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Bebop Spoken There

Abbie Finn: "Even though there's a lot of great work being done to promote women in jazz, I still come up against some attitudes! I pulled up at a recording session with my drums in the car and the studio owner said, 'I'm sorry, this space is reserved for the drummer!'" - (Jazzwise April 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!"


15229 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 248 of them this year alone and, so far, 61 this month (March 20).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 4:00-6:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcasatle. From 6:30pm 'til late. Free. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Thu 23: Kerrin Tatman + John Garner & John Pope @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: Sunna Gunnlaugs & Julia Hülsmann @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm. A two-piano gig. A Sage Gateshead-JNE promotion.
Thu 23: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano.
Thu 23: Sleep Suppressor @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00., £8.00. adv. Upstairs.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Mo' Better Blues @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.
Fri 24: Ian Millar & Dominic Spencer @ Scarth Hall, Staindrop, Co. Durham. 8:00pm. £10.00.
Fri 24: Archipelago + Bulbils @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.

Sat 25: Vermont Big Band @ Walker Community Centre, Walker, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Fundraiser for Benfield Juniours Football Club. Hot food available, BYOB.
Sat 25: John Logan & Friends @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Rat Pack, Motown etc. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Outlines @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion (upstairs).

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 28: Sanaz Lavasani Trio @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. £12.00 (£10.00. adv).

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Saturday, March 04, 2023

The Great North Big Band Jazz Festival - Friday March 3

If it's Park View Community Centre in Chester-le-Street, it can only be one thing, that's the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival! Yes, the GNBBJF is celebrating its twentieth year and Friday's opening concert presented Musicians Unlimited and a specially formed Festival Big Band. The weather was kind (dry and mild), perhaps a crucial factor in pulling an audience. And a good crowd duly turned up. The bar was open, programmes detailing the weekend's schedule were available, seats were taken, we were all set to go.

Mick Donnelly has been running Musicians Unlimited for, well, a very long time. Based on Teesside, the band, having recently returned to its long time base, the Park Inn, Hartlepool, opened in some style. Donnelly conducts the ensemble with vigour and no little humour. Big hitters peppered the ranks - Josh Bentham, tenor sax, Sue Ferris, tenor sax, Mark Toomey, alto sax, Dave Brocklesby and Terry O'Hern, trombones, Kevin Eland and Bill Watson, trumpets and a purring rhythm section comprising Paul Donnelly, guitar, Rick Laughlin, piano, Mick Shoulder, bass and drummer John Bradford. And not forgetting the vocalists...first up, Paul Skerritt singing That's Life

Charts old and older were dusted off, including On Green Dolphin Street which has been in the pad for twenty years and more. Emancipation Blues highlighted the ensemble's top class brass players, In the Mood (the Doc Severinsen arrangement) rattled along with Ferris and Toomey trading for fun. And not forgetting the band's other vocalist...Jan SpencelayhThey Can't Take That Away from Me sang Jan, later returning to the stage to cheekily suggest Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps. Mr S (Paul Skerritt) bowed out with a tremendous version of Georgia (the late Dave Connolly's arrangement for the band). Musicians Unlimited closed the show with a showstopper, featuring Sue Ferris' flute on Tito Puente's Oye Como Va.

Earlier in the evening the GNBBJF's Festival Big Band presented an accessible, entertaining opening set. The six-strong female reeds were directed by MD Bill Watson (moving from the trumpet section to front of stage and back again), the brass boys more than up to the job - Tom Hill and Gordon Marshall in the trumpet section, Terry O'Hern in the bones and a familiar looking piano, bass and drums rhythm section (see Musicians Unlimited). 

From Bill Bailey (a saxophone section feature) to Cute, a drum feature (cue John Bradford) to Gordon Marshall playing beautifully on You Stepped Out of a Dream to Barbara Fagan's alto sax feature on Harlem Nocturne, the Festival Big Band (very much an occasional band) did the job and more. To close a most enjoyable set, pianist Rick Laughlin brought in Sammy Nestico's swinging arrangement of Sweet Georgia Brown. It had been a cracking start to the 2023 GNBBJF. Day two (Saturday) presents a slew of senior big bands in competition mode from 11:00am.  Russell

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