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Farewell Blues

R.I.P. HRH Queen Elizabeth ll (1926 - Sept. 8, 2022).
R.I.P. Trevor Tomkins (1941 - Sept. 9, 2022).
R.I.P. Gordon McGregor (Sept. 11, 2022).
R.I.P. Ramsey Lewis (1935 - Sept. 12, 2022).
R.I.P. Pharoah Sanders (Oct. 13, 1940 - Sept. 24, 2022).
R.I.P. Sue Mingus (April 2, 1930 - Sept. 24, 2022).

Bebop Spoken There

Larry Klein: "- in a certain way - Leonard [Cohen] is the greatest songwriter ever." - (Jazzwise October 2022)

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

14602 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 80 this month (Sept. 26).

From This Moment On ...

September

October

Sat 01: Dale Storr @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 01: Nicole Mitchell & Alexander Hawkins @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sat 01: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Pete Churchill. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 01: Orphy Robinson (in conversation); Beck Hunters w John Pope & Laura Cole; Daniel Levin; Black Top w Mariam Rezaei @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 6:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sat 01: Simon O'Byrne @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Solo guitar & vocals. CANCELLED!
Sat 01: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 9:00-9:45pm. A Great Market Caper multi-bill event. Superb Chicago blues band. Doors: 6:30pm. Tickets: £10.00. + bf.

Sun 02 RUTH LAMBERT TRIO @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 02: Helena Anahita Wilson @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sun 02: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 02: Zoë Gilby Trio w Noel Dennis + John Garner & John Pope + Dilutey Juice @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £7.00.
Sun 02: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 02: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 02: Lindsay Hannon's 'Tom Waits for No Man' @ Three Tanners Bank, North Shields. 6:00pm. Free.
Sun 02: Celebrating the Life & Music of Pharoah Sanders @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £8.00. on the door. Feat. Sue Ferris, Paul Gowland, Tom Atkinson, Jude Murphy, Jeff Armstrong.
Sun 02: Shifa + Bex Burch & Leafcutter John + Farida Amadou @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.

Mon 03: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 04: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 04: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 04: Blue Jazz Quartet w Rivkala @ The Ship Isis, Sunderland. 7:30pm. Free.

Wed 05: Hot Club du Nord @ St Wilfred's Church, Kirkharle, Northumberland. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT! Waiting list open.
Wed 05: Hot Club du Nord @ St Wilfred's Church, Kirkharle, Northumberland. 4:00pm.
Wed 05: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 05: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 05: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 05: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 05: Rat Pack - Swingin' at the Sands @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

Thu 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 06: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 6:30-9:00pm.
Thu 06: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free admission (donations).
Thu 06: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm. Paul Skerritt & James Harrison residency.
Thu 06: Brass Funkeys + Baghdaddies @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 06: Mo Scott Band @ The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 06: Lindsay Hannon Trio @ Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm. 'Tom Waits for No Man'. A Harbour View Speakeasy event.
Thu 06: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Garry Hadfield (keys) Bill Watson (trumpet) Josh Bentham (sax) Mark Hawkins (drums) Adrian Beadnell (bass)

Fri 07: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 07: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: Hannabiell & the Midnight Blue Collective + Knats @ Dance City, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £15.00. (£12.50. student).
Fri 07: Dean Stockdale Quartet @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. 'Celebrating Oscar'.
Fri 07: TBA @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 07: Anth Purdy @ Waterford Arms, Seaton Sluice. 8:00pm.
Fri 07: Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 8:30pm.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Tom Seals @ Blenheim Palace’s ‘Picnic at the Palace’ - July 22

Although the toll that the pandemic has taken on performing musicians is considerable and devastating, it is heartening to note the extent to which so many have adapted to our strange new world of virtual communication, reaching new audiences and forming connections with fellow musicians in a way that would have been more logistically demanding in less technologically-reliant times. 

The young Cheshire-based singer and pianist Tom Seals, protégé of Jools Holland, is a case in point. He has been busier than ever, launching ‘The Tom Seals Show’ online featuring interviews with international music stars, and even collaborating with comedian Matt Lucas on the viral Baked Potato Song (which raised over a million pounds for the NHS). 

On 22 July, Seals and his band ventured out of their lock-down garden set-up to the verdant grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, to headline the launch of the estate’s summer series ‘Picnic at the Palace’. As part of the series, Jazz FM’s David Freeman has been invited to ‘curate’ weekly concerts (on Sundays) featuring stars from his show Blues and Boogie, of which Tom is one.  

With the audience well warmed up from the support acts, Tom Seals and band members (Harry Greene on sax and electric guitar, Nick Bayes on bass and Joel Barford on drums) launched into a perky cover of Ray Charles’ rhythm and blues classic Hallelujah, I Just Love Her So. What followed was a varied set which showed off the versatility of Seals’ musicianship. He brought inimitable vivacity to Bill Withers’ Just the Two of Us, a song which also gave Harry Greene the opportunity to show off his saxophone dexterity.  

Between songs we got a taste of Seals’ warm personality, as he engaged amicably with the socially-distancing audience. His cheeky quips and self-deprecating humour lend themselves excellently to the role of TV host, and it is no surprise that he has been able to make such a success of his online show. Clearly, the epithet he is earning for himself as ‘the next Jools Holland’ is not just sensationalized prophesising: he really has all of the talent and character to live up to it.

The richness and nuance of his vocals belies his young age; it would be all too easy to veer into an overly-indulgent, almost generically maudlin style in many of the slower covers – such as Leon Russell’s intimate love song A Song for You – but Seals infuses the melodic lines with a spirit that is unmistakably his own. And then there is his piano playing - characterful and fresh, each song replete with playful improvised material. A high point of the evening was an untitled, improvised boogie-woogie, which Seals prefaced with a brief homage to his mentor Jools, from whom he first learnt the ‘art’ of the genre. With an effortless but dynamic stride in the left hand, and dancing, nimble fingers in the right, off Tom went.

There were, however, two standout songs of the evening, both marked not only by pianistic wizardry but also by tightness of ensemble: first, a cover of Jamie Cullum’s These are the Days, with some very convincing scat passages and a fierce drum solo from Joel Barford. The second was a version of Jon Cleary’s When You Get Back (included on his 2017 EP Where I’m At), which was deliciously funky. By the end of the show, most of the picnickers were up on their feet dancing, nudged from the formality of Blenheim’s environs into Seals’ musical world of foot-stomping rhythms and infectious riffs. He is a remarkable talent, with an exciting future ahead. 

Tom Seals returns to Blenheim’s ‘Picnic at the Palace’ on August 16. (Tom’s first single Black Coffee comes out on August 1 on Right Track Records, distributed by Universal Music.  Link.)

Earlier on the bill for this preview show was Irish singer and pianist Kedar Friss-Lawrence with some Elton John crowd-pleasers, followed by the celebrated folk-rock fiddler Ric Sanders (of Fairport Convention), in duet with guitarist and singer Vo Fletcher. Their set ranged from the quintessential American fiddle tune Sail Away Ladies to some Beatles classics, rounded off in a rousing manner with a lively version of Leon Redbone’s Diddy Wah Diddy.  
Rachel Coombes

Individual photos by Clive Rose. 
Band photos by Simon Greene.
All photos.

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