Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Art Blakey: "You [Bobby Watson] don't want to play too long, because you don't know they're clapping because they're glad you finished!" - (JazzTimes, Nov. 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!"


15848 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 855 of them this year alone and, so far, 53 this month (Sept. 18).

From This Moment On ...


Sat 23: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Tanfield Railway, Gateshead. 2:00-4:00pm. Free. A '1940s Weekend' event.
Sat 23: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn. 3:30-5:30pm. Free.
Sat 23: Andrew Porritt & Keith Barrett @ Cullercoats Watch House, Front St., Cullercoats NE30 4QB. 7:00pm.
Sat 23: Michael Woods @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. Country blues.

Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 24: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.

Mon 25: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 25: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm.

Tue 26: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.

Wed 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 27: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 27: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 28: Alice Grace Quartet @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Free.
Thu 28: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm. All welcome.
Thu 28: Faye MacCalman + Snape/Sankey @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 28: Zoe Rahman @ Jesmond United Reformed Church, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 28: '58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 28: Speakeasy @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A Southpaw Dance Company presentation. Dance, audio-visuals, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, swing dancers etc.
Thu 28: Mick Cantwell Band @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Ace blues band.
Thu 28: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 29: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 29: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 29: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Saturday, June 03, 2023

Reflections on N'Warlins

An American work colleague told me she loves the way English people say New Orleans. I’ve adopted – if not an Englishman's - a European’s spelling N’Warlins by Zawinul from a Syndicate cut. The folks  there wish you Happy Festival like we greet each other at Christmas here. The weather reports refer specifically to the Festival.

The first morning we got there early just in case there was any trouble securing passes. All sorted we found a café with four ladies sat outside and occupied the table next to them. Gradually more people arrived and a makeshift bar appeared next to the portaloo we hadn’t previously noticed. Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters album was playing from the café. As the crowds grew a police car arrived and the officer closed the road. An elderly chap arrived with his walker and a bag of weed he’d liberated from his daughter in exchange for three bottles of beer.   

The first day we were there from start to finish but gradually went in a little later each day. Storms on day 2 were all over the news and I thought they may have made the UK news but didn’t. E-Mails home were backed up for a day and the festival opening was delayed by two hours, but the heat remained.


Day 3 we went to Congo Square and on day 4 made our first venture into the French Quarter. Bus journeys were like a sitcom and if I didn’t sit with Mrs T some other chap generally would, high fives when he realised we are an item. The bus took us to a streetcar (we desired) which took us to Canal Street where we alighted at Bourbon Street in all its gory.


We were warned not to venture there in the early hours but that was never an option - maybe thirty years ago. We criss-crossed it daily, observed the clean-up operation and had a not very good meal there. Music played constantly and most venues had bands changing over regularly throughout the day and night, mostly high quality covers bands with slightly more adventurous repertoires but seldom jazz.


We were also warned that Frenchman Street could be sleazy too and more secluded and only wandered up during the day, but at the airport home, heard stories of live sex shows. Maybe thirty years ago.


No jazzer is going to miss the Jazz Museum, though probably over-priced at $8. A section on the development of the drum, a section on Kid Ory and lots of pictures of the Festival through the years. I could have spent a fortune in the shop, on CDs, books, T shirts and pictures, eventually coming out with a book on New Orleans Soul – not one of the very biggest cities for soul music but a significant contributor none the less.


A cruise up Ole Miss on an old riverboat is essential to any trip to N’Warlins, complete with white Dixie trio complete with all the clichés but man they could play. This was also the scene of my first alcoholic drink since the free bar on the plane out.


Much is made of food and drink, especially at the festival, but it seemed more trouble than it's worth, and the vendors seemed to think it was worth a lot. Mrs T is no great foodie and the one occasion we got a meal each, I ended up eating both. I’m assured the ladies' facilities were lovely but the gents were revolting – don’t look down.


On the final night we decided to splash out on the most expensive meal we’ve ever had. We found a Cheers type bar in the centre and our very own version of Carla - and a resident jazz group. We had been told it was sax, piano, bass and drums but I'm always pleased to hear a guitarist instead of a piano. Some straight jazz and some mid-seventies Crusaders and instrumental George Benson – they must have known we were coming. Steve T   



Lance said...

I give up Steve - call New Orleans whatever you want to call it. At home people refer to Jarrow and Hebburn as Jarra and Hebbin but that is the local dialect. I'm sure that our tourists (we had three last year) pronounce the names correctly. Irrespective, I've enjoyed your reports from the Crescent City/Big Easy immensely and I'm green with envy (if envy can have a colour) not to have been there.

Russell said...

How many days where you in New Orleans/N'Awlins/N'Warlins/Crescent City/Big Easy before you had a drink?

Steve T said...

I never had a drink at the festival - too hot and too much hassle. A trickster gave me a bottle on the bus (in an attempt to get me in bother) but we couldn't locate a bottle opener so it remained in the hotel fridge when we left. He gave me a can the following night which I drank at the pool. I drank the last two nights - does this mean I'm becoming a grownup.

Blog Archive