top of page


'Friends' Launch Review

Photography: John Lyons

SHAZAM! The band blew triple fortissimo and I feared for the safety of the roof. My fears were compounded with a blistering baritone solo by Alan Barnes. This was it - the real McCoy. The tune was Sweet and Lovely and it was all that and more. 1-0.

KAPOW! Pete Kelly's Blues delivered by Bruce Adams. If the roof had already been in peril it was now well and truly dispatched as trumpet ace Adams hit notes that only dogs and Anderson cats could hear. 2-0.

WHAM! Devil May Care sang the slinky gowned Ruth Lambert who, with an assist from Keith Robinson on alto, made it 3-0.  

ZAP! Daisy Mae and some fancy fluting from Paul Booth. He scored so maybe Daisy did! 4-0.

YEAH! Shouted someone a few seats away after Barnes had returned for an alto blast on Airegin. He played it every which way but backwards. 5-0.

WOW! No other reaction was possible after Booth's soprano solo on his own Twitterbug Waltz. 6-0. 

BAP! Bruce, Alan and Paul took advantage of the departed ceiling to give us a taste of what Moonlight in Vermont is like as there certainly wasn't any in Sunderland this memorable evening. As Vermont is a few thousand miles away they played it a lot faster than the norm which didn't do it any harm at all. 9-0.

MORE! The cry rung out and it was answered by one and all with Birk's Works. Apart from the headliners there were solos from guitar, trombone and Matt Forster on tenor. The score? By this time I'd lost count.

If you weren't there, buy the album. If you were there, buy the album.

~ Lance, Bebop Spoken Here

First set: Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit (Bruce, Alan, Paul); Softly as in a Morning Sunrise (Bruce); Cool Struttin' (Graham); Love For Sale (Ruth); Comes Love (Ruth); Light my Fire (arr. Paul); The Midnight Sun Will Never Set (Alan); Twin Flame (Paul & Michael).

*Michael Lamb (MD, trumpet, arranger); Dick Stacey, Billy Bradshaw, Pete Tanton (trumpets); Kieran Parnaby, Mark Ferris, Chris Kurgi-Smith, John Flood (trombones); Steve Summers, Keith Robinson  (alto sax/flute); Jamie Toms (tenor sax/clarinet); Matt Forster  (tenor sax/flute); Sue Ferris (baritone sax/bass clarinet); Graham Don (piano); Pawel  Jedrzejewski (guitar); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums)

4 views0 comments


bottom of page