Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Charles Lloyd: "I'm raring to go out to play, because I know I'll find something to explain the inexplicable." (DownBeat August 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

14438 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 716 of them this year alone and, so far, 13 this month (August 6).

From This Moment On ...

August

Wed 10: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 10: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Wed 10: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 10: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 10: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 11: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 11: Baghdaddies @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. Time TBC.
Thu 11: Indigo Jazz Voices: Little Big Band Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. POSTPONED!
Thu 11: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests Donna Hewitt (sax) Josh Bentham (sax) Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 12: Ben Gilbert Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm.
Fri 12: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 12: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 12: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Sun 14: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 14: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm.
Sun 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ West Park, South Shields. 2:00pm.
Sun 14: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 14: Anth Purdy @ Blues & Bourbon, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Sun 14: Sunday Night Am Jam Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Note start time.

Mon 15: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 15: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Reminiscing in (and out of) Tempo by Andy Hudson. Part Six - The First Soho Jazz Festival

Having initially been based at Ronnie Scott’s after I left the North East, I then enjoyed many years of profitable, and often hilarious, dealings with the late Brian Theobald - one of the club’s partners. The Company was BPR standing for Brian, Pete and Ronnie. Brian already described in many of these reminiscences, Pete being Pete King,  the beefy smiling operator of the club, and of course the eponymous Ronnie, of the club/endless jokes and a nifty line on tenor saxophone.

Around the corner based at Kettners in Romilly Street, was Peter Boizot, founder of the Pizza Express chain and jazz lover. Brian and I were the very first customers at Kettners when it opened as Boizot’s latest champagne bar, We were walking past and Peter ran out and said you must come in I’m opening this place in half an hour and so it was that when it opened, we were already there. It became my local and throughout the 1980s it was like a second office for me and hosted many of my birthday lunches (these were music business lunches and in some cases lasted for days).                  












 












Peter became a friend and we discovered odd connections, such as his mother had been an old friend of my grandmother in Batley in Yorkshire. His ma was a formidable creature, who used to tour around chauffeured in Peter’s Rolls Royce with her friend who was also a dame d’un certain age. 

I recall sitting with Peter when she appeared and boomed at our table in a loud Yorkshire accent! “Peter, y’ know you told that Finchley Road lot that they couldn’t put any other brands’ signs up? Well I drove past and it were up – a tell ye ….it’s down now.”

It was rumoured that Peter was planning a Soho Jazz Festival though little was known of it. When there was around 10 days to go before it was due to start, passing Kettners, an agitated Boizot ran out and grabbed me – “Where have you been I’ve been trying to get hold of you?” The upshot of this encounter was that he wanted me to step in and organise the Soho event. I protested that it was due to start the following week, but he persuaded me to take a look….

There are fundamentals in event organising such as DATE, VENUE, ARTIST. A cursory glance at the paperwork had artists contractually booked to appear at a venue which had been booked for a completely different day.

So I stepped in along with Cindy Hacker….. Now if there were ever to be a Duchess of Soho then it would have to be Cindy, We had worked together on many Capital Radio events already and her administrative credentials are flawless and her knowledge of Soho matters legendary.

So we set to work and, despite some of Peter’s protestations, we pulled it off.

Many successful people believe that their success in one genre is transferable to another when that tends to be the exception rather than the rule.

Peter was a genius in creating the Pizza Express brand and the modus operandi of their many restaurants, but he was a rank amateur when it came to the production of complicated events and the marketing required to attract hundreds of people to multiple venues.

Having solved his logistical nightmares of dates/times/travel and tech specs by the Tuesday (the event due to start on the Friday) we needed some serious publicity.

The Problem.

Peter flatly refused to consider programme leaflets - his solution being that people would go to posters and make notes of what they wanted to watch. He was immoveable on this. So Cindy, me, Ronnie Scott’s and a few others designed printed and paid for (all overnight) 50,000 leaflets that were out and about all over W.1 by the next afternoon (2 days to go to the festival start)

Peter happened to pick one up and went berserk! With a purple face of rage he crashed into our Festival Office at Kettners screaming – “how dare you defy me” and then stormed out banging doors as he went, like a spoiled child.

Some said at the time – we should have let him perish, but our team were and still are dedicated professionals

I sat him down later and told him to his face that he had hired me to save his event from disaster: I was going to do that but I would never do what he had demanded as it was abjectly stupid and if he wanted to be surrounded by people who only agreed with him then next time he could hire them. On this occasion we will deliver but keep out of my way until this event is over.

If he’d fired me there and then it wouldn’t have mattered we would still have completed. He failed to understand that our reputations were on the line just as much as his.

He did keep out of the way, it did happen - with more notice it would have been much better.

At the end Peter was mollified and indeed we carried on thereafter as friends and I remained a regular Kettners attendee until I left for the next phase of life in Ireland in the 1990s

A Film was shot of the Festival which is quite cute it aired on Channel 4 shortly after the event. VIDEO LINK. Andy 

Part 5

Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1

No comments :

Blog Archive