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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “ I am certainly always aware of what the masses are doing. And when I see too many people going one way, I'm going another way - even when I don't know what's over that way". DownBeat, March, 2024.

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.


16233 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 115 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Feb. 23).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024
Tue 27: Meditative Soundscapes - Improvised Music @ Earthlings - Healing Cafe, Buckingham St., Newcastle NE4 5QR. 7:00-8:30pm. Feat. Johannes Dalhuijsen, Richard Herdman, Nick Bagnall & Michael Olatunji.
Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 29: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Olly Styles (saxophone).
Thu 29: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Josh Bentham (alto sax); Graham Thompson (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Wind Ensemble + Big Band + Jazz Combo + R&B Band @ Boiler House, Newcastle University. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 01: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01-Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. From 8:00pm Friday. Weekend ticket: £20.00.
Fri 01: TBC @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 01: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. £10.00. Day 1/3. Musicians Unlimited + Festival Band.

Sat 02: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £15.00.. Day 2/3. Senior bands in competition.
Sat 02: Frog & Henry @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.£10.00. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. Superb Anglo-American band!
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: TBC. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Repas7 by Night, 7 West St, Berwick TD15 1AS, 07900 627562. Tapas Specials from 5.00pm - showtime 8.00pm.
Sat 02: Durham University Big Band @ Durham Students' Union, New Elvet, Durham. 7:30pm. £8.00.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. The band’s 25th anniversary gig!
Sat 02: John Logan @ The Dyvels, Corbridge. 8:00pm. Rat Pack-style swing.

Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £10.00.. Day 3/3. School & Youth bands in competition.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ the Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 03: Alan Law Trio plays Ahmad Jamal’s At the Pershing: But Not for Me & more @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The music of Ahmad Jamal.
Sun 03: Alice Grace & Ben Helm @ St Francis’ Church, High Heaton, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. £12.00. (children free admission). A Children’s Society fundraiser. Two x 30 mins sets. Refreshments available, child-friendly event with participation of children encouraged!
Sun 03: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. Free (donations). Monthly workshop, all welcome (participant and/or listener).
Sun 03: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 03: ’58 Jazz Collective @ St George’s Venue, Park Road, Hartlepool. 3:30pm (refreshments from 2:30pm). £6.00.
Sun 03: Down for the Count: A Century of Swing @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: SH#RP Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Remy CB @ Blues & Bourbon, Nelson St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Free. Newcastle University music student Remy Coulthard Boardman.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Joe Steels, Paul Grainger, Michael Mather.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ GCT - Dec.17

It's your annual treat, the Strictly Smokin' Big Band ushering in Christmas at Gosforth Civic Theatre. The first of two sold out nights (it's a sell out year after year*) made one realise just how much we've missed Michael Lamb's superb big band. The online stream is one thing, hearing the band up close is the real thing. The band assembled on the stage and on the floor, the evening's entertainment got under way with Max from the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra pad. What a rip-roaring start with Jamie Toms leading the way on tenor followed by Sue Ferris tearing it up on baritone! 

And so to Alice Grace. I Love Being Here with You (the audience reciprocating it's love of the SSBB's star vocalist) sang Alice. What a band! What a singer! Christmas? Bah humbug! Alright, the SSBB at GCT is the sole exception, these guys know how to put on a show - brilliant musicianship, professional presentation with everyone on the premises having a party. Jingle BellsSilent Night, excellent arrangements, and, to close out the first set, Tchaikovsky's Nut Cracker Suite given a twenty first century big band treatment. 

Second set, We Free Kings, wonderful ensemble work, precision, power, wow! Gordon Goodwin's arrangement of Let it Snow, Chris Walden's arrangement of Santa Baby for the WDR Big Band, Ms Grace simply perfect. At this Most Wonderful Time of the Year it's a joy to sit back, listen and marvel at the magical performance of the Strictly Smokin' Big Band. Top notch soloists pepper the ranks, it would be invidious to single out one contribution, during the evening everyone stepped up to the mark. To close, there was only one number...Alice Grace singing Last Christmas. If you're lucky enough to have a ticket for the SSBB's second night (Saturday 18) don't part with it. You'll love every minute of it!            

Tickets for next year's Christmas concerts (Friday 16 & Saturday 17 December) are on sale now. Book now at: - Russell
Strictly Smokin' Big Band: Michael Lamb (MD), Pete Tanton, Billy Bradshaw, Dick Stacey (trumpets); Jamie Toms, Dave Kerridge, Keith Robinson, Steve Summers, Sue Ferris (reeds); Mark Ferris, Keiran Parnaby, Chris Kurgi-Smith, John Flood (trombones); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Graham Don (piano, keyboards); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace (vocals)

Set list: MaxI Love Being Here with YouSnowfallUntil the Real Thing Comes AlongJingle BellsSilent NightThe Nutcracker SuiteWe Three KingsLet it SnowSanta BabyDeck the Halls with Boughs of Holly/God Rest Ye Merry GentlemenAh Got Me Lurve to Keep Me Waam (Geordie, translation not required); I'll Be Home for ChristmasMost Wonderful Time of the YearLast Christmas.    


NeilC said...

I attended the second part of the triumph that was the SSBB Christmas show . I cannot comprehend how delighted the band must of been to hear the applause and cheers ringing out after last year's stark streaming show not only at Gosforth but at the Tyne Theatre .

It was just reward for the effort they expend to produce such a brilliant show . I have to commend Michael Lamb for the dedication and sheer hard work he puts into preparing the band I hope nights like last night give the band and himself that glow of satisfaction that says " Man we did a great job."

I know Alice gets a lot of the plaudits but I would like to give a shout out to Guy Swinton whose dexterity bears no comparison juggling the sticks , brushes and mallets often with them gripped in his teeth driving the band forward in the up tempo numbers and showing such subtlety for the slower tunes.

Its hard to pick out a favourite but I am going to opt for Snowfall mainly because it is as evocative as Skating by Vince Guaraldi in purveying the feel of Christmas . Thank you one and all for such a great show.

Russell said...

Well said Neil. Guy is one of the unsung drummers. If you haven't already done so, book now for next year's concerts!

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