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Bebop Spoken There

Avishai Cohen (trumpet): "This is my main thing right now: Live in the here and now, take things one day at a time. I'm stopping everything I can, and stripping everything to the bone. I'm spending a lot of time listening to music, playing, going for walks, enjoying my kids." - (DownBeat June 2020).

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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.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

King Bees @ The Collingwood Arms, Jesmond, Newcastle - Nov 23

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, guitar, vocals); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar, vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass); Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell)

A rare blues gig at the Collingwood Arms featuring an equally rare acoustic performance by King Bees...that was Friday night out sorted! Brandling Village regulars occupied their usual seats or stood at the bar engaging in animated chatter as the best blues band in the land set up in amongst the drinking, pizza-eating crowd - your correspondent opting for a rather decent pint of Landlord.  

Dominic Hornsby sat at the pub's upright, Giles Holt rested his snare on a low bar stool, a seated Simon Hedley retracted the spike on his string bass, Scott Taylor sat on a stool, harmonicas laid out on an adjacent stool, and fellow frontman Michael Littlefield sat, then stood, playing acoustically, on some numbers making good use of his National Steel. 

Punters squeezed past, a hand on a King Bees' shoulder - Excuse me mate, sorry mate - as they made numerous trips to the bar and loo. Harmonica ace Taylor hollered Sonny Boy's Keep it to Yourself, blowin' great harp, blowin' for all he was worth, hoping to make himself heard above the Friday night hubbub. 

Littlefield stood up to inform the crowd that the King Bees would be playing for an hour or so and remained on his feet to sing Jimmy Rogers' classic Walking by Myself. Holt cocked an ear hoping to hear his bandmates. If there is a better drummer on the blues scene than this young man then Bebop Spoken Here has yet to come across her/him. 

Hornsby pounded the ivories - given the upright's vintage the 88s probably are ivory! - as if in a barrelhouse. Back in the day musicians no doubt encountered juke joints like this night after night. Littlefield's vocals cut through on Caldonia just as they do at Billy Bootleggers*

The Scream for Pizza company's mobile kitchen set up outside the Collingwood's front door. Business was brisk - Excuse me mate, etc. - with ravenous drinkers seeking sustenance. Another pint of Landlord...none left! Oh, well, a pint of Colly Dog seemed like a good alternative...it was!

The band's one hour set was nearing its end but still they played on. Scott Taylor singing Hard Hearted Woman is one of the great experiences, as is his killing harp playing. An I was there moment, right here in the heart of Jesmond. Their set supposedly at an end, punters making their way into the night, Taylor picked up a guitar, Hornsby likewise (see photo), Holt's brushes the backbeat. 
Russell 
King Bees are resident, first Friday in the month at Billy Bootleggers. Next one Dec 7, on stage nine o'clock, free admission. Unreservedly recommended.     


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