz as Kylie is to grand opera.  However, ‘Howling’ drummer Chris Ryan gives a sterling performance. I have nothing against heavy metal covers   I’ve heard some great jazz versions of Nirvana songs by more than one jazz performer but this band’s cover of a  Guns and Roses song did nothing for me and kind of summed up the whole performance for lively, energetic, raucous but just not jazz.
On Saturday evening I went to the charming Barber of Neville improvised venue to see JFrisco . Billed as a trio they were, in fact, a duo on the night as keyboard player Jemma Freese was performing in Holland. Nevertheless, Megan Roe on guitar/vocals and Lara Jones on sax/electronics seemed to cover for the missing third seamlessly. Incorporating all sorts of additional special effects - mobile phones, bubble wrap, Tibetan sound bowls etc. they produced a mesmerising soundscape which captivated the audience. It may not be jazz as some know it but as a piece of improvised music it was second to none.
Sunday afternoon saw me back at the Empty Shop for Shatner’s Bassoon. I had seen this band a couple of weeks back at the Jazz Cafe where they had the floor shaking so knew I what to expect and I certainly wasn’t disappointed as their unique brand of heavy metal punk jazz got the day off to an exhilarating start.  There could be no better way to finish the festival than a visit to the Jam Jah to see my current favourite band Skeltr. They didn’t disappoint and their wonderful swirly electronic musical magic carpet ride musical was actually enhanced by it being in a standing venue.
 So a wonderful end to a fantastic festival I really enjoyed being able to dip in and out of the tremendous variety of gigs that were on offer as opposed to having to decide well in advance of the event what you wanted to see and all for a tenner- amazing.

Steve H.

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