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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...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 24: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 24: Remy CB @ The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor NE2 3NH. 5:00-7:00pm.

Tue 25: Louise Dodds & Elchin Shirinov @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 26: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 26: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: The Joni Project @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Joni Mitchell.
Thu 27: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 27: Loco House Band @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass)

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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