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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old” - Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019,

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...


16034 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1041 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (Nov. 27).

From This Moment On ...


Sat 02: Paula Jackman's Jazz Masters @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: Abbie Finn Trio @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Tenement Jazz Band @ John Marley Centre, Newcastle. Swing Tyne Winter Social. £8.00. + bf. Advance purchase only, no admission at the door. BYOB. Lindy hop workshop from 11:00am. £39.00.
Sat 02: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ The Masham, Hartburn Village, Stockton. 7:00pm. Feat. Noel Dennis.
Sat 02: Classic Swing @ The Nuthatch, 9 - 11 Bedford St, Middlesbrough TS1 2LL. 7:00-9:00pm. Classic Swing in trio format.
Sat 02: Paul Skerritt w. Danny Miller Big Band @ Westovian Theatre, South Shields. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Vermont Big Band @ Whitley Bay FC. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet). Tickets available from WBFC’s Seahorse pub club house.
Sat 02: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Ponteland Social Club, Northumberland. 7:30pm. £18.00 (inc. stotties & soup supper). A fundraiser for Hexham Constituency Labour Party.
Sat 02: Durham Dynamics & Basement Jazz @ Kingsgate Bar & Café, Durham Students’ Union. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£4.50. concs.). ‘Fab & Festive’. A cappella & jazz. Abba, Mariah Carey & more.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. Xmas party night inc. buffet & special raffle. £3.00.
Sat 02: Groovetrain @ The Unionist Club, Laygate, South Shields. 9:00pm.

Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:30pm. £7.50.
Sun 03: The Central Bar Quartet @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The Central Bar Quartet plays Lou Donaldson’s Gravy Train. Featuring Jamie Toms.
Sun 03: Paul Skerritt @ Smith’s Arms, Carlton, Stockton-on-Tees. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: Johnny Hunter Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Jam session @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 04: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ People’s Kitchen, Bath Lane, Newcastle. From 5:30pm. On-street gig supporting the work of the People’s Kitchen charity. Wrap up warm! Donate!
Mon 04: Michael Young Trio w Lindsay Hannon @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm. Free.
Mon 04: James Birkett Trio @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.
Mon 04: Durham University Jazz Orchestra + Durham University Big Band @ Durham Castle DH1 3RW. 8:30pm. £6.00.; £5.00. concs; £4.00. DSM. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Tue 05: Customs House Big Band @ All Saints Church, Cleadon. 7:00pm. Concert in the church hall. BYOB.
Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Michael Young, Paul Grainger, Sid White. The best free show in town!

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 8:00pm. Free. Note later start time, concert performance (open to the public).
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free CANCELLED!
Thu 07: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay, Newcastle. 12 noon - 4:00pm. £26.00 (inc 3-course meal in in St Mary's Lighthouse Suite). SOLD OUT!
Thu 07: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm. All welcome.
Thu 07: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.Donations. Feat. Mark Sanders.
Thu 07: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00. Downstairs.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Woodland Village Hall, Bishop Auckland. 7:00pm. £12.00.
Fri 08: Sleep Suppressor + Redwell @ Head of Steam, Neville St., Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. adv); £5.00. student.
Fri 08: Hot Club du Nord @ St Cuthbert's Church, Shadforth, Co. Durham.
Fri 08: Têtes de Pois + Nauta @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £12.00., £8.00.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Sunderland’s Brand New £18M Venue Announces Programme

(Press release)

THE Fire Station in Sunderland is delighted to announce the opening of its brand-new Auditorium on 10 December and has today unveiled Firestarters - its red-hot launch programme of shows and performances.

The opening of The Fire Station’s auditorium is a pivotal moment in Sunderland’s cultural renaissance, bringing acclaimed national and international artists to the city as well as providing a platform for local and emerging artists to shine.

Tickets are now on sale for the stunning new £18m venue’s opening programme which will run from December this year to next June and features more than 40 artists and performers – with yet more to be announced.

Kathryn Tickell and The Darkening will ignite Firestarters when they will be joined by special guest The Lake Poets for The Fire Station auditorium’s opening gig on Friday 10 December. This unique collaboration will bring the shamanic sounds of ancient Northumbria into the 21st century through the state-of-the-art venue, located at the heart of Sunderland’s resurgent cultural quarter.

Next up, the region’s chamber orchestra Royal Northern Sinfonia, featuring their new leader Maria Wloszczowska, will perform a candle-lit Christmas concert on Sunday 12 December, followed by British queen of soul and gospel Mica Paris on Wednesday 15 December.

Friday 17 December, will see the main event to officially open The Fire Station, when Mercury Music Prize nominees Field Music will present The Firestarters Revue, with a sensational line-up of guests including rising stars Martha Hill, Reali-T, Faye Fantarrow alongside Sunderland icons Barry Hyde and Ross Millard (The Futureheads) and Frankie Francis. Other performers for this very special housewarming for The Fire Station will be announced.

The Christmas season will come to a close with a party to end all parties with North East funk icons Smoove & Turrell on Sunday 19 December, fresh from their chart-topping seventh studio album, Stratos Bleu. The event will also include special guests the Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir, MC Kay Greyson and the Origin Crew dancers.

New Year’s notable highlights include a solo show from vital folk-troubadour Richard Dawson on Saturday 22 January, UK country stars The Shires playing an intimate acoustic show on Thursday 27 January, Amy Winehouse: A Celebration of her Life and Work with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra on Thursday 10 February and a performance by The Transatlantic Ensemble of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours on Friday 18 February.

March sees This is The Kit, the indie musical project of Ivor Novello nominated singer-songwriter Kate Stables perform on Thursday 10 March and a highly anticipated show by former Maccabees frontman Orlando Weeks on the back of his new album on Sunday 13 March, as well as a visit by the legendary China Crisis on Friday 18 March, celebrating their 40th anniversary.

With Teesside’s finest Young’uns on Saturday 16 April, The Hot Club of Cowtown bringing their hot jazz and western swing to Sunderland on Wednesday 20 April, two-time Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman on Friday 22 April and Britain’s oldest boy band The Fisherman’s Friends on Saturday 9 April, there is something for everyone.

As well as the music programme, theatre goers can look forward to ‘Human’ by dynamic, disabled-led circus/theatre company Extraordinary Bodies on Saturday 14 May and a production of Ibsen’s landmark play, ‘A Doll's House’ by Elysium Theatre Company on Tuesday 17 February. Dance enthusiasts can enjoy ‘The Monocle’, a newly commissioned piece by Rendez-Vous Dance Company, set in a 1930’s Parisian nightclub and with shades of Cabaret on 19 February, as well as ‘Speakeasy’, a thrilling dance spectacle from Southpaw which combines vintage and contemporary dance from breakdance to Lindyhop on Friday 8 April. For comedy fans, Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo sell-out sensation Gary Delaney brings his unique brand of humour on Saturday 26 March. There will also be plenty of opportunities for local residents to take part in community performances at The Fire Station – watch out for more details soon!

Firestarters will end in the summer of 2022 with a special one-off acoustic acapella show by Sunderland’s home-grown success story The Futureheads on Saturday 11 June. Look out for more additions to the line-up.

Tamsin Austin, Director of The Fire Station, said:

“It is so exciting to have a brand-new home for music and performing arts in the heart of Sunderland! We can’t wait to welcome people into what we hope will become a thriving community hub for audiences and for artists at The Fire Station. We are so very grateful to Paul Callaghan and all at the MAC Trust for their vision, passion, and determination to deliver this incredible new building for the city and to Arts Council England, Sunderland City Council and national and regional Trusts and Foundations, for all their support. We can’t wait to see you all in December!”

The Fire Station is an exciting new performance venue in the heart of Sunderland city centre. The Fire Station’s new, state-of-the-art auditorium will programme up to 300 events a year – in music, theatre, comedy and dance. It can host up to 550 people seated or up to 800 people standing, bringing acclaimed national and international artists to Sunderland, as well as showcasing emerging and established local performers. The Fire Station is operated by Sunderland Culture on behalf of Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust.

Kathryn Tickell, the first artist to perform in the auditorium, said:

“So excited! A North East gig…and in Sunderland’s brilliant new venue! It’s such a big moment and it’s going to be a very special night.”

The Lake Poets said:

“Anyone who knows me or my music will understand how much I love and adore the history, heritage and people of my hometown. It's what inspires me and my writing and it's what makes me want to create. I'm so honoured to be the first act to play my hometown's amazing new venue, and I couldn't ask for a greater bill to be on. I'm so excited and I hope to see you there.”

David Brewis, of Field Music, added:

"The cultural life of this city is something which is very close to our hearts, so we're extremely excited and proud to be able to contribute to the opening of this fabulous new venue along with an amazing cross-section of the region's musical talent."

Barry Hyde, of The Futureheads and The Peacock, said:

“I am uber-excited to be sharing the stage with such highly skilled and respected musical maestros as part of a special event at a very special venue! Sunderland has been crying out for a music venue of this size for many years and finally it has arrived. We have a vibrant music scene in the city, with some great promoters, musical artists and venues but for me the auditorium has completed the picture and I'm sure we will see acts in our fine city continue to go from strength to strength for years to come!”

Rebecca Ball, Chief Executive of Sunderland Culture, said:

“We can’t wait to be able to open the doors and start welcoming audiences to performances at The Fire Station. This beautiful new venue will be a fantastic addition to the city’s cultural life and we are hugely grateful to our partners the MAC Trust for their vision, ambition and determination in realising this project for Sunderland.”

Funding for the £7m first phase of The Fire Station, the redevelopment of an Edwardian building into a bar and restaurant, studios and heritage exhibition, came from National Lottery Heritage Fund, Sunderland City Council and the Sunderland MAC Trust. The Fire Station’s auditorium was developed as phase 2 thanks to a £6.25m award from Arts Council England‘s Capital: Large Grants programme, funded by the National Lottery, a £1.38m grant from the government’s Cultural Capital Kickstart Fund, and further support from Sunderland City Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, the Foyle Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation, and Backstage Trust.

The Firestarters opening programme is commissioned by Sunderland Music Arts and Culture Trust and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Paul Callaghan, Chair of the Music, Arts and Culture Trust, the charity that led the building of the auditorium said:

“Wow, what a line-up to open this exceptional venue. We are extremely excited by the quality and variety of the performers who want to play in Sunderland. I’m particularly pleased that Field Music are bringing their friends to play in what promises to be a celebration of our city’s amazing music scene. The auditorium will not only feature established musicians, it will also be the springboard to stardom for our own aspiring talent.”

The Fire Station, which was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2017, houses The Engine Room bar and bistro, a heritage exhibition, and studios specially designed to accommodate creative writing and drama workshops for children and young people delivered by Live Theatre, and participatory workshops in all forms of dance from Dance City.

For more information about all events and to buy tickets head to or follow @FireStationSun.

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