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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Newton: "Having got my Grade 8 pretty early, it was only then that the piano was taking over. But this was happening outside of school really, as the music teacher at this particular school didn't like me or the kind of music I liked." (Jazzwise February 2019).

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Today Tuesday January 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Mark Williams, Paul Grainger, Russ Morgan.

Alter Ego - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB. Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Saturday, December 08, 2018

King Bees @ Billy Bootleggers - Dec 7

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

Half an hour before the nine o'clock start the joint was jumpin'. Moonshine ordered by the bucket load, you'd be forgiven for thinking prohibition was about to come into force at midnight. 

The opening bars to Got My Mojo Working brought the packed house on to the dance floor then, after one chorus, the band called time. Billy Bootleggers went wild, deafening applause, hootin' and a-hollerin'...this had been King Bees' last-minute soundcheck!


First set, Scott Taylor straight in, harp wailin', vocals to die for on Sonny Boy's I Don't Know. The dance floor awash, sweat dripping from the walls, yer typical Friday night at Newcastle's number one American dive bar, Billy Bootleggers. Not to be outdone, frontline partner Michael Littlefield insisted he was going Cuckoo, the audience definitely going crazy. 

My Babe (Taylor's harp and vocals), Walking By Myself (Littlefields's guitar and vocals), this was King Bees in top gear. Here I come sang Dominic Hornsby, Kansas City, here I come. The numbers kept on coming, thick and fast, and, in South Side tradition, each one summarily brought to an end, leaving the masses crying out for more. 

Automatic bellowed Littlefield, his heavy vibrato ricocheting around the Nelson Street basement juke joint, then the set closer - Caldonia! All seats taken, dance floor staked out, no one was going anywhere. 

Locals know a good thing when they see it or rather hear it. King Bees play to full houses wherever they go, no more so than here at Blues Central (NE1 5AN). A couple down from Berwick weren't going anywhere, they'd worry about getting home later. Hey! More moonshine!

Hard Hearted Woman - this is why so many get along to King Bees' monthly residency; Scott Taylor's simply spine-tingling, devastating vocals, there's no one on the blues scene doing anything as good as this. Sit Down Baby (Otis Rush) implored Littlefield, then Taylor again, this time insisting, just as Sonny Boy did, Keep it to Yourself. More Sonny Boy - Lonesome Cabin - added to the pad, let's hear this one again! It was gone eleven but no one was going anywhere. More! More! Several encores later, with Muddy Waters at the heart of it all, King Bees promised one more - Mojo - then that would be it 'til next month. It was twenty minutes to midnight. 
Russell      

1 comment :

Patti said...

Blues Central in the Toon! Yeah - Billy Bootleggers is the place, and after this gig, the King Bees are the tops. Cliche, I know, but we could have been in Buddy Guy's bar in Chicago's Southside, c. 1984 ....... the place was hot, heaving and sweaty, and the band were cooking! They do it for real - Muddy, Otis, Jimmy, Sonny Boy et al would be beaming their approval.

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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