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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

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.


16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...


Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Baghdaddies @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 4:30pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 11:00am. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020


(Press release)

Following its first live performances since March 2020 last weekend, Sage Gateshead announces the latest line-up for Sage Live 2020, a series of live performances running from October until December.

The full series is also live streamed, opening up performances beyond the 300 capacity the venue is able to accommodate due to social distancing.

This announcement follows the news that Sage Gateshead has been awarded £1.8 million from the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund. This support, along with the ongoing £3 million fundraising campaign, will help the organisation through to March 2021.

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director of Sage Gateshead said:

‘Since March 2020 we have remained steadfast in our commitment to audiences, musicians, and the vital importance of live music. Until recently this meant moving our work online, including all of our work with young people, our adult classes and our work supporting emerging musicians, all of which has been reaching thousands of people each week from across the North East. 

“People have been telling us how much they have missed, and need, live music in their lives, and we are delighted to be able to continue this varied series of high quality work, offering audiences brilliant music that is familiar, alongside newer or less familiar work that speaks to our lives right now. The reaction so far has been wonderful.”

The concerts mark a return to live music for the iconic venue and represent the very best of Sage Gateshead, including performances from Royal Northern Sinfonia and leading contemporary musicians.

During these next concerts, Royal Northern Sinfonia performs well known works from the classical repertoire. Programmes include Mahler’s orchestral reworking of Schubert’s great Death and the Maiden quartet, directed from the violin by Alina IbragimovaMendelssohn’s irrepressible Italian Symphony, conducted by the young Portuguese conductor Dinis Sousa; and RNS-commissioned arrangements for chamber orchestra by Iain Farrington of Debussy’s Prélude a l’après midi d’un faune and La Mer, featuring RNS Chamber-Pianist-in-Residence Alasdair Beatson. The final programme, conducted by Duncan Ward, will include Louise Farrenc’s stormy third symphony, which the orchestra performed to great acclaim last season.

The series also features unique performances from RNS Moves, an inclusive ensemble of disabled and non-disabled musicians; Sage Gateshead favourites The Futureheads performing a special acoustic show; Americana rising star Elles Bailey, and a rare show from British-Bahraini trumpet player Yazz Ahmed.

RNS Moves, which features members of Royal Northern Sinfonia performing alongside colleagues such as Clarence Adoo, performs a typically eclectic mix showcasing the virtuosity and versatility of the group, including pieces by Shostakovich, Vivaldi, Sally Beamish and Joe Cutler.

Tickets for RNS Moves are pay what you decide, enabling audiences to choose how much to pay for a ticket.

Sunderland post-punk four-piece The Futureheads’ show features a mix of acoustic and a cappella song arrangements, intricate four-part vocal harmonies and plenty of audience banter.

UK Americana Award winner Elles Bailey’s performance will include songs from her critically-acclaimed second album of rootsy, soulful blues and country, Road I Call Home.

Yazz Ahmed’s performance is a rare occasion to experience her album Polyhymnia performed live in its entirety, by a 12-piece ensemble, featuring musicians from her Hafla band, players from the album and friends.

Tickets for these next Sage Live concerts go on sale at midday on Thursday 29 October.

Sage Gateshead hopes to welcome both regular and new audience members. The venue has adapted its spaces, offering audiences a safe yet warm and welcoming experience. Patrons will have the option of booking a table on the Concourse before each show, where they can enjoy a drink and free live music from the Concourse stage. Concerts will also be live streamed.

An allocation of free tickets is available to all shows for Health and Social Care workers and Gateshead residents attending for the first time.

The safety of everyone who uses the building remains a top priority, with carefully planned social distancing measures in place on stage, in the auditorium, and throughout all areas of the building. Concerts will be in Sage One, using only 300 of the 1,700 seats to ensure that households can be safely distanced.

During lockdown the charity launched a major fundraising campaign, Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance, aiming to raise £3 million over three years. Abigail Pogson, Managing Director of Sage Gateshead said:

“We are incredibly grateful to Arts Council England for their £1.8 million grant from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund. This grant will help to secure Sage Gateshead’s survival through to spring 2021, to offer music to audiences and communities through this winter, and to plan for culture to be at the heart of our region’s recovery.

“Thank you to everyone who has already supported our fundraising campaign. We still need to raise £700,000 this year to safeguard our charity, so If you can, please help to support our future. You can give online, at our venue, or by calling one of the team’

Sage Live 2020: Full programme listing

Friday 13 November  
Royal Northern Sinfonia

Alina Ibragimova director/violin

George Walker Lyric for Strings

Bach E Major Violin Concerto

Schubert Death and the Maiden

Saturday 14 November  
Yazz Ahmed
Pre-Concert performance: Archipelago

Friday 20 November
Royal Northern Sinfonia

Dinis Sousa conductor

Stravinsky Pulcinella Suite

Caroline Shaw Entr'acte

Mendelssohn Symphony No.4


Saturday 21 November  
Elles Bailey

Friday 27 November
Royal Northern Sinfonia

Kyra Humphreys director/violin

Alasdair Beatson piano

Debussy (arr. Farrington) Prélude a l’après midi d’un faune

Sally Beamish Piano Concerto No.1: Hill Stanzas  

Debussy (arr. Farrington) La Mer

Saturday 28 November
RNS Moves
Pre-concert performance: Joe Snape

Saturday 4 December

Royal Northern Sinfonia

Duncan Ward conductor

Schumann Overture, Scherzo, and Finale Op.52

Berlioz Rêverie et caprice

Farrenc Symphony No.3


Sunday 5 December

The Futureheads

Pre-Concert performance: Jodie Nicholson


  • Since opening 15 years ago, Sage Gateshead has worked side by side with partners and the wider community to help address the complex blend of social and economic challenges the region faces.
  • Sage Gateshead continues to be major employer and has brought investment and tourism into the region, generating c. £500 million contribution to the local economy.
  • More importantly, Sage Gateshead has brought social, cultural and educational value to over 10 million people and millions more via digital and broadcast activity.
  • Last year Sage Gateshead attracted 2 million visitors; 5,000 people took part in weekly music classes; 17,854 school children experienced live orchestral music and we worked with a further 2,418 vulnerable young people; more than 2,000 adults a week took part in music making designed to tackle social isolation.
  • The North East region is one of the worst affected by Covid-19. The region will be one where the recovery is slow and hard. Arts and culture have a pivotal role to play in regional and nation-wide recovery.
  • Covid-19 presents a major financial challenge to Sage Gateshead, the iconic Foster + Partners designed NE landmark.  80% of its income has been affected, and in 2020-21 £10 million in revenue will be lost. The organisation has taken swift action to overcome this crisis, but further challenges lie ahead. 90% of the workforce has been on furlough, significant cost savings have been sought and found, and its fundraising campaign aims to raise £3 million to help secure the organisation during the next three years. However, income levels are likely to be drastically reduced well into next year, and so the charity is redoubling its fundraising efforts.
  • Arts and Culture in the North East had a turnover of £400 million, providing employment for 2,450 people in 2016 (last year for which figures are available) 
  • Performing arts accounted for 33% (i.e. >£133 million) and 700 jobs
  • Gross Value Added of arts and culture sector to the NE is £203 million 

Royal Northern Sinfonia

Thomas Zehetmair Conductor Laureate

Lars Vogt, Julian Rachlin Principal Artistic Partners

Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra. Founded in 1958, RNS has built a worldwide reputation for the North East through the quality of its music-making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make with audiences.

The orchestra regularly flies the flag for the region at major festivals, including the BBC Proms, most recently performing Handel’s Water Music at Stage @theDock in Hull – the first Prom performed outside of London since 1930. They appear frequently at venues and festivals in Europe, including La folle journée in Nantes. In recent seasons they have toured to Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul and Tokyo.

RNS has worked with many international conductors and soloists including Christian Tetzlaff, Sir Roger Norrington, Paul McCreesh, Jess Gillam, Nicholas McGegan, Mahan Esfahani, Viktoria Mullova and Jessica Cottis, and also collaborated with leading popular voices such as Sting, Ben Folds, John Grant, Mercury Rev, Field Music and Maxïmo Park.

RNS has commissioned new music by David Lang, John Casken, Tansy Davies, Errollyn Wallen and James Weeks amongst others, and runs an annual Young Composers Competition.

In order to engage with the widest possible range of artists and audiences, in 2018 RNS founded its inclusive ensemble RNS Moves, and also increasingly programmes accessible and relaxed performances throughout the season.

RNS has always been actively involved in local communities and in education. This season the orchestra will perform across the region in Kendal, Middlesbrough, Carlisle, Berwick and Sunderland, and will once again take their Christmas by Candlelight tour to regional churches. Musicians support young people learning musical instruments through Sage Gateshead’s Centre for Advanced Training and through In Harmony Newcastle.

Sage Gateshead is an international music centre and renowned conference and event venue located in the North East of England. It is for artists, for audiences and for the North.

We are a charity and rely on the support of donors to ensure everyone in the North East community can experience the joy of music. 

Every year we welcome more than two million visitors. More than 400 concerts featuring all kinds of local, regional and international music, take place all year round. Music-making and learning activity takes place not only in the building but across the region, with 190,000 people of all ages taking part in over 10,000 music classes and workshops.

The iconic building, designed by renowned architects Foster + Partners, is home to Royal Northern Sinfonia and is a place where emerging artists are nurtured through dedicated programmes and festivals.

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