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Bebop Spoken There

Billy Boy Arnold: “As long as you don't think old you're good.” - DownBeat, December, 2023.

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.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...


16051 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1058 of them this year alone and, so far, 12 this month (Dec. 6).

From This Moment On ...


Mon 11: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 11: Interim Final Recitals @ Newcastle University. Details TBC.

Tue 12: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:00pm. £10.00.

Wed 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 13: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 13: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 13: Bold Big Band @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Hot Fingers @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00.
Thu 14: After Hours Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. . Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 14: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Mo Scott ‘Little Mo’s Festive Appearance’ @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland, Josh Bentham, Garry Hadfield, Adrian Beadnell @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 15: Paul Edis @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 15: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 15: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 15: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 15: Paul Skerritt @ Black Horse Inn, Crook. From 7:00pm.
Fri 15: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ St Cuhtbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm. £15.00. SOLD OUT! Waiting list open.
Fri 15: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £12.00. POSTPONED!
Fri 15: Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. First night of two. SOLD OUT!
Fri 15: Darlington Big Band @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £10.00. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 15: Baghdaddies @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £14.00.; £10.00.

Sat 16: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 2:00pm. A Jazzy Christmas + Jambone.
Sat 16: Porritt & Barrett & Friends Xmas Special @ Cullercoats Watch House. 7:00pm. £4.00.
Sat 16: Milne-Glendinning Band @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 16: Red Kites Jazz Band @ The Staithes Café, Gateshead. 7:00pm--9:00pm.
Sat 16: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Ellingham Village Hall, Chathill. 7:30pm. £12.00., £8.00.
Sat 16: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 16: Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Second night of two.

Sun 17: Red Kites Jazz Band @ Gibside Chapel, nr. Rowlands Gill. 1:00-2:30pm.
Sun 17: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 17: Revolutionaires @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free. Rock ‘n’ roll excellence!
Sun 17: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Alehouse, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 17: The Globe Xmas Party @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. Multi-bill inc. David Gray’s Flextet + jam session.
Sun 17: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm. £17.00., £15.00.
Sun 17: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Amble Parish Hall. 7:30pm. £12.00., £6.00.
Sun 17: Snake Davis Trio @ St John’s Hall, Snods Edge, Shotley Bridge DH8 9TJ. 7:30pm. £15.00. from 07766 037893.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Malta Jazz Festival 2019 - Nights July 18

(Review by Steve T)

My love affair with Malta began when I read Tom Holland's Fortress Malta about its role in the Second World War. Shortly before the end of the war, Churchill arrived on Malta to award the island the George Cross. As someone who knows a thing or two about punching above my weight, even compared to Britain, Malta during the war was like Little Dave taking on a veritable army of Goliaths.

So it is with the Jazz Festival, which stepped up a whole bunch of gears on the Thursday night, with a series of free concerts.

The evening began in front of two cafés with the entrance to a food hall between them. After an early trip to check it out, we managed to book a prime spot in one of the cafés and by the time we returned, rows of seats had been laid out in front of the stage. On stage, happening German drummer Jochen Rueckert with an all-star band, featuring one of the big names in the current guitar renaissance; Mike Moreno no less. Also Chris Cheek, listed as tenor sax, but who actually played more soprano, and bass player Matt Penman.

Liam Gallagher was playing a free concert on the island that night, and when Rueckert thanked everybody for choosing him instead of Liam, I was surprised and a little perturbed at how few people laughed.

The prevalence of soprano was a total breath of fresh air and this was a sax/guitar front-line rather than guitar taking the role of piano in the rhythm section, Moreno threw in plenty of new-fangled New York chords and flight of finger soloing. Rueckert also plays with Lage Lund so he clearly knows his leading modern jazz guitarists. His own playing was busy but understated and highly effective, only taking one short solo during the final piece. 

I wondered if life could get any better than this just as the café delivered the wrong meal to our table!

Next up was Cuban bandleader Joel Hierrezuelo, just round the corner in front of the Law Courts. We'd heard a bit of the sound-check which had made me far more excited by it than hitherto. Malta seems to have an affinity with the heavy percussion of South American and Cuban music and I had no doubt that drummer Lukmil Perez would do the work of three wo/men.

Hierrezuelo sings and plays guitar, though the bulk of the soloing fell to a bandmate playing acoustic, and mighty impressively too.         

The final set of the evening was just down the road in the Pjazza Teatru Rjal, a large theatre visible from the location of the afternoon gigs, though you'd never realise it's there. The previous night it had featured the BBC Concert Orchestra.

I'm not sure how much of this we missed but it seemed quite short, which was probably enough for me. The Big Band were hot, but guest singer Joe Cutajar was subsequently described to me as a pub singer, which I thought unfair though, complete with trilby, it was a little corny. Nevertheless, classic Sinatra is always welcome and we got Fly me to the Moon and You Make me Feel so Young, some Nat King Cole while, in another stroke of luck, we missed the promised Michael Bublé. However, it was probably at its best with the singer watching from the sidelines. 

It all finished nicely in time to catch the last ferry across the harbour - one of the best natural harbours in the world and littered with history - to Sliema and our hotel.  
Steve T

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