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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Abate: "So many sounds are ugly now. There are no harmonics, no chords. What do people hear these days? Why do things have to change from that good music?" (JazzTimes June/July 2022)

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:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14378 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 597 of them this year alone and, so far, 2 this month (July 2).

From This Moment On ...

July

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 03 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 03: Ruth Lambert & Martin Craggs @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Wild Women of Wylam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jazz Jam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 06: Michael Bublé @ Durham County Cricket Club, Chester le Street. Doors: 5:00pm.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 07: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 07: Lara Jones + Echo Juliet @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 07: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free admission (donations).
Thu 07: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 08: Alex Clarke Quartet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
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.

Sat 09: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival: Zoë Gilby Duo (12 noon); Vieux Carré Jazzmen (1:35pm); Harmony Brass (3:10pm); Ruth Lambert Quartet (4:40pm). Outdoor stage adjacent to Tynemouth Priory.

The John Potts Story


Ted Fry of the notorious Figleaf Jazz Band passed your e mail on to me. So great to hear from you. You say from a website people are hunting me down – hope it’s not collection agencies after the 3 quid I borrowed from Joe Shenton in 1951. You are right about the College of the Venereal Bede connection – we were there at the same time – moi from 57-59. Do you remember GE Selby of the English department – he tolerated some of our more bizarre interests in eng lit. Keith Oglesby was my room buddy and he had the entire Frank Sinatra Capitol recordings at the time – big influence in later years.
I think 1957 was the year I started with the River City Jazz Band of Newcastle. In the early 1950s I had started with Tojo’s Jazzmen from Gosforth with me on mandolele (cross between mandolin and ukulele) and Tojo on bass trombone – we played Norrie Paramour arrangements – the reedman played an A clarinet while the rest of us were in Bb so we had some very advanced dissonance for the time! A little later I played banjo in Clem Avery’s Jazzmen with Peter Cole on piano – we were both at Heaton Grammar where there was quite a bit of jazz – and pitched fisticuffs between the trad jazz maniacs and the Stan Kenton aficionados.
Around 1952 Peter Cole and I formed a band with Johnny Handle on piano (he later moved on to folk and the High Level Ranters) with Colin Beale on clarinet and Chas Cole on drums, Pog Hall on banjo. We played some dances at All Saints Youth Club in Gosforth. Called up for 2 years in the RAF 54-56.  
Meanwhile Ray Shenton, Herbie Hudson and Harry Stevenson who had heard us at All Saints were involved in a mouth organ band called the Harmonica Hoodlums coached by Maxie Share who had a music store in the Grainger Market. After I got demobbed I was working as a porter at Newcastle Central Station when this bloke told me on a coffee break that the only other person he knew who wore orange crepe sole shoes was a geek called John Potts. By this time heavily bearded I confessed that it was indeed I. Ray said that they had recently formed a band called The River City and that their trumpet player had just been called up for national service and was I interested in playing for them – did Harold Wilson vote labour!! – of course I joined up right away and played with them until 1962. Great fun years with Ray Shenton on the oldest tuba in western Europe, Joe Shenton on washboard, Herbie Hudson trombone, Harry Stevenson on clarinet, Brian Sampson on drums, Colin Hopper on banjo and self on trumpet.
Ray Shenton tracked me down through the Figleaf Jazz Band website and we have corresponded a few times and exchanged photographs of the early River City.
I was married in 1960 with a sweetheart I met at the Downbeat Club in Newcastle. With two kids we headed off to teach in Cadiz Spain in 1962. Returned to Gateshead in 1963 for a year then off to Ankara Turkey to teach for 4 years before emigrating to Canada with 5 kids (a Canuck baby added in 1974). Didn’t play any jazz until about 1973 when my mom-in-law brought my trumpet from  Blighty. I had no case and carried it around in a paper bag. Fell in with the early Figleaf Jazz Band about this time – by coincidence the piano player is Geoff Mulholland from Walker, Tyneside (didn’t know him in the UK), Roger Kerslake trombone played with various bands in Devon before coming to Canada. Ted Fry drums and Dildo Dave banjo were mates in Toronto recently deported to the Great Frozen North for unsavory behaviour. Bass player Bruce Rumble was at the time an acne blighted teenager – now in appalling physical decline like the rest of us. 28 years later the band still has the same personnel although we have gone through several reed players two of whom passed on to celestial (or otherwise) endeavours some time ago.
Glad to hear that the Ashington Jazz Club is going strong. Perhaps you can send me some stories about jazz in the northeast. The 1970s and early 80s were the halcyon days for the Figleafs – bars, ski clubs, restaurants often 4 or 5 times a week. In recent years there has been little interest in trad jazz and we are regarded as pre-Jurassic dinosaurs. The band gets a few summer jobs in parks and plays the Simcoe County Jazz Society once a year. I play mostly now with a group called Moonglow which as a trio concentrates on swing style while as a duo (plus computer) play senior citizen residences – standards (Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers-Hart), Irish, Scottish, Newfoundland, novelty songs.
You were pretty accurate guessing my age – actually I’m 75 pushing 76. I would love to hear about your adventures since Bede College.I think you found the figleaf website which also has a link to Moonglow. If you listen to the musical examples you will hear that my excruciating tone has deteriorated over the years and my pathetic technique is even more pitiable.
http://www.figleafjazz.com/
page7.htm
http://rstrathdee.com/
moonglow/
John Potts (pottsi with a small pee.)
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Original post. from George Simpson.

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