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Bebop Spoken There

Sean Jones: "There were like three people in church who couldn't sing or play an instrument. We thought there was something wrong with them." (DownBeat July 2022)

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:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"


14362 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 581 of them this year alone and, so far, 81 this month (June 26).

From This Moment On ...


Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Sid White.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm. CANCELLED!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Lights Out By Nine @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.


Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Swing Manouche @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £20.00.
Fri 01: 1920s Speakeasy w live jazz @ The Exchange, North Shields. 8:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Blind Pig Blues Club. 8:00pm.

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 03 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 03: Ruth Lambert & Martin Craggs. @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Wild Women of Wylam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jazz Jam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Red Ellen: Northern Stage, Newcastle - April 5

Bettrys Jones (Ellen); Mercedes Assad (Mr Ansley/Einstein); Sandy Batchelor (Otto); Laura Evelyn (Isabel); Helen Katamba (Annie); Jim Kitson (David/Churchill); Kevin Lennon (Morrison) 

It may seem a strange item to post in a jazz blog but, as I was born in Jarrow and currently live only a short march away, I feel a degree of poetic licence is acceptable and, just as jazz has always defied convention, so did the title character of this play by Caroline Bird do so in her own way.

Like many biographical essays Red Ellen is a delightfully, yet heartrending, mix of fact, fiction and hearsay that had the audience both laughing and crying. The play centres around the Jarrow MP (1935-1947) Ellen Wilkinson - a feisty, female firebrand in the then man's world of British politics. Fighting Communism, Fascism at home and in Spain as well as warning of the rise of Germany's Nazification leading up to the Second World War and the overall reluctance of Europe to respond. A situation parallelled today by the war in Ukraine. As someone remarked to me during the interval, today wasn't history repeating itself today was history standing still.

Needless to say, the Jarrow March of 1936 played a part albeit not as prominent a part as I'd expected. However, maybe I'm being partisan! Jones was magnificent, portraying Wilkinson with the same evangelical zeal associated with the diminutive MP. The rhetoric, the working class Lancastrian accent and the unswerving dedication to the righteous cause of justice were all personified. Her rumoured love affairs with a communist spy and a labour minister - Herbert Morrison - demonstrated her passionate nature and we cried with her when he, Morrison, dumped her after the war was over and his wife returned from the relatively safe haven of Cornwall. Everyone played their part(s) to perfection, the seamless scene changing did take a while to adjust to but, overall, it worked.

There were a couple of occasions that didn't quite fit with the period. When Ellen and her spy are dancing to the gramophone (complete with horn) the record placed on the turntable was actually a vinyl long player which, in 1936, had yet to be invented and, during one of the weepy scenes, Ellen is offered a tissue. Back then it would have been a handkerchief. Plus I felt that her book The Town That Was Murdered deserved a mention.

Nevertheless, a very well-crafted piece of theatre on at Northern Stage, Newcastle until April 9 then: Nottingham Playhouse (April 13 - 20); Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh (May 4 - 21) and York Theatre Royal (May 24 - 28). Lance.

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