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Bebop Spoken There

Lakecia Benjamin: "From my early days with Clark Terry, he told me 'they see you before they hear you'... I'm just not from that school of thought where I'm gonna wear my jeans and T-shirt on stage and that's going to be respectable." - (Jazzwise, February 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!"

Postage

15056 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 75 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (Jan. 25).

From This Moment On ...

January

Fri 27: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm. SOLDOUT!
Fri 27: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 27: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Hip Hop Hooray @ Bar 52, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Fri 27: John Dikeman, Pat Thomas, John Edwards, Steve Noble @ Lit & Phil. 7:30pm. £10.00.
Fri 27: Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £10.00. on the door. A Swung Eight event.
Fri 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Ragtime & stride piano. 8:00pm.

Sat 28: Tyneside Improvisers Workshop @ Ye Olde Cross, Ryton. 2:00-4:00pm. All welcome.
Sat 28: Secular Sounds in a Sacred Place @ Holy Cross Church, Ryton. 4:30-7:00pm. £10.00. Continuous performance featuring: Christian Alderson, Faye MacCalman, Sally Pilkington, John Pope. Event preceded by a Tyneside Improvisers Workshop (2:00pm, see above).
Sat 28: Entartete Musik @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Brundibár Arts Festival event.

Sun 29: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Hypnotic Brass Band @ Cluny, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). £20.00.
Sun 29: Jam No.12 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Sun 29: Origin @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 30: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: ???

February

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Tusk Festival: Magma @ Sage Gateshead – October 13

(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

I was on the verge of embarrassment for the second time in a fortnight over low turnout for the two most stupendously stunning gigs in the region so far this year, when the hordes gradually began to stream in.

I say hordes, but somebody confirmed ticket sales of around three hundred, which isn't bad for such complex, difficult, challenging and genre resistant music, sung by French singers in a made-up inter-galactic language.

In their seventies heyday Magma were lumped in with the progressive rock groups as a default position for anyone breaking musical boundaries. All of the progressive groups had a high jazz content, though it was generally jockeying with classical music, folk music and just about everything else. Magma stand with Soft Machine, Henry Cow, Jade Warrior and Red era King Crimson as the most jazz oriented of the lot, often classified with jazz-rockers like genre leaders the Mahavishnu Orchestra, as in Sage Gateshead's blurb for this gig, which also cited Coltrane, Glass and Funkadelic, though I'm not splitting hairs pointing out alter-ego band Parliament are much nearer the mark. In his book Listening to the Future, Bill Martin claims equal parts Coltrane and Carl Orff.  

They're a band who are seriously difficult to pigeon hole, but it seems to me Zappa would be the nearest touchstone. A rock band with a high jazz content and classical music, including opera, though - being from continental Europe - it's prominent and taken seriously, unlike Zappa's occasional parody.
The chap sitting behind - who must have had inside info - was also correct when he said that they'd do an eighty five minute set of just two pieces. They're not a band for people with weak bladders and their devoted fans - and I saw at least one singing in Kobaian - wouldn't dare miss a moment.

I found the opening piece unconvincing, confirmed by new fan Mrs T, before the two singers - one man and one woman - withdrew to the back of the stage as the tempo kicked in behind a ferocious guitar solo. From then on it was like climbing a mountain; just as you thought you'd reached the summit, another level would be revealed, successive layers of soundlike waves on a beach at high tide.

The second piece featured the two singers prominently at the back of the stage, lots of intricate drumming and interplay between subtle guitar and vibes before the two in unison.
Magma were the vision of drummer and sole permanent member Christian Vander, who then sang an extended aria, backed by lightly riffing guitar and keyboard before bass and vibes came back in leading to some thunderous drumming from the leader. The two singers resumed their places centre stage and took it up to a resounding finale which really didn't leave anywhere else for them to go.  

Over sixty musicians have been through the ranks of Magma throughout its existence and tonight featured Vander, the two singers (one his wife Stella Vander), a vibes player and keyboardist, guitarist and bass player whose parents probably weren't born when Magma set out on their fifty year (and counting) mission to boldly go where no band had gone before.
Steve T

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