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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 ...


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: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). Tickets: £25.00. inc. buffet. A Gatsby themed evening.
Thu 30: Jools Holland's R & B Orchestra @ Newcastle City Hall. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. Guest band night: Mark Toomey Quintet (Mark Toomey, sax; Paul Donnelly, guitar; Jeremy McMurray, keys; Peter Ayton, bass; Mark Robertson, drums). 9:00pm.

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Paul Skerritt @ All Saints’ Church, Eastgate, Co. Durham. 7:00pm. Xmas Tree Fest.
Fri 01: Alligator Gumbo @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01: Nu Sound Brass @ Billy Bootlegger’s, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy w. Jim Murray @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

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: 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!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Customs House Big Band @ the Customs House, South Shields - June 16

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times* and the best of times were at the Customs House in South Shields where the band who were originally formed as a community band at the historic building  returned to where it all began for their annual concert.

CHBB don't cover the big band legends such as Miller, Goodman, Shaw, Basie,  Ellington, Herman or Kenton but lean more towards Sammy Nestico and Gordon Goodwin who seem to be the buzz names on the current big band scene. 

The opening It's Alright With me swung along comfortably with  solos from Marshall and Bentham as well as a 'handbags at dawn' duel between the pair.

More alto solos from Marshall  on A Wonderful Day Like Today and Indiana, the latter having some precision section work by the saxes, before it was time for the ever popular Ruth Lambert to sing a couple of numbers.

Ruth, wearing a glitzy, green gown and looking as glam as ever took the tried and tested route of I Get a Kick Out of You and Mambo Italiano drawing molto applausi from the audience.

Guitarist Johnston composed and arranged I Miss You which had a fine flugelhorn solo by Robinson as well as good guitar by the composer.

After Horace Silver's Song For my Father, Ruth returned for Too Darn Hot and Teach me Tonight before the set finished with Pavanne and Goodwin's There's the Rub.

A quick slurp of Swedish Blonde in the Steamboat then back across the cobbles for the second set and time for me to hold up my hand and confess that Summertime isn't such a bad tune after all - not when it's played like this! An uptempo blast that included an excellent, stompingly fine tenor solo by Joanne Adams.

Moonlight in Vermont as a bossa featured Bentham and Maynard Ferguson's Spirit of  St Frederick (as we were in South Shields it could have been re-titled Spirit of Frederick St) had some high notes from Cracket.

Ruth gave us Fever, Embraceable You and later on Get Happy. Other numbers during this second set were Fall Madness, Brush Taps (Paul Smith feature), When You're Smiling and Charlie the Whale.

The evening finished with Ruth singing Alright, Okay, You Win. It had been a good concert held together by MD Morgan's laconic introductions to the various numbers. See you again next year. Lance.

*The worst of times? At the bus stop when a guy who hadn't been to the concert but had seemingly done several laps around the local hostelries regurgitated the contents of his evening out missing my suede shoes by inches!

Stephen Cracket, Ian Robinson, Ben Chinery, Alan Catherall (trumpets, flugel); Dave Brocklesby, Eddie Bellis. Michael Fletcher (trombones); Peter Morgan (bass trombone, MD); Alan Marshall (alto sax, soprano sax, Flute);  Sue Hurrell (alto sax); Josh Bentham, Joanne Adams (tenor sax); Chris Kaberry (bari sax); John Stephenson (piano); Bradley Johnston (guitar); Paul Carr (bass guitar); Paul Smith (drums); Ruth Lambert (vocals).

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