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Bebop Spoken There

Billy Boy Arnold: “As long as you don't think old you're good.” - DownBeat, December, 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!"

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 ...


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: Revolutionaires @ The Water House, North Road, Durham. 4:00pm. Rock 'n' roll excellence! Line-up inc. Pete Tanton.
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. CANCELLED!
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.

Sat 09: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Sat 09: Abbie Finn Trio @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 09: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Middleton & Todridge Village Hall, Morpeth. 7:30pm. £12.00., £6.00.
Sat 09: Paul Skerritt @ Slaley Hall, Hexham NE47 0BX. 7:30pm. From £42.00.

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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