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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old” - Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019,

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...


16034 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1041 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (Nov. 27).

From This Moment On ...


Sat 02: Paula Jackman's Jazz Masters @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: Abbie Finn Trio @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Tenement Jazz Band @ John Marley Centre, Newcastle. Swing Tyne Winter Social. £8.00. + bf. Advance purchase only, no admission at the door. BYOB. Lindy hop workshop from 11:00am. £39.00.
Sat 02: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ The Masham, Hartburn Village, Stockton. 7:00pm. Feat. Noel Dennis.
Sat 02: Classic Swing @ The Nuthatch, 9 - 11 Bedford St, Middlesbrough TS1 2LL. 7:00-9:00pm. Classic Swing in trio format.
Sat 02: Paul Skerritt w. Danny Miller Big Band @ Westovian Theatre, South Shields. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Vermont Big Band @ Whitley Bay FC. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet). Tickets available from WBFC’s Seahorse pub club house.
Sat 02: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Ponteland Social Club, Northumberland. 7:30pm. £18.00 (inc. stotties & soup supper). A fundraiser for Hexham Constituency Labour Party.
Sat 02: Durham Dynamics & Basement Jazz @ Kingsgate Bar & Café, Durham Students’ Union. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£4.50. concs.). ‘Fab & Festive’. A cappella & jazz. Abba, Mariah Carey & more.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. Xmas party night inc. buffet & special raffle. £3.00.
Sat 02: Groovetrain @ The Unionist Club, Laygate, South Shields. 9:00pm.

Sun 03: The Central Bar Quartet @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The Central Bar Quartet plays Lou Donaldson’s Gravy Train. Featuring Jamie Toms.
Sun 03: Paul Skerritt @ Smith’s Arms, Carlton, Stockton-on-Tees. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: Johnny Hunter Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Jam session @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 04: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ People’s Kitchen, Bath Lane, Newcastle. From 5:30pm. On-street gig supporting the work of the People’s Kitchen charity. Wrap up warm! Donate!
Mon 04: Michael Young Trio w Lindsay Hannon @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm. Free.
Mon 04: James Birkett Trio @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.
Mon 04: Durham University Jazz Orchestra + Durham University Big Band @ Durham Castle DH1 3RW. 8:30pm. £6.00.; £5.00. concs; £4.00. DSM. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Tue 05: Customs House Big Band @ All Saints Church, Cleadon. 7:00pm. Concert in the church hall. BYOB.
Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Michael Young, Paul Grainger, Sid White. The best free show in town!

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 8:00pm. Free. Note later start time, concert performance (open to the public).
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free CANCELLED!
Thu 07: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay, Newcastle. 12 noon - 4:00pm. £26.00 (inc 3-course meal in in St Mary's Lighthouse Suite). SOLD OUT!
Thu 07: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm. All welcome.
Thu 07: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.Donations. Feat. Mark Sanders.
Thu 07: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00. Downstairs.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Woodland Village Hall, Bishop Auckland. 7:00pm. £12.00.
Fri 08: Sleep Suppressor + Redwell @ Head of Steam, Neville St., Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. adv); £5.00. student.
Fri 08: Hot Club du Nord @ St Cuthbert's Church, Shadforth, Co. Durham.
Fri 08: Têtes de Pois + Nauta @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £12.00., £8.00.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Orphy Robinson in conversation + Beck Hunters with Laura Cole & John Pope + Daniel Levin + Black Top with Mariam Rezaei @ The Lit & Phil - Oct. 1

(© Ken Drew)
Beck Hunters: Mick Beck (tenor sax, bassoon, whistles); Laura Cole (piano); Anton Hunter (guitar); John Pope (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums)

Beck Hunters, an established trio, with the addition of Laura Cole and John Pope got proceedings underway for Saturday Night at the Lit and Phil. 

Rarely is a bassoon  seen in a jazz context but Mick Beck employed this orchestral woodwind behemoth to marvellous effect yet that was only one of the many instruments employed by the doyen of the Sheffield improvised jazz scene. An ordinary whistle and a swanee whistle were also employed and of course the more conventional tenor saxophone. 

You would not have believed that this was the first time this band had played together. The music was absolutely exceptional as it flowed seamlessly throughout. Beck is a master saxophonist, the fabulous Hunter boys were fabulous as usual, festival favourite John Pope on double bass (by my calculations the  Pontiff will have participated on 5 of the 8 festival's days) was his usual ebullient self. Laura Cole on the piano was sensational. There was so much fantastic playing it was impossible who to select who to focus on as wonderful sounds seemed to be emanating from every  corner of the stage. A real great performance -  my favourite of the festival.

Daniel Levin (cello)

In keeping with the theme of instruments rarely seen in a jazz context the cello was featured in the solo spot of the night. Brooklyn based Daniel Levin is a one man activity centre. 

Every part of the cello is incorporated into his routine. Even the bow is used in a number of non-standard ways including swishing it through the air (as I was  seated literally in front of Levin  this was quite alarming as any miscalculation would have seen me floored) and using it as a stick to beat things with. Levin mixes classical passages with free improvisation and the percussive effects he manages to carve out from every part of the instrument  including the spike on the bottom of the cello was captivating.

The cello is more often than not associated with gentle and melancholy music. In the hands of Daniel Levin it is a brute of an instrument able to conjure up an exciting and exhilarating  musical and visual extravaganza.

Black Top: Orphy Robinson (xylosynth & electronics); Pat Thomas (piano & electronics); Mariam Rezaei (turntables).

(© Ken Drew)
The evening culminated with yet another unusual vehicle rarely, if ever, seen at a jazz gig. This time it was the turntables of Mariam Razaei. Black Top is the brainchild of Orphy Robinson and Pat Thomas and since its inception they have invited many guests to participate. Both Thomas and Robinson had their regular instruments but they also had electronic devices so to be honest at times it was hard to work out who was doing what with what but judging by the amount of activity on stage it appeared that Razaei was doing most of the hard yards as she frantically worked the dials and knobs of her music station.  

The band themselves describe their output as "archaic Nubian dubstep". I'm not sure what that means but what was witnessed was a high tech, high energy, high volume  celebration of improvised electronic composition.


(© Ken Drew)
At the start of the evening there was an  enjoyable conversation between Orphy Robinson and Corey Mwamba. I remember seeing Orphy Robinson in the Jazz Warriors in the 1980s' so it was a very enjoyable trip down memory lane for me. Robinson reminisced about his journey as a multi instrumentalist, composer and educator going as far back as his early school days in Hackney. As a youngster he used to take teaspoons up to his room at night to use them to practice with hoping he wouldn’t disturb the rest of the house. Of course they heard the disturbance and also noticed there was nothing to stir their tea with. Robinson has certainly had a fulfilling and illustrious  career to date and judging from his number of appearances in this festival fortunately shows no signs of slowing down. Steve H 

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