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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 ...


Sun 10: Musicians Unlimited’s Xmas Party with Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. MU 1:00-3:00pm; Zoë Gilby Quartet 4:00-6:00pm. Tickets: £7.50.
Sun 10: Alan Law, Paul Grainger & Abbie Finn @ Darlington Market, Market Square, Darlington. 1:00pm. Free. A ‘Christmas Market’ outdoor gig. Wrap up warm!
Sun 10: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Funk Soul Sista @ Stack, Seaburn. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Beth Clarke @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 10: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Whittingham Memorial Institute, Alnwick. 7:30pm. £12.00., £10.00.
Sun 10: Tele-Port @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Line-up inc. Zhenya Strigalev.

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 @ Sage 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 @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 16: Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Second night of two.

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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