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Bebop Spoken There

Alan Barnes: "Normally you can cobble a set together with five guys on the back of an envelope over the first pint and it's just fine. Livestreaming isn't like that." - (Jazzwise July 2021)

Archive quotes.

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

13,381 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 799 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (June 20).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Thu 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside 1:00pm).

Thu 24: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 25: Hot Club du Nord @ St Mary's Parish Hall, Barnard Castle. 7:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. + bf. A Barnard Castle Rotary Club event. POSTPONED!

Fri 25: Archipelago + Faith Brackenbury @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle (8:00pm). £10.00. & £8.00. Echoes to the Sky album launch. A GCT Jazz Club-Jazz North East co-promotion.

Fri 25 Alter Ego @ Traveller's Rest, Cockerton, Darlington (8:00pm). POSTPONED!

Sat 26: Tyne Valley Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham (3:45pm).

Sun 27: Vieux Carré Hot Four @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay (12 noon).

Sun 27: Noel Dennis Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). £10.00. Advance booking essential: . A Jazz Co-op-Jazz North East co-promotion.

Tue 29: Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Peterlee (1:00pm). Tickets £6.00. + bf from: www.ticketsource.co.uk

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Cheltenham Jazz Festival: Vula Viel @ Parabola Arts Centre – May 5


Bex Burch (gyil); Ruth Goller (bass guitar); Jim Hart (drums).
(Review by Steve T)

I'd heard that Vula Viel - pronounced Vi-E-l - had shrunk to a trio since I saw them at the Scarborough Jazz Festival a few years back. I wasn't sure how that would work and read somewhere they were diminished a little, but was encouraged when Jazzwise gave their new album 4 stars; just one less than A Kind of Blue.


I couldn't remember the line-up from Scarborough and, when checking the credits on the first album didn't help, I asked the lady herself after the gig. She confirmed they were a quintet featuring bass synth, two drummers and sax. Here they had a fantastic busy drummer and, since the gyil (Ghanaian xylophone) is essentially a percussion instrument - and they displayed what seemed incredibly complicated interplay between the two - I heard no need for another kit man.

However, I definitely think a sax would have filled it out as it occasionally seemed one dimensional, repeated bass features and lots of drumming, if anything, drawing attention to the fact that they were essentially a woman down.

Not that I didn't enjoy it, and the threat of some ethnicity and some sisterhood is always a compelling argument in persuading Mrs T to agree. I'd already suggested she download/stream/ whatever the new album format, but apparently, her phone needed charging so it was a CD to the rescue again. 

Bex is extremely charismatic on stage, loosening up and limbering up ‘til she's bouncing around her instrument like a prize-fighter, her hair bobbing in double time. Most of the set was drawn from the new album, though they did dip into the debut and this would be the one I would recommend first.

At Scarborough, her introductions were interspersed with tales of her time in the African village where she learned to build and play her instrument, but here she seemed reluctant to do so, restricting it to one mention towards the end. I've no doubt her enthusiasm, commitment and passion is undiminished, so she shouldn't shy away from it since the dialogue actually helps bring the music to life.

I look forward very much to their arrival at one of the venues in the North East, but I think she may reconsider filling out the sound with reeds: soprano or flute, maybe with a baritone as well; or something from the guitar family, violin or cello. The possibilities are endless. 
Steve T.


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