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Bebop Spoken There

Aubrey Logan: "My relationship with the audience is the most fun I can legally have!" - (Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club January/February 2020)

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Today Saturday January 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Hammer & Pincers, Preston Lane, Preston-le-Skerne, Newton Aycliffe DL5 6JH. Tel: 01325 314873. 1:00pm. £2.00.

Evening

Shirt Tail Stompers - Durham Town Hall, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30-11:15pm. £25.00. (£20.00. adv.). DJam 2020: Lindy Hop Festival ‘Masquerade Ball’. Line-up inc. Michael McQuaid (reeds), Nick Ball (drums). A Lindy Jazz event.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Broken Levee + John Carroll - Saltburn Cricket Club, Marske Mill Lane, Saltburn TS12 1HJ. 7:30pm (doors). £10.00. Info & tickets: 07960 935263. Saltburn Blues Club.

Ojay - Outstanding Art, North Road, Durham DH1 4SQ. Tel: 0191 649 0553. 8:00pm. Free. Electric bassist Ojay.

Raggy Ass Boys - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Monday, January 21, 2019

Sounds from The Underground in The Victoria Tunnel – January 19

Zoë Gilby(vocals) & Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Steve H/photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

There are not many gigs that one goes to where you have to don a hard hat on entering the auditorium. It may be understandable for heavy metal or hard rock but for an improvised double bass and vocal performance what could possibly be going on? The answer was completely logical as the duo in question were performing in Newcastle’s Victoria Tunnel.

The tunnel, built in the 19th Century, runs from the Town Moor to the Quayside which enabled coal from the Leazes Main Colliery in Spital Tongues to be delivered to ships waiting on the banks of the Tyne.
Saturday night’s performance took place in the section of the tunnel just inside the entrance behind the Hotel Du Vin.  A truly unique setting for the hard-hatted audience of around 30, sat in pairs in the narrow tunnel to the right of the entrance slope.  Zoë and Andy were in the section of the tunnel to the left of the slope thus enabling the audience to observe the performers with a spectacular view of the tunnel receding into the distance behind them. Just to emphasise how tight things were, the top of Andy’s double bass was within an inch of touching the ceiling of the tunnel. 

After receiving the health and safety instructions from the tunnel volunteers we awaited the first number. Would it be Going Underground by The Jam or maybe something by John Coaltrain?  In fact, a perfect choice of a Tom Waits song Way Down in the Hole got things off to a flying start. Covers by various modern artists including Kate Bush (Kashka from Baghdad), Paul Simon (Graceland) and, obviously, Nick Cave (Red Right Hand) were delivered with considerable aplomb in Zoë and Andy’s inimitable style. There was also a version of Nice Work if You Can Get it in which Zoë very cleverly scatted a brief a history of the tunnel.

The duo finished with an original - The Tunnel - which was inspired by a jam session that they had participated in which had taken place in a disused railway tunnel in Transylvania.  
    
I was actually quite surprised how good the acoustics were in this rather novel subterranean location. You were really able to soak in Zoë’s great vocals and Andy’s virtuoso bass playing in what must have been an extremely challenging location (cold, dark, cramped). Those who took the chance of experiencing a gig in this most unlikely of environments were certainly rewarded with this marvellously atmospheric, unique and entertaining performance.
Steve H.

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