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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...

June

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

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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