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Bebop Spoken There

Kelly Sill: "Just because everyone is playing through the changes in the same time doesn't mean they're actually playing together" - (JazzTimes March/April 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!"


15260 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 279 of them this year alone and, so far, 92 this month (March 29).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 02: Smokin' Spitfires @ The Cluny. 12:45pm.
Sun 02: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

Mon 03: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 04: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 04: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Bradley Johnston (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums).

Wed 05: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 05: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 05: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 05: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 06: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Donations. Feat. John Pope, Marie Shreer, John Garner.
Thu 06: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibtion Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 06: Darlington Big Band @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Note earlier start time.

Fri 07: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 07: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 07: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 07: Finntet + Zoë Gilby & Andy Champion @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE.
Fri 07: TBA @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 08: Me Lost Me + Ceitidh Mac + Heather Ferrier @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 7:30pm. JNE.
Sat 08: Joseph Carville Trio @ The Vault, Darlington Covered Market, Darlington DL1 5PN. 6:00pm. New venue, live jazz!
Sat 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. RESCHEDULED from last week (Sat 01).
Sat 08: Robbie Reay @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Acoustic blues. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Sat 08: Anth Purdy @ Mr Tighe's, Bebside, Northumberland. 8:30pm.

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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