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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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Happy Birthday Katy Trigger & Mia Webb.

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Riviera Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. A limited number of seats are available which MUST be bought in advance online. £7:50 or £5:45 live stream only.

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Northern Monkey Brass Band CD launch @ The Old Coal Yard - June 28


Graham Hardy (trumpet); Jamie Toms (tenor sax); David Gray (trombone); Mark Ferris (trombone); Phil Rosier (tuba); Adam Sinclair (snare drum); Brendan Murphy (bass drum) + George Welch (vocals)
(Review by Russell)

A typical Friday night out: Meet at the old coal yard. You know, the place on the industrial estate just off Byker Bridge...Aye, right, what's happening?... Graham Hardy has fixed-up a CD launch at Northern Alchemy....Great, see you there!

Shields Road was a hive of inactivity except for Spoons and the Butcher's Arms doing a bit of business. A mere stone's throw past a soulless giant supermarket there was some monkey business - make that Northern Monkey Business - going on. Turning into Elizabeth Street the sight and sound of dozens of monkeys quaffing and munching ahead of a set by the Northern Monkey Brass Band set the tone for what would surely prove to be a memorable evening.  

 
Together in Electric Dreams (Human League), Water of Tyne (traditional, Tyneside), Sports Direct Infirmary Blues (topical), Flash GordonAttitude (on the new album), Funky Pie (a NMBB classic), a host of others, including a second liner (traditional, Mississippi) and not one but two encores - yes, a canny night alright! 

Bandleader and trumpeter Graham Hardy kitted out the monkeys in new NMBB t-shirts and made sure there was a supply along with copies of the new CD - Northern Monkey Business - for the punters to pick-up at the end of the night. As the set progressed and the beer went down the 'dance floor' - aka the old coal yard's cement floor - filled with popping, skanking bodies, the NMBB has that effect on listeners - great musicianship, infectious grooves and, in the best sense, a good time feel to the music.

Star Wars to Flash Gordon, the NMBB connected with its audience and along the way Hardy's Monkeys dazzled as real jazz players; fellow trumpeter Alistair Lord handled most of the top C stuff, Jamie Toms booted the tenor, then there was Showtime...David Gray's 'bone blasts shook nearby Byker Wall to its foundations and, great to see - and hear - fellow 'bone man Mark Ferris giving it some! The engine room boys pulled the horn section this way then that, master craftsmen, that's tuba maestro Phil Rosier and the rhythm twins Adam Sinclair (snare) and Brendan Murphy (bass drum).

A real bonus on the night - as on the album - the legendary George Welch joined the NMBB to sing Water of Tyne. The man drew tumultuous applause. It was time to go, almost...I Want You Back was Hardy's 'spare' just in case an encore was called for. It was never in doubt! From the Jacksons to a Grandmaster Flash second encore, a third was a possibility considering the baying throng wasn't going anywhere but, as sometimes happens, the house lights went up. Yes, it had been a canny night.         
Russell

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