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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.


16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 13: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00. Upstairs.
Thu 13: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s, Middlesbrough. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Jazz Guys @ Tynedale Beer & Cider Festival, Corbridge. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 13: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band: Musicians Unlimited

Fri 14: Mark Williams Trio @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 14: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 14: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. ‘Ella & Ellington’. 7:30pm. £18.00.
Fri 14: Customs House Big Band @ Customs House, South Shields. 7:30pm. Donations (online, min. £3.00.).

Sat 15: Keith Barrett & Andrew Porritt @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 12 noon. Free. A Cullercoats Festival event.
Sat 15: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 15: James Birkett & Emma Fisk @ Sunderland Minster. 7:30pm. £15.00., £8.00. (u16s free). ‘The Great American Songbook’. A Bishopwearmouth Choral Society event, conductor David Murray.
Sat 15: Jude Murphy & Dan Stanley @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 16: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 1:00-2:45pm. Free.
Sun 16: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 16: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 16: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Maze feat. Frankie Beverly Live In New Orleans... one of the iconic live soul albums, though on this side of the pond we know the best time and space to see them was the eighties at Hammersmith Odeon. Frankie Beverly knows this too.

By the time they arrived in the TV studios in '83 his voice  was shot, but those of us who’d just seen them (and I’d seen them three times) forgave him because we knew he gave 1000% night after night. I saw them at the end of the nowties and his voice was shot then and recently saw an interview where he conceded this was the price of him giving everything but claims he still does it because people want him to and forgive him and the audience sing all the words anyway.

Many things got me to N’Awlins but if there’d been just one, it would be the opportunity to see Maze one last time, and in the city they recorded the album that took them to another level. By the final day we’d decided we were going to concentrate entirely on this show. If Mrs T was prepared to sacrifice Tom Jones I was prepared to accept I’m just not destined to see Herbie Hancock after many near misses over many years. At the entrances to the jazz tent people were jockeying for positions in the hope that they may catch a glimpse of, probably the greatest living jazz musician still performing, on one of the screens.

The situation on the Congo Stage was equally desperate. It looked like the entire black population of Louisiana had descended on the festival with their one-day pass, each armed with a chair, and a table per family. We found a space where we could just about see one of the screens. The warm-up act was a DJ and our seated neighbours seemed to accept us when they realised we knew all the words to all the songs, one lady referring to me as a soul man, though I’d have felt safer if they’d flashed the video for Too Many Games on the screen, complete with me shaking hands with Frankie Beverly at Hammersmith Odeon in 1985.


When they finally arrived it became clear his voice was even worse than I imagined and he seemed frail compared to recent footage. None of the classic band remained and he didn’t introduce them, rap with the audience or reference N’Awlins. It became clear that many hadn’t realised his voice wasn’t what it used to be which enabled us to gradually move forward and really get into the party. His voice improved for a while from the funky Runnin’ Away and the spectacle of tens of thousands of people grooving and singing along, small kids, old folks, and cool dudes dancing in unison in small groups across the field. I was certain they’d play the almost entirely instrumental Twilight which they recorded two versions of and was a part of their set, but he would generally play piano on it and didn’t play piano or guitar at all during the set.

The final track was I Wanna Thank You and in many respects I did this to say thank you: for the music, the memories, the best five (out of nine) gigs I ever saw. Maze were the tail-end of the classic soul/funk bands but I find young people more interested in them than the more heavyweight bands who came before, largely due to his extraordinary unique soulful voice but also because, across a little over nine studio albums worth, there really isn’t a bad track. I suspect Black America’s best kept secret may become less of a secret in the future. Steve T            

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