Broom Bezzums, England’s ‘accidental folk ambassadors’ in Germany will be sweeping into the UK next month for a rare tour of their homeland.
Often dubbed ‘Germany’s most famous English folk band’ 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.
Formed in 2006, their 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. Living Tradition magazine have praised the 'brio' of their live performances and 'impressive harmonies' while Show of Hands frontman Steve Knightley has described them as 'a real class act'.
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.
Mark (formerly drummer with British rock band Babylon Zoo), learned to play both guitar and mandola as a stalwart of the Cork session scene.
Their most recent release No Smaller Than The World won the coveted German Record Critics’ Prize in the Singer Songwriter/Folk category as a 'new release of outstanding importance' and saw the duo feature several times on German TV stations including SWR’s Landesschau as well as national radio Deutschlandradio Kultur.
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.'
Last year they performed on a Danube river cruise with Show of Hands, had Cadie’s shanty song Keep Hauling sung by the same folk giants at the Royal Albert Hall and gave performances in 12 European countries.
Few acts manage to attract a wider, non-folk audience and please the traditionalists at the same time but Broom Bezzums seem to have bridged that gap with ease.
'I think it comes from being genuine,' adds Andrew. 'These songs tell relevant stories that relate to real people we’ve encountered. We want to share these stories and show audiences what folk music is about in a non-stuffy way.'
Forest Folk, Boarhunt
Monday, March 19