Friday, 13 December 2013

Brooms flying home

Germany’s  "most famous English folk band" - Broom Bezzums -  are gearing up to swap autobahns for motorways when they bring their exuberant music back home for a 14-date UK tour in February.

Broom Bezzums (Andrew Cadie and Mark Bloomer) - originally from Northumbria and the Black Country respectively - earned their stripes busking round Europe and are now firmly established on the German acoustic circuit and both are married to German women.

Andrew Cadie and Mark Bloomer
with guest artist Katie Doherty

Formed in 2006, Broom Bezzums' infectious music, narrative songs, political edge and quirky humour have proved a big hit in their adopted land, where they sometimes sing in German and have been playlisted on several national radio stations, whilst they have also worked with the likes of Show of Hands and Jez Lowe following an appearance at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival.

Based on Anglo-Celtic traditions, their sound features two distinctive voices, contrasting songwriting approaches and multi-instrumental skills. Andrew (a graduate of Newcastle University’s folk and traditional music degree course) plays the Northumbrian pipes of his homeland while his deft fiddle playing is influenced by neighbouring Scottish styles.

Seasoned drummer Mark (formerly with British pop band Babylon Zoo), learned to play both guitar and mandola as a stalwart of the Cork session scene.
Their solid bedrock of talent will be augmented on many dates of the UK tour (February 7-19) by the spellbinding vocals of Newcastle award-winning singer- songwriter Katie Doherty. 

Says Andrew: “Our life is largely in Germany these days but we haven’t forgotten our roots and love returning to the UK for tours.”

Before that, the duo have released a Christmas EP Round the Houses featuring three of their own compositions and their atmospheric arrangement of the seasonal trad number A Soulin’. The title track is captured in zany fashion in this video:

Offering a different take on Christmas spirit, the songs’ themes are celebration and friendship, not forgetting a political edge often present in their material. The upbeat title track may be written in the style of a trad folk song but it emerges as a catchy world-beat wassail! 

Driven by Mark’s Bhangra-style drum beat and a funky bass line it is peppered with percussion and brass and fleshed out with fiddle, mandola,acoustic and electric guitar with Andrew and Mark playing every instrument.

The lyrics they say are drawn from “a comical look back over the year’s stories”- the butcher mysteriously disappears with a horse, the Prime Minister turns into the Devil (played on video by Miranda Sykes from Show of Hands!) and the bankers run off with all the money!

Mark Bloomer’s You Know Yourself is a busker’s take on the lack of festive spirit in the countdown to Christmas (with guest appearance from Baltic Crossing and Kan multi instrumentalist Ian Stephenson on double bass and button accordion) while Cadie’s stripped-back All in the Giving muses on the growing pressures of consumerism as a false substitute for fulfilment.

The EP is completed by A Soulin’ - one of the most popular tracks on Broom Bezzums’ 2012 seasonal album Winterman and a favourite at gigs.

The band’s fourth release it features winter-themed traditional folk songs and tunes as well as a surprise reworking of a well-known Christmas hit and Salt, Sea and Coal composed by Katie Doherty.

UK Tour Dates – February 2014

6th Falkirk Folk Club, Tolbooth TavernTolbooth St, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, FK1 1NL

7th Montrose - Music at the Links 
The Links Hotel
Angus, Montrose, Scotland
Tickets: 01674 830658 or 01674 672533
8th Washington - Davy Lamp Folk Club 
**with Katie Doherty**
Washington Arts Centre
Biddick Lane
Tyne & Wear
Tickets: 0191 219 3455/0191 416 6999
9th Alston - Garrigill Village Hall 
**with Katie Doherty**
Tickets from Jules Cadie on 01434 381941
10th Stirling - Stirling Folk Club 
**with Katie Doherty**
BRIDGEHAUGH PARK, Stirling, Scotland
Tickets: 01786 811627
11th Moffat - Sound Sense House Concert
**with Katie Doherty**
Old Carlisle Rd, Moffat, DG10 9QJ Scotland
Tickets: (01683) 221883
12th Belford - Blue Bell Hotel
**with Katie Doherty**
Market Place, Belford, Northumberland
Tickets: (01668) 213543
13th Kirkcaldy - Acoustic Music Club 
**with Katie Doherty**
Polish Ex-servicemen's Club
Bennochy House
Forth Park Drive, Kirkaldy, KY2 5TA Scotland
14th WEST MIDLANDS Kingswinford - Woodman Folk Club 
**with Katie Doherty**
Ashwood Marina, Ashwood Lower Lane, Kingswinford, DY6 0AQ
Tickets (01384) 560462
15th Carperby (Near Leyburn) - Village Institute 
**with Katie Doherty**
North Yorkshire, Carperby (nr Leyburn)Tickets (01969) 663808
16th Gower - Halfpenny Folk Club 
Greyhound Inn, Oldwalls, Lhanrhidian, Gower, South Wales
Tickets: (01792) 850803
17th Worcester - Marrs Bar 
12, Pierpoint Street, Worcester (01905) 613336
18th Northampton - Great Knight Folk Club 
The Old White Hart, Far Cotton, Northampton
Tickets: (01604) 766154
19th Hempstead (near Saffron Walden) – Bluebell Inn 
High Street
Saffron Walden
Tickets: (01799) 599199

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