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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 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.


16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 1:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. CANCELLED!
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.


Sat 01: Enrico Tomasso’s Swing Company @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 01: Play More Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning.
Sat 01: Hop, Skiffle & Jump: The Story of Skiffle @ 1719, Hendon, Sunderland. 6:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Dry Water Arts, Amble. 7:00pm. £15.00.
Sat 01: John Garner & John Pope @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 01: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

GNBBJF- Sunday March 6 (School Section)

The pandemic hit hard. Individuals and institutions were denied every day activities. Schools were unable to pursue music education programmes with participation in extra-curricular events especially hard hit. Now, in supposedly post-Covid times, there is something of a gradual resumption of those sorely missed activities. Given the circumstances, it came as little surprise that many school bands were absent from this year's Great North Big Band Jazz Festival. However, two bands did make it to Chester le Street and they were determined to enjoy themselves. The bands - Haberdashers' Abraham Darby Jazz Band and St Aidan's Swing Band - had previously enjoyed success at the GNBBJF and it would be good to hear them once again. Of course many young musicians from previous years have moved on, their chairs in the orchestra now occupied by a new crop of talented musicians.

Haberdashers' Abraham Darby Jazz Band (MD Tom Gledhill) made the journey from Telford, Shropshire (a round trip of something like 250 miles) as defending champions, the school's most recent success at the GNBBJF being in pre-Covid March 2020. As the Telford boys and girls took their seats on stage, a quick head count revealed no fewer than eleven of the twelve - yes, eleven of twelve! - reeds were young female musicians. The band's concert set comprised numbers by Gordon Goodwin, Radiohead, Sondheim and Lennon and McCartney.

Crunchie Frog (comp. G Goodwin) opened the programme, Radiohead's Bodysnatchers (arr. Fred Sturm) featured a fine soprano sax solo, and, in marked contrast, Bob Lowden's arrangement of Stephen Sondheim's anthemic Send in the Clowns was afforded a respectful treatment (trombone and alto sax to the fore). To close an impressive set, the band went uptempo with the Fab Four's Got to Get You into My Life

St Aidan's Swing Band (MD Vicki Elliott) travelled from Harrogate, a somewhat shorter journey than that undertaken by Abraham Darby! It was way back in 2012 at North Shore in Sunderland that Vicki Elliott first brought a band to the GNBBJF. Indeed, it was a winning debut (charts by Wynton Marsalis and Jordan Smith among others). Since then, student musicians have come and gone and the school's regular participation at a competing/clashing brass band event elsewhere has frequently denied the Swing Band of some of its key members. What would this year's band have to offer? Three numbers - Gordon Goodwin's Backrow Politics, Dave Volpe's arrangement of Body and Soul and Carl Strommen's Give it Up. Goodwin's opener tested the trumpet section, not least trumpeter Euan O'Connell, Strommen's closing chart featured tenor saxophonist Freddie Hagen, but it was Ewan Reid's superb alto sax reading of Body and Soul which deservedly won huge applause. 

The adjudicators Mick Donnelly and Marcus Brown reached agreement on the 2022 GNBBJF winners. Festival director Bill Watson read out the results as follows: 

Adjudicators' award: Bass trombone/tuba player (Haberdashers' Abraham Darby Jazz Band)
Adjudicators' award: Peter Abeyawardene, trumpet solo Backrow Politics (St Aidan's Swing Band)
Adjudicators' award: Bass player, Haberdashers' Abraham Darby Jazz Band 

Best Programme: Haberdashers' Abraham Darby Jazz Band

Best Section: Trumpet Section, St Aidan's Swing Band

Best Soloist: Ewan Reid, alto sax Body and Soul (St Aidan's Swing Band) 

Best Band: Haberdashers' Abraham Darby Jazz Band

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