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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...


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 ...


Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:30pm. £7.50.
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: Revolutionaires @ The Water House, North Road, Durham. 4:00pm. Rock 'n' roll excellence! Line-up inc. Pete Tanton.
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. CANCELLED!
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.

Sat 09: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Sat 09: Abbie Finn Trio @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 09: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Middleton & Todridge Village Hall, Morpeth. 7:30pm. £12.00., £6.00.
Sat 09: Paul Skerritt @ Slaley Hall, Hexham NE47 0BX. 7:30pm. From £42.00.

Monday, May 08, 2023

Preview: Hexham Jazz Festival (May 12-14)

Post-pandemic, and after many a year, in 2022 Hexham Jazz Festival returned to the Northumberland market town. Way back when, the late Ray Brown and co were at the helm, now, with a new management team in place, this year's event looks bigger and better than ever. Beginning on Friday (May 12) the festival is set to expand its activities with concerts once again in Hexham Abbey and, this year, in Queen's Hall on Beaumont Street. Additional performances are scheduled to take place in the grounds of the Abbey, fingers crossed the weather is kind! Throw in a couple of masterclass sessions at Core Music on Gilesgate and an intriguing film presentation at the Forum Cinema and it's beginning to look something like a proper jazz festival!
On Friday evening Paul Edis opens this year's festival in Hexham Abbey with a performance by his acclaimed Ushaw Ensemble. Previous performances in suitably ecclesiastical venues - Ushaw on the outskirts of Durham and off the north Northumberland coast on Holy Island (Lindisfarne) - attracted considerable interest, not to mention large audiences, and this festival concert (7:00pm) is likely to do likewise. The Ushaw Ensemble is a star-studded affair including Northumbrian piper Andy May and violin virtuoso Emma Fisk. Recommended. Following the Ushaw Ensemble at half past eight, An evening with Rachel Sutton presents vocalist Rachel Sutton with her A-list trio featuring pianist Roland Perrin, bassist Andy Champion and drummer Steve Hanley. It all adds up to a superb start to the 2023 Hexham Jazz Festival!

Saturday (May 13) it's Hexham Abbey once again for another double bill. At seven o'clock Freddie Benedict takes to the stage with a 'who's who' of a band! Emerging from his role as vocalist with the renowned National Youth Jazz Orchestra and sellout concerts at Ronnie Scott's, Benedict will be accompanied by Paul Edis, piano, Jamie McCredie, guitar, APPJAG winner Emma Rawicz, saxophone, bassist extraordinaire Andy Champion and drummer, the redoubtable Steve Hanley. The publicity blurb reads: ...a perfectly mixed cocktail of cool jazz standards and Brazilian sambas. Rest assured, it'll be much, much more than that! And you'll really get your money's worth with the evening's closing concert featuring the wonderful Jo Harrop. Originally from Chester-le-Street, Jo is currently riding the crest of a wave with a series of sell out shows around the country and the little matter of a successful recent trip to the Big Apple. Join Jo and the 'house band' (see Freddie Benedict) at 8:30pm. And if you're up for it, at 10:30pm Jazz FM's Nigel Williams will present a DJ set in the Great Hall.

Earlier on Saturday, there is an opportunity to attend masterclass events at Core Music. At 11:00am Freddie Benedict, accompanied by pianist Paul Edis, conducts a workshop aimed at aspiring singers. Emma Rawicz follows at two o'clock, again in the company of Paul Edis, to lead a saxophone workshop. Places are limited, be sure to book in advance.   

On Sunday (May 14) the action moves away from Hexham Abbey as the Forum Cinema and Queen's Hall are pressed into action. At three o'clock there is a rare screening of Ernest Lubitsch's 1921 film The Wild Cat. What's more, Graeme Wilson has bee commissioned to write a score for the occasion. Join Graeme, Paul Edis, bassist Paul Susans and drummer Steve Hanley for what promises to be an intriguing, one-off experience.

Queen's Hall hosts the closing event of the 2023 Hexham Jazz Festival. Guitarist Joe Steels leads his Borealis sextet comprising local lad (and superstar in the making), trumpeter Ferg Kilsby, vocalist Asha Nicholson, and the fine rhythm section of Dan Brown, piano, Paul Susans, bass and Berklee graduate drummer John Hirst. And to close, it's a real blockbuster with none other than Claire Martin and Jamie Safir in concert! Claire, get this for an endorsement - She ranks amongst the four or five finest female jazz vocalists on the planet  (Jazz Times) - will be on stage with pianist Jamie in what promises to be a memorable closing concert. 

Hexham Jazz Festival in partnership with Hampstead Jazz Club is presented in association with Hexham RotaryNorthumberland County Council and Hexham Town Council. Ticket options are available from the box office, see: Russell      

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