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Bebop Spoken There

John McDonough (reviewing Bright Red Dog’s In Vivo): “When you improvise on nothing, that’s what you get”. - DownBeat August 2021

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.

Postage

13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

From This Moment On

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone North Tyneside. 1:00pm.

Thu 29: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.

Sat 31: Lindsay Hannon @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Lindsay previews new, original material.

Sat 31: jakTar + Johnny Richards @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion.

August

Sun 01: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.

Sun 01: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Leeds College of Music graduate guitarist (Masters, Jazz Performance & Composition).

Friday, August 07, 2020

The Vieux Carre Jazzmen @ The Holystone - August 6

Ray Harley (trumpet); Jim McBriarty (clarinet, vocals); Lawrence McBriarty (trombone); Brian Bennett (banjo, guitar); Bill Colledge (bass guitar); Fred Thompson (drums, vocals) + Herbie Hudson (trombone, vocals)

The Holystone is out of lockdown; arrowed flooring navigating the flow of customers - in one door, out the other. At the front of the pub on Whitley Road stand seaside chalet-style structures, at the rear, a beer garden with socially distanced, numbered tables standing on paving stones and an expanse of artifical turf. A burning sun burned all afternoon, things were set fair, there was one question...would anyone turn out to greet the returning Vieux Carre Jazzmen?


They would and they did! Pandemic? What pandemic?! Shortly before the one o'clock start all tables were occupied, your reviewer nabbing table no. 37 situated next to the pub's aviary. Table service à la sur le continent, a pint of Wainwright's (the solitary handpull on the bar), a toastie with fries as a side. One o'clock came and went as MC Brian Bennett set about herding the Vieux Carre's jazz cats. First Ray Harley disappeared (car? loo?) then, as he welcomed one and all, BB turned round to see a vacant drum stool. Fred Thompson had gone AWOL! After five months without a gig it seems the boys in the band had forgotten about bandstand discipline! 

Sgt Major Bennett marched the VC boys Way Down Yonder in New Orleans (drummer boy Thompson should consider himself fortunate he was assigned to sing on the opening number rather than be peeling spuds!). Troopers McBriarty - Jim, clarinet and vocals, Lawrence, trombone - were in fine form; Jim singing the first of his numbers, Mama's Gone, Goodbye, Lawrence blowing better than ever. A varied, first set concluded with Blueberry Hill (FT's vocals), Bye, Bye Blues and, a rarity, Brian Bennett playing guitar on an effective Autumn Leaves

In these Covid-19 times there would be no interval raffle on the Vieux Carre's return, instead a hat would be passed around the regulars. As the VCJ made a bee-line to the bar the aviary's love birds could once again be heard billing and cooing Dixieland or was it the bebop of Charlie 'Yardbird' Parker? Meanwhile the Wainwright's had been seen off. In its place...London Pride! Hey, you can't go wrong, can you?! 

First set, award-winning trumpet ace Ray Harley, up from Darlington, had perched atop a high stool (ditto MC Bennett). Second set Harley stood up, clearly the man meant business! Thompson's vocals on Ace in the Hole silenced the love birds - or were they riffing away, diggin' it? Up jumped Herbie Hudson. If anyone was in danger of nodding off on this Mad Dogs and Englishmen afternoon then HH is the man to wake 'em from their slumbers. Big Butter and Egg Man followed by A Slow Boat to China (calling at Byker and South Shields!) made for an entertaining few minutes from Mr Hudson. 
  
The three o'clock finishing line was fast approaching - The World is Waiting for a Sunrise (the world is waiting for a vaccine!), Fred Thompson singing I Wish't I Was in Peoria and a last vocal number from McBriarty J (Honeysuckle Rose) and that was about it. The Vieux Carre Jazzmen are back! Same time next week, weather permitting.   
Russell

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