Reviews 2014

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Broom Bezzums

Paul Matthews 14 February 2014

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Before I go on about yet another super night at the Woodman, let me briefly tell you a bit about Broom Bezzums. They are Andrew Caddie (Vocals, fiddle, guitar & Northumbrian Small Pipes) and Mark Bloomer (vocals, Guitar, Mandola & bass drum) both from the UK but now based in Germany. They occasionally feature the vocals of Katie Doherty, who has fortunately joined them on this UK tour. Mark was in various pop, punk and indie bands before deciding to get back to his roots. He ended up in Ireland, where he stayed for 4 years before moving to Germany. Andrew was moved to play traditional music, by having a pipe band marching through his Northumbrian village, and being at his dad’s sing-alongs at the local pubs. After studying guitar, and fiddle at uni, he played with Katie in a 3 piece outfit called ‘Rolla Penny’. Mark and Andrew briefly met in Germany in 2005 and formed ‘Broom Bezzums’ in 2006. Together they have released 4 albums and last year a 4trk EP, so they have a very good and varied repertoire.

So on with the nights entertainment, and playing to a packed house, Bryn introduced Barry & Corrine, club regulars singing ‘Not That Different’ and the classic ‘Rosemary’s Sister’. Velvet Green then took the stage and performed a self penned and topical song ‘Rainy Days’ and Nell Bryden’s ‘Goodbye’.

Bryn invited Broom Bezzums onto the stage and even after the first song, you knew you were going to be in for a super night. You could see both Mark and Andrew were competent and happy with their instruments. Katie, who is the 3rd occasional member, filled in the bits in between with her delicate yet strong vocals and great harmonies, which complimented the songs.
Their first number was ‘Working men’, with the most popular line up of Andrew on fiddle and Mark on acoustic guitar and occasional bass drum. They followed this with a sea chanty (Keep Hauling), and got the crowd joining in on the chorus (Keep Hauling boys). This was followed by 4 jigs from Northumberland, and then Andrew strapped on his Northumbria small pipes to give us 4 songs. After the vocal ‘Bonny Brown Hair’, came ‘Alston Flower Show’, ‘Stagshaw Bank fair’ and ‘The Lads of Alnwick’. Katie told us the tale about two Princess sisters in love with the same man. One jealous Princess pushed her sister in the river to drown, only to return as a Magic harp and tell all in music that her sister had killed her. This song was called ‘The Ballad of Binnorie’, and after a medley of reels half time was upon us and it was time to get a drink and buy a CD.

Before the Woodman raffle, Bryn Phillips started the 2nd half with the song ‘Treacle Town’, and then treated us to his song ‘When Pacquiao Fights Again’ about Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao.

Bryn introduced Broom Bezzums to continue the 2nd half entertainment, and the trio gave us songs: Columbus Stockade Blues, Rain & Snow, Heaven Help Us All, Wild Mountain Side, the Driftwood set of jigs and the song ‘Wine From A Mug’ written by Mark. He dedicated this to family and friends who were amongst the appreciative audience. After a love song in German ‘Und wenn ein lied’, they played the rousing ‘A Soulin’ which got the audience tapping clapping and rattling shakers. The encore of ‘There Ain’t Nobody That Can Sing Like Me’ ended a most enjoyable set and brilliant nights entertainment.

To quote a swiss critic, who once wrote: “Broom Bezzums don’t just play their music they live It,” and after tonight you can see he was right.