Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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.


16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 18: NONUNONU @ Elder Beer Café, Chillingham Road, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 18: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. + bf. Support act TBC.
Thu 18: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band night with Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Donna Hewitt (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 19: Cia Tomasso @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. ‘Cia Tomasso sings Billie Holiday’. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ The Radio Rooms, Berwick. 7:00pm (doors). £5.00.
Fri 19: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Levitation Orchestra + Nauta @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £11.00.
Fri 19: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.

Sat 20: Record Store Day…at a store near you!
Sat 20: Bright Street Band @ Washington Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Swing dance taster session (6:30pm) followed by Bright Street Big Band (7:30pm). £12.00.
Sat 20: Michael Woods @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Acoustic blues.
Sat 20: Rendezvous Jazz @ St Andrew’s Church, Monkseaton. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. a drink on arrival).

Sun 21: Jamie Toms Quartet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Holy Grale, Durham. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: The Jazz Defenders @ Cluny 2. Doors 6:00pm. £15.00.
Sun 21: Edgar Rubenis @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blues & ragtime guitar.
Sun 21: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Art Themen with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. +bf. JNE. SOLD OUT!

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

RIP Mac Rae - Oh Didn't he Ramble!

Just heard that Mac Rae has joined his brother and musical sidekick Dave up there in the Gloryland.

Mac and Dave were, perhaps, the two most dedicated musicians in the north east (and way beyond) carrying on the the New Orleans' tradition. Maybe only Ken Colyer, marginally, surpassed them.

The Rae Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band were true to the cause. Barber and others may have explored different directions but the brothers stayed true.

Mac, whether on drums, piano, clarinet, trumpet or singing some dirty old New Orleans blues, never lost his dedication.

Apart from his own band, Mac was a regular, over the years, with Rendezvous Jazz and the various bands of Paul and Liz Bacon.

I recall being in his company at an Edinburgh Jazz Festival in the 1980s. We were in the bar drinking Younger's' Special and chatting with several local musicians who were playing at the various venues.

I can't remember at this late date who they were and, even if I could, my lips would be sealed but, with a stage whisper, Mac said to me, "If they could play jazz as good as they can talk jazz they wouldn't be the support band", or words to that effect. Fortunately, Mac could both talk jazz and play jazz.

A legend, possibly best encapsulated in this file from Colchester Jazz Club

He will be sadly missed by all of those who knew him and remember the Rae Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band.
ps: Brian Bennett posted this photo with the following footnote: 

Mac Rae on trumpet with Nicky Telfer tenor sax, Ollie Soden drums and myself. 
One of the Sunday afternoon sessions at a Bigg Market venue - can’t remember its name but it was formerly The Royal Court Grill, a real ‘dive’.

Band - The Heritage Hall Stompers sans Brian Carrick who was gigging in Germany. 


Brian Bennett said...

In a recent lengthy chat with Mac we talked about the good times and the not such good times on the jazz scene.
Mac: “I hope we have enough time to do a gig together for old times sake”
B: “Absolutely, Mac! Get practicing!”
Mac: "Will do. You have certainly opened the door to the past and you know something I would do it all over again.”
B: "Of course we would, Mac! I'll search for that pic in the loft! Ta ta for now!”
Mac: Take care, Brian”

The saddest news. Rest in peace Mac Rae, you were a true legend.

Roly said...

Some of the nicest gigs I've ever been to were at Gateshead Fell Jazz Club with Rae Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band. I used to take my mum and she enjoyed the music so much. The band, with Mac and Dave and the team, beautifully captured that egoless ensemble style and it was a really lovely thing. Good memories.

Steve Andrews said...

I'm very sorry to hear this news, Lance. I knew Mac for the best part of 50 years, and probably first played with him at the Redhills Hotel in Durham with the Savoy Jazzmen (Mac played drums then). Mac was a very funny man, and I remember him telling me that when he was in the Merchant Navy he used to play Boogie-Woogie on the ship's piano, but in heavy weather the piano stool, which had wheels on it, would roll away from the piano, leaving great, but regularly spaced, gaps in his performances (he actually could play Boogie-Woogie, too!). A bit later he played in the Eddie Tindle dance band with me after Kevin Elliott left, and he also used to dep for the Savannah Syncopators on occasion; he couldn't read a note, but could listen - an attribute that few drummers have, in my experience! When he was younger and his hair was still black, he told me that he had been asked if he would play D.H. Lawrence in a film (he didn't!), and you can see the resemblance in Brian Bennett's photo.
Mac was always a nice guy, and quietly devoted to playing the music he loved. I'll certainly miss him.

Jude Murphy (on F/b) said...

He was a one off. Lovely lovely man, so talented and I still remember the time we were playing in a restaurant in Corbridge, the one in the old station. Mac was on trumpet, eyes closed, away in New Orleans, when an express train rattled past the window at high speed and he nearly fell off his chair.

Alfred Symington (on F/b) said...

Sad news, I met him at the Bell & Bucket, South Shields.

Barry Atchison said...

Sorry to here that Mac is gone. I will miss the ideas that he had on the Clarinet and the musical style of the Rae Brothers will also be missed. WWe did like their music and what he told me to do is to keep on playing music and keep on playing the Clarinet. But their New Orleans jazz will be missed. R.I.P. Mac

John Hallam (on F/b). said...

I first met Mac nearly 50 years ago. At the time I think he was a fitter at Clarke Chapmans ( and did a couple of 'guvvy jobs' for me when I was restoring my steam fire engines). A great raconteur and versatile musician who loved New Orleans jazz above all.
We had a whole weekend at Ryhope Engines for National Music Day. Mac did a whole session of Boogie-Woogie! Over the years we played together in a few bands and whether it was drums, trumpet, clarinet and even alto he was not fazed by whatever tune was called.
I heartily regret his passing, not so long after brother Dave.

Elizabeth Bacon (on F/b) said...

Lovely to read all these tributes. I feel priveleged to have known and played with Mac. He was devoted to the New Orleans style and an absolute treasure.

Phil Smith (on (F/b) said...

Very sad news . He only needed to play a few notes and it changed the way you played. ( On clarinet, drums or trumpet).
I remember standing at the side of the stage in the Darlington Arts centre Garden Bar when I was about 10 years old . Always rammed with lots of dancers , it was filled with smoke and and swimming in beer. I was transfixed by Mac’s drumming. Dressed in a white shirt, he was staring me right in the eye and bouncing up and down like a jockey shouting , “Get in there !Get in there !”
I don’t think I’d ever seen a grown up do anything so passionately and it seemed like the most exciting thing .. to play New Orleans jazz.
He was a master of the esoteric art of New Orleans jazz.

Eugene Farrer (on F/b) said...

I remember fondly a jam session 'le Beuof' at the Dixie days fest in Le Havre. Mac was there with the WJRK, I was there with the Wakefield Arms Jazz Band. We ripped the place up. Mac on Drums and then piano. It went down so well, musically spot on, but fun fun fun. The world needs a few more like Mac! RIP.

Gavin Lee (on F'b) said...

So sad to lose Mac. Played alongside him on-and-off since the Travelers Rest days with Reg Wall's band. Last gig I played with him was with Davey and the Rae Bros Jazz Band - he played a smoking hot session on drums. We'll all miss him but he's left us plenty of happy memories. RIP partner.

Patti Durham (on F/b) said...

You're so right, Gavin! Maybe see you next week for Mac's send off.

Unknown said...

From John Wilkie and Marjorie Leslie. When we got together 15 years ago we discovered the Reah Brothers band at Spring well Village Hall, our weekly venue until the passing of gentleman Dave. Their playing more than matched anything we experienced in New Orleans with the Ken Colyer Trust. Best experience ever was when we joined the band on a week Rhine cruise when we enjoyed their company and playing endlessly. These Saga cruises will never be matched again, and Mac was the life and soul of the experience.
Their band played for us at Marjories 80th birthday.
Glad that we shared the best of times. rip both brothers.

mary rodden said...

God must like Jazz, to take Mac also. Now they have met up again to perform for the big Jazz party in the sky. and I know who will be sitting in the front row! Happy memories, watching Mac as he played the drums, on the Rhine 2007, drum stick in one hand and pint in the other never missing a beat. then in the next session played the Clarinet, blissful. thanks again for your Music and the memories, they will be with me for ever. God Bless Mac and say hi to Dave and Jim for me. Mary from Springwell Jazz.

Blog Archive