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Bebop Spoken There

David Hadju: "It was kind of a lightning bolt [seeing a photo of a hi-fi store that's now occupied by a phone store]. Everyone had hi-fi systems, now everyone has a phone" - (DownBeat May 2023).

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!"


15478 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 499 of them this year alone and, so far, 120 this month (May 27).

From This Moment On ...

May 2023

Sun 28: Bradley Creswick's Western Swingfonia @ Whitley Bay Carnival. Free. Plaza Arena stage. 12 noon.
Sun 28: MSK @ Whitley Bay Carnival. 12:15pm. Free. Marquee stage. MSK - Steve Glendinning, Katy Trigger, Martin Douglas.
Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ The Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Back Chat Brass @ Whitley Bay Carnival. 1:30pm. Free. Marquee stage.
Sun 28: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Tim Kliphuis Trio @ St Mary's Church, Wooler NE71 6BZ. 3:00pm. £15.00 standard; £5.00 student/unwaged; free under 18. Afternoon Cocktail, a Wooler Summer Arts' concert promotion. Kliphuis (violin); Nigel Clark (guitar); Roy Percy (double bass).
Sun 28: Back Chat Brass @ Whitley Bay Carnival. 3:00pm. Free. Plaza Arena stage.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 28: King Bees @ The Delaval Arms, Old Hartley NE26 4RL. 5:00pm. Free. Chicago blues at its best!
Sun 28: Matt Anderson Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Anderson (saxophones); Jamil Sheriff (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Dave Walsh (drums).

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 30: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 30: Big Chris Barber Band @ Whitley Bay Playhouse. 7:30pm.

Wed 31: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 31: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 31: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 31: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 01: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Donations.
Thu 01: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 01: Jake Leg Jug Band @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 01: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 02: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 02: Claire Martin & Her Trio @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. £25.00., £20.00. Feat. Jim Mullen, Alex Garnett & Jeremy Brown.
Fri 02: Guy Davis + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. Doors 7:30pm. Blues double bill.
Fri 02: Anders Ingram @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club. Country blues. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.

Sat 03: Newcastle Record Fair @ Northumbria University, Newcastle NE8 8SB. 10:00am-3:00pm. Admission: £2.00.
Sat 03: Pedigree Jazz Band @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 03: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Sue Ferris. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.
Sat 03: Papa G's Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.

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

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