Reviews 2016

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Broom Bezzums

Les Jones 26 February 2016

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It’s hard to know where to start with reviewing this evening. I suppose I should mention that it was first and foremost the 45th anniversary of the opening of The Woodman in February 1971. On that first night the guests were Jon Swift on lute and Tommy Dempsey as ever on Bodhran. (Pronounced Bough-ron by the man himself and who am I to argue). It must have been a privilege to be there that night and who could have foreseen that despite changes of venue the club would still be running after so many years. If there is anyone reading this who was there that night perhaps they could give us their memories – especially on whether Tommy actually looked younger or just the same as he seems to have always done. (Sorry Tommy). The anniversary was marked by the distribution of fairy cakes (with chocolate bits in) during the interval. I had three but that may not be relevant. Anyway enough of this.

Broom Bezzums here for their second visit to the club – consist Mark Bloomer: a local lad – if you can call Halesowen local – vocals; guitar and mandola and Andrew Cadie: a local lad if you live in Northumbria, on vocals; fiddle; guitar and Northumbrian small pipes. Additionally, each had a pedal operated secret weapon in the form of a bass drum for Mark and a tambourine for Andrew. They are truly consummate musicians who harmonise well and by the playing of often countermelodies they blend beautifully into one sound.

They played and sang a mixture of traditional and self-written and cover songs and tunes. Each even if it was a well-known piece such as the Begging Song or High Germany had a unique Broom Bezzums stamp on it. I could list all the titles for you but that would not really tell you how much we enjoyed the evening. I will mention however, Keep Hauling a song “stolen” by Show of Hands for their latest cd; Andy’s jig – this is not the real title but having been unable to find the original name it’s now his. The tune Hen in the Pen was written while Andy was watching his fowl “Well I do live in the countryside” and comes with its own hen effects. We egged him on to play it again but……Bonny at Morn of course is set to confuse as it is in fact a lullaby from the North East. I counted some twenty-four songs/tunes throughout the night which I’m sure you will agree is true value for money. Oh and yes there was of course an encore. Chains of Tyranny a truly haunting song that left you wanting more but sadly that was it for the night.

In house guest slots were provided by Barry and Corrine and Dick Woodhouse in the first half and Bryn Phillips after the interval. The course of the evening was as usual masterfully steered by Bryn.

Overall a wonderful evening was had by all. Pity Broom Bezzums are not available for next year so I suppose we have to wait until 2018 for their return to us.