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COVID-19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Mark Williams & Joel Byrne-McCullough @ The Dun Cow, Jesmond - August 29

Mark Williams (guitar); Joel Byrne-McCullough (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
In recent times, principally at this year's Ushaw Jazz Festival and earlier at Durham's Gala Theatre, several practitioners have given concert performances focussing on the art of jazz guitar. James Birkett at the Gala alongside George MacDonald, at Ushaw, Early Birder Matthew Downey, In Other Words' Nathan Lawson, undergraduate Francis Tulip, Giles Strong and Roly Veitch, and, getting a nod of appreciation from Alan Barnes, Strictly Smokin's Pav Jedrzejewski. Three days on from Ushaw's big bash two quiet men of the guitar - Mark Williams and Joel Byrne-McCullough - played a gig of their own at the Dun Cow.
The Brandling Park pub was quiet, perhaps some chose to watch Newcastle's League Cup tie on satellite tv. A hardcore turned out to listen to the two unassuming men from Northern Ireland. Set-up minimal, an iPhone set list, a pint at hand, Mark and Joel were ready to go. 

There'll Never Be Another You, Chick Corea's WindowsAutumn in New York, for the jazz guitar fan this was as close to paradise as they're likely to get. The select audience showed its appreciation, listening, then applauding, the sort of gig that had an at home, front room feel about it. 

Mark and Joel go way back, studying music at Newcastle College, gigging around town, then going their separate ways in pursuit of a career in music. Years later with many miles on the clock - countless gigs, international touring, recording sessions - the duo recently picked up where they left off.   

Out of Nowhere into Stella by Starlight, then, out of nowhere, a lone punk - full regalia, red Mohican - stepped forward to shake the hand of our guitar duo saying: Yer mint, mint! Call that a concise review.

Our mint duo continued; a solo, lines exchanged, sublime understatement. Darn That DreamGirl TalkAll the Things You Are, the hardcore appreciative, Mark and Joel appreciative of their audience - Thanks for coming out, said Joel. I'll Be Seeing YouSolar with Joel fleetingly quoting Milestones, Williams and McCullough were just about done. 

Spain confirmed our duo as A-listers, and who would believe that on a Wednesday evening in a leafy Newcastle suburban pub one could hear such fine jazz guitarists? As our punk friend said; Mint! 
Russell 

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