Ex Extreme – Splinter @ The Bridge – Sun 27th Jan 2013

It was great night from Ex Extreme.

Stuart Collingwood – keyboards
Stuart Davies – bass
Steve Wall – drums
Pete Tanton – trumpet and fluegelhorn
Mark Williams – guitar

The opener, “This ‘n That” written by Stuart Davies, can be seen and heard on our youtube channel and is on the link below. Mark Williams and Stuart Collingwood really rip it up on this one.
If you want to watch it fullscreen, please change the quality to 1080p by clicking on the cog thing (very technical eh?) at the bottom of the video after it starts. If your broadband connection is poor, just watch in small screen.

I’ll be uploading quite a few more videos over the next few days. It would be great if our regulars could share them to others and spread the word about Splinter @ The Bridge.

In this day and age, it is a great venue for both local musicians and jazz afficionados alike, and needs support to continue providing the opportunity for jazz, especially in the North East.

Ex Extreme are a great example of quality musicianship, both individually and as a unit. All of their numbers are self written, and vary from straight ahead jazz, funk, latin, blues, swing, ballads – in fact I heard influences from the 50’s to present day with even a bit of classical a la Jarrett at the beginning of Stuart Collingwood’s number “Bananas”. You’ll see it soon.

All in all, a great night, and I hate to say it (again), but it deserved a bigger crowd!

This Sunday, the 3rd February, we are pleased to host the Nick Svark Organ trio. If you want to see and hear one of the best modern guitarists around, supported by equally talented musicians, I’ll see you at The Bridge Hotel in Newcastle this Sunday!

Please make a note – there is no Splinter @ The Bridge on Sunday the 10th February. We will resume normal service the week after on the 17th February with the Claire Kelly Trio.
Another great night to look forward to.

zoe gilby quartet – scarborough jazz

The Zoe Gilby Quartet
Scarborough Jazz at The Cask

by Dick Armstrong


Vocalist Zoe Gilby and her band gave an evening of excellent
entertainment at Scarborough Jazz on the 23rd January. This was their
second visit and it was notable that their repertoire included more
original songs than on their first appearance. This demonstrates –
quite rightly – their confidence in such material.

Some of these songs are inspired by novels: ‘ The Midnight Bell’
describes a fictional pub that sounds worth a visit. ‘Guilty Man ‘ and
‘On The Edge’ also had their inspiration from novels, while ‘ Your
Words’ was a recollection of disillusioned love. Zoe’s first
impressions of Marrakech were captured in ‘Red City’.

Scattered throughout both sets were better known standards that were
well chosen and every number had clever arrangements and good

With Zoe were Mark Williams – guitar, Richard Brown – drums and
husband Andy Champion on double bass. They have all been together
long enough to have melded into a swinging unit with great personal

Zoe is interesting when introducing the numbers, either telling how
they came about or recalling who she first heard singing it. In the
case of ‘Some Cats Know’ it was Peggy Lee, and Zoe gave it a
wonderfully sultry feel. Only ‘Halfway To Heaven’ seemed to to have a
vague attribution, as she came across the song on the internet without
any provenance. It is a fun, raunchy song, whoever wrote it.

The evening had too many highlights for them all to be mentioned, but
I would like to applaud the courage in opening the first set with a
very slow ballad sung over only a bowed bass accompaniment.

That seemed to epitomise Zoe Gilby’s self confidence and flair. Come to
think of it, I never heard her ask for a starting note or glance at a
lyric sheet once during the entire session!

I’m sure that I speak for the very appreciative audience when I say
that I look forward to the next visit by this remarkable band.

Ex-Extreme, this sunday 27th January

We have a great night to look forward to this Sunday when Ex-Extreme are appearing at The Bridge Hotel in Newcastle.

The band gave a blistering performance last year so no doubt we can look forward to more of the same this time.

So if you want to see and hear some of our best local jazz musicians, we’ll see you there!

Doors open at 7.30pm
Performance from 8.15(ish)pm
Entrance fee £6 (if you are a known attendee and you introduce a “new face”, there is a 50% reduction in your entrance fee)
Sorry – no wheelchair access


The Bridge Hotel,
Castle Square,
Newcastle Upon Tyne,
Tyne and Wear,

The Debra Milne Ensemble – Splinter @ The Bridge Sunday 20th January 2013

Debra Milne – vocals
Steve Glendinning – guitar
Paul Susans – double bass
Rob Bates – drums

debra milne ensemble

The first night of the new Splinter season was, I am pleased to say, better attended than anticipated (bad weather) and with a lot of new faces! The heavy snow didn’t hinder a good start to our 2013 jazz calendar. A mix of original numbers co-written by either/and/or Steve Glendinning (guitar), Paul Susans (double bass) and Debra, allied to some established standards that had been adapted to the style of the ensemble made it an enjoyable start to the 2013 season. Debra had a great platform on which she could deliver her unique vocal skills.  Steve Glendinning’s guitar work and Paul Susan’s bass playing, underpinned by the sensitive and dependable drumming of Rob Bates would ensure any frontman/woman could ply their abilities with confidence. Debra’s lyrical contribution to a few jazz standards also demonstrated the creative element of her abilities, with “Killer Joe” certainly getting the treatment.  The night ended with her self-penned “Jazz Caff Song” – all about the late Keith Crombie and his establishment on Pink Lane in Newcastle City centre, which had been the springboard and creative outlet for many new and established jazz artists from the North East over the years – now closed.

Next week, Sunday the 27th January at 8pm, we will be hosting Ex-Extreme,  a great night to look forward to with some of the best of our local jazz musicians at Splinter @ The Bridge. See you there!


Congratulations to ACV and Djangologie


Jazz North recently advertised they were looking to recruit up to twelve bands to be ambassadors for the Northern jazz scene between January 2013 – March 2014 as part of “northern line”, a new model for supporting touring for northern jazz musicians across the north. I am pleased to announce that Andy Champion’s band ACV were amongst the successful applicants as were Djangologie, another band seen regularly at Splinter @ The Bridge and other local venues. Well done to you and the other 10 bands from the north of England that have been selected. ACV can be seen and heard at www.acvband.co.uk and Djangologie have a facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/djangologie

Splinter @ The Bridge – new season starts on Sunday January 20th

For this season only – any previous splinter visitor that comes to gigs and brings someone that hasn’t been before, the person introducing the visitor will gain entry at half price. Let’s keep jazz alive in the North East! Thanks in advance for your support.

Sunday January 20th – Debra Milne Ensemble

debra milne ensemble

Doors 7:30
Entry £6
No wheelchair access.

The full list of artists and dates will be online shortly. It will be great to see you!

Jazz and improvised music – every Sunday at The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle.

All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group Awards 2013 – nomination form

Voting is now open for the 2013 All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group Awards! Just use the link below to nominate your choices for the nine categories in this years awards. The eventual winners will be selected from these nominations by the awards’ judging panel, and the final winners will be announced at a ceremony at the House of Commons on Wednesday 8th May.

Please note: voting closes at 12 noon on Monday 4th February 2013

The Parliamentary Jazz Awards is organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG), and supported by PPL in conjunction with Jazz Services, Jazz UK, Jazzwise, and the Jazz Section of the Musicians’ Union.

Vote for your favourite (local, preferably – and we have lots of them) jazz artist/band HERE

We know that John Prescott likes the Paul Edis Sextet. Use this opportunity to vote for, and promote your favourite!