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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...


16051 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1058 of them this year alone and, so far, 12 this month (Dec. 6).

From This Moment On ...


Mon 11: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 11: Interim Final Recitals @ Newcastle University. Details TBC.

Tue 12: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:00pm. £10.00.

Wed 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 13: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 13: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 13: Bold Big Band @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Hot Fingers @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00.
Thu 14: After Hours Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. . Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 14: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Mo Scott ‘Little Mo’s Festive Appearance’ @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland, Josh Bentham, Garry Hadfield, Adrian Beadnell @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 15: Paul Edis @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 15: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 15: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 15: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 15: Paul Skerritt @ Black Horse Inn, Crook. From 7:00pm.
Fri 15: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ St Cuhtbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm. £15.00. SOLD OUT! Waiting list open.
Fri 15: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £12.00. POSTPONED!
Fri 15: Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. First night of two. SOLD OUT!
Fri 15: Darlington Big Band @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £10.00. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 15: Baghdaddies @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £14.00.; £10.00.

Sat 16: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 2:00pm. A Jazzy Christmas + Jambone.
Sat 16: Porritt & Barrett & Friends Xmas Special @ Cullercoats Watch House. 7:00pm. £4.00.
Sat 16: Milne-Glendinning Band @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 16: Red Kites Jazz Band @ The Staithes Café, Gateshead. 7:00pm--9:00pm.
Sat 16: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Ellingham Village Hall, Chathill. 7:30pm. £12.00., £8.00.
Sat 16: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 16: Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Second night of two.

Sun 17: Red Kites Jazz Band @ Gibside Chapel, nr. Rowlands Gill. 1:00-2:30pm.
Sun 17: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 17: Revolutionaires @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free. Rock ‘n’ roll excellence!
Sun 17: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Alehouse, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 17: The Globe Xmas Party @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. Multi-bill inc. David Gray’s Flextet + jam session.
Sun 17: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm. £17.00., £15.00.
Sun 17: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Amble Parish Hall. 7:30pm. £12.00., £6.00.
Sun 17: Snake Davis Trio @ St John’s Hall, Snods Edge, Shotley Bridge DH8 9TJ. 7:30pm. £15.00. from 07766 037893.

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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