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Bebop Spoken There

Peter Ind: "Rightly or wrongly, I didn't value his [Miles Davis] contribution that much." - (Jazzwise October 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

Coming soon ...

SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Abbie Finn Trio - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regent Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 7:30pm. Donations on the night. To book a table (max four people from one household/support bubble) visit: www.gosforthcivictheatre.co.uk.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

FRIDAY 25

SouLutions Sistas - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 8:30pm (7:00pm doors). £10.00. SOLD OUT!

SATURDAY 26

Boys of Brass - Tyne Bank Brewery, Walker Road, Newcastle NE6 2AB. Tel: 0191 265 2828. 7:00pm. £10.00. + £1.37 bf for table for two. Other packages available. See www.tynebankbrewery.co.uk.

SUNDAY 27

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Tel: 0191 691 7090. Free.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Smokin' Spitfires @ Route 72 Cafe, Newcastle - Sept. 12

Neil Hunter (vocals); Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Terry O'Hern (trombone); Mike Hepple (organ, vocals); Bob Garrington (guitar); Ian Rigby (bass guitar, vocals); Gary Cain (drums)

Sustrans develops and maintains the National Cycle Network. Routes criss cross the country. Route 72 runs from Kendal, winding its way via the west coast of England over to Northumberland and down onto Tyneside, a journey of some one hundred and seventy something miles. Cyclists, some clad in lycra, stop off at intervals to refuel with water, tea, coffee, cake. Some refuel with a pint or three.

On the banks of the Tyne lies Newburn Indusrtrial Estate, a semi-rural, sprawling mass of business premises (a bakery, steel stock holders, businesses large and small, some of which you've never heard of) between Lemington and Throckley. On a Saturday afternoon it's largely a sleepy, shuttered location. If you're lucky you could see a kingfisher, perhaps a goldcrest and (guaranteed!) any number of lycra-clad Le Tour wannabes. And if you're really lucky you could here One, two...two, two

The Smokin' Spitfires were in earshot, preparing to deliver an afternoon of Atlantic/Stax classics to an outdoor, socially distanced audience at Route 72 Cafe. The band that emerged, Phoenix-like, from the smouldering embers of the East Side Torpedoes, hadn't been out of the hangar in six months*. Neil Hunter's facial hair is something to be hold. Cutting a figure somewhere between a Father Christmas teddy boy and a Doc Marten boot boy, the frontman's vocal power is second to none. The Spitfires play soul, they play it loud, committed, virtuosic, but, ever ready to take the p*** out of one another. 

Soul Man (Sam and Dave). If you're hearing the band for the first time (some were, in a sold out crowd) you're thinking: Wow! I hope they play some more of this stuff! And they did just that, tune after tune - 634-5789My GirlTake Me to the RiverHallelujah, I Love Her SoPrivate NumberIt's AlrightGet Ready. Every number belted out by Hunter supported by a 'tight as' rhythm section (Bob Garrington, guitar, Mike Hepple, organ, Ian Rigby, bass and Gary Cain, drums) and two of the band's three regular horn players (Alan Thompson, tenor sax, Terry O'Hern, trombone)**

One element of a great gig is hearing a band that knows what it's doing and the Spitfires is such a band. Today's seven piece line-up nailed it time and again. Hepple and Rigby supplied the Yeah, Yeah backing vocals with the horns taking it higher and higher (Jackie Wilson-style). The Temptations, Floyd and Cropper classics, Otis Redding, Cropper and Redding (Mr Pitiful), Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Arthur Conley's Sweet Soul Music. Two pulsating sets, no let-up, a canny way to while away a sunny Saturday afternoon.   
   
The Smokin' Spitfires' first Sunday in the month residency at the Cluny was suspended after the band's gig in the first week of March.

** Steve McGarvie was indisposed.  


Russell

1 comment :

Lance said...

Back in my lycra clad days I recall cycling near Newburn. The Keelman's Way was the site of a former railway track. At one end was George Stephenson's cottage (he of Locomotion fame - Little Eva came later) at the other end was a pub that was also home to the Big Lamp Brewery. I'd called in one day and ear-wigged on a conversation.

"Could you get a shag in Newburn?" I almost told him he most certainly could then I noticed the binoculars and realised they twitchers and the shag they were looking for wasn't the kind of bird I was thinking of!

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