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Bebop Spoken There

Fergus McCreadie: "I think a lot of the best music is very political, and there are so many things going on in the world that I'm constantly angry at. But for me making music is not the space for that" (Jazzwise 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!"


14336 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 555 of them this year alone and, so far, 55 this month (June 19).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 26 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Outdoor (indoor if inclement weather).
Sun 26: Mississippi Dreamboats @ Springwell Village Community Venue, Gateshead. 2:30pm. A ‘1940s’ Weekend’ event (from 1:00pm).
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Los Chichanos @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

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.
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.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Hexham Jazz Festival: Day 2 (Saturday 14, evening)

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
For some this was the pick of the 2022 Hexham Jazz Festival - Jo Harrop with her ace band plus strings, followed by a solo piano set by Dean Stockdale. The same set-up as on the opening evening, Harrop and co occupying centre ground (the 'crossing') looking down the nave past the cordoned-off crypt with the audience occupying the nave's pews and seated around tables in the north and south transepts. Forty eight hours earlier Harrop and her quartet were at Newcastle's temple to all things funk, soul and jazz, namely Hoochie Coochie, this evening it was the rather splendid setting of Hexham Abbey. 

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
Jo Harrop (vocals); Paul Edis (MD, piano); James Kitchman (guitar); Jihad Darwish (double bass); Steve Hanley (drums) & Northumbria String Quartet

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants, Harrop's British tour signature tune (co-written with Hannah Vasanth), opened the first of two sets. Sitting front and centre in the pews the sound was better than expected (the previous evening seated in the north transept the sound wasn't so good), all instruments finely balanced, MD Edis conducting matters form the Abbey's Yamaha grand piano. At the aforementioned Hoochie Coochie performance an acquaintance said Harrop is incapable of singing a bum note. And as if to prove the point, here in Hexham our London-exiled northerner did it again, being absolutely note-perfect.

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
Everything's Changing introduced the strings - the Northumbria String Quartet (John Garner was in the section) - and if there was one minor quibble, it would be they were, at times, somewhat inaudible against the amplified strings of local hero, guitarist James Kitchman and the brilliant bassist Jihad Darwish. At short notice drummer Steve Hanley was recruited to play the first three dates of the tour (Newcastle, Hexham and the Jazz Bar, Edinburgh this evening, Sunday) and what a great job he's making of it, quickly learning the charts and making an invaluable contribution to the set. What a pro!

James Kitchman has come a long way since sitting-in at Dave Weisser's Take it to the Bridge sessions: the shy teenager, then known, by Dave, only as 'Felix', has matured into a marvellous, gigging musician on the London scene and beyond. Here in Hexham Abbey he cut a relaxed figure, seated, a bluesy edge to his playing, his duet with Harrop on I Think You'd Better Go (hints of Sam Cooke, perhaps Smokey Robinson) simply marvellous! 

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
Edis' Whiskers recalled his days as MD of Jambone (Sage Gateshead's youth jazz ensemble, later in the set we would hear Edis' Wise Words), this evening revealing a striking (intentional?) tip-of-the-hat similarity to Oscar Peterson. Here in Hexham Jo Harrop produced many memorable moments, none finer than her duet with Jihad Darwish on All Too Soon. Simply magnificent ...

If I Knew showcased piano and strings - composition, arrangement and performance all top drawer. Harrop and Edis revisited You Taught My Heart to Sing (from Songs for the Late Hours). And then there were the swingers...Red Mary Janes & a Brand New Hat and What a Little Moonlight Can Do. Wow! What a band!
It was almost time to go, but not before Jo Harrop confided, considering the venue, she thought twice about singing Randy Newman's Guilty. Our superstar went for it:, as the band swung out, Harrop, without missing a beat, told us: I told you it was bad! To top it off, Harrop, trying to dig herself out of a hole, added: Sorry, God!      

Set list: The Heart Wants What the Heart WantsEverything's ChangingCharadeWhat IfDangerous LoveHold OnI Think You'd Better GoRome Wasn't Built in a DayWhiskersAll To SoonRed Mary Janes and a Brand New HatIf I KnewWise WordsRainbow SleevesWhat a Little Moonlight Can DoYou Taught My Heart to SingWeather the StormGuilty

Dean Stockdale (piano) 

An hour or so of Dean Stockdale playing piano seemed like an enticing prospect. A fine pianist with a fine piano at his disposal, what more could one ask? Following on from Jo Harrop's superb concert, a late evening start (ten o'clock) was asking a lot of the audience, after all, it had been a long day. In the event, perhaps the scheduling wasn't quite right.

The affable Stockdale is as good as anyone in interpreting GASbook standards, however, late evening buses and trains wait for no one, the result being your correspondent (and others) caught but three numbers of Stockdale's set: Have You Met Miss Jones?My Romance and They Can't Take That Away from Me. And that was it, off into the moonlit night. 

There is a further forthcoming opportunity to hear Dean Stockdale in concert. Our County Durham based pianist will be appearing at Newcastle's Lit & Phil on Friday July 15, one o'clock start. Russell                          

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