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Bebop Spoken There

John McDonough (reviewing Bright Red Dog’s In Vivo): “When you improvise on nothing, that’s what you get”. - DownBeat August 2021

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.

Postage

13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

From This Moment On

Wed 28: Ragtime Rewind Swing Band @ Assembly Rooms, 40 North Bailey, Durham DH1 3ET. 9:20pm. £8.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event (www.durhamfringe.co.uk).

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone North Tyneside. 1:00pm.

Thu 29: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.

Sat 31: Lindsay Hannon @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Lindsay previews new, original material.

Sat 31: jaktar + Johnny Richards @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion.

August

Sun 01: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.

Sun 01: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Leeds College of Music graduate guitarist (Masters, Jazz Performance & Composition).

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ The Spanish City - Dec 26

Brian Bennett (banjo); Jim McBriarty (clarinet, vocals); Phil Smith (double bass); Fred Thompson (drums, vocals) + John Broddle (vocals)
(Review by Russell)

Boxing Day, the day after the Big Day. Time to get out and about. A bright, sunny day, Metro running, let's go down to the coast. The North Sea resembled a mill pond, promenaders were eating ice cream - yes, ice cream! - on this very mild winter's day.

The Spanish City is an oddity. The Alhambra it ain't but nevertheless, the north east coastal landmark pulls 'em in, not least since a long overdue multi-million pounds' refurbishment. An added Boxing Day attraction (for some) was a festive appearance by the Vieux Carré Hot 4. 

Brian Bennett's portable quartet - the bandleader could pick 'em up, put 'em in his waistcoat pocket and roam around Whitley Bay's iconic building - popped up first in Valerie's Tea Room before moving into the adjacent Trencher's Restaurant. The Champagne Bar up on the first floor would be the Vieux Carré's third and final stop on a Pied Piper tour of the Dome (aka Spanish City).

Three sets, the third with its own interval, found the Vieux Carré in good form; Runnin' WildI Get the Blues When it RainsHoneysuckle Rose - familiar material but none the worse for another airing. The Hot 4's line-up today comprised Bennett with his ever-trusty banjo, multi-reeds maestro Jim McBriarty, as ever singing a few numbers, regular sidekick Fred Thompson playing a single Gretsch snare drum throughout with brushes, and erstwhile Vieux Carré Jazzman Phil Smith helping out on string bass. 
Darktown Strutter's Ball, McBriarty crooning Walkin' My Baby Back Home, a seasonal Winter Wonderland with sleigh bells accompaniment by a youthful friend of the Hot 4, the afternoon flew by as patrons exited doors, belongings in hand, in pursuit of/attempting to escape from the on-the-move Vieux Carré.

Coffee and walnut cake in Valerie's Tea Room, Trencher's fish and chips declined, then on to the sea view splendour of the Champagne Bar. No fizz on this occasion, a hand-pulled pint of the Whitley Bay Brewing Company's Spanish City (ABV 4.2%) the better option. My Honey's Lovin' Arms, then in walked John Broddle to join the band for a couple numbers including If I Had You.

The band's regular singers sang Margie (McBriarty) and Lonesome Road (Thompson) and as McBriarty insisted The Alcoholic Blues didn't pertain to him it was fast approaching three o'clock and time to go but not before MC Bennett acceded to Bebop Spoken Here's request to hear Muskrat Ramble. The Vieux Carré Hot 4 can be heard Sundays, from noon, at the Spanish City. 
Russell.

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