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Bebop Spoken There

George "Big Nick" Nicholas: "This band [George Adams-Don Pullen Quartet] is a bitch on roller skates, baby. They'll run you over if you ain't ready" (JazzTimes April, 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! --

Postage

14250 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 469 of them this year alone and, so far, 69 this month (May 19).

From This Moment On ...

May.

Wed 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 25: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 25: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 25: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 26: Deep Pope + Garner & Pope @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.00.
Thu 26: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 26: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 26: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 27: Alice Grace Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Fergus McCreadie Trio @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.

Sat 28: Whitley Bay Carnival: Northern Monkey Brass Band (1:00-1:45pm & 4:00-4:45pm); Baghdaddies (2:00-2:45pm & 5:00-5:45pm) @ Spanish City Plaza Arena, Whitley Bay. Northern Monkey Brass Band (2:30-2:45pm) @ Rainbow Corner (Marine Ave.), Whitley Bay.
Sat 28: Jack Logan & the Swing Section @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 29 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Hartlepool United Supporters’ Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Groovetrain @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 29: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Allendale Village Hall, Northumberland. 7:30pm.
Sun 29: Two of a Mind: Sue Ferris-Steve Summers Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.
Sun 29: Cedric Burnside @ Cluny, Newcastle. Superb Mississippi hill country blues!

Mon 30: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

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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