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BROOM BEZZUMS - No Smaller Than The World

BROOM BEZZUMS - No Smaller Than The World
Steeplejack Music SJCD017

As a British band based and doing most of its gigging in Germany, it could be that Broom Bezzums are under the radar – no pun intended – for listeners in their original home country.

If you catch Mark Bloomer and Andrew Cadie on one of their return trips, it's hard not to be impressed. Playing a wide variety of instruments – but most typically guitar and fiddle – they have a freshness of approach that is perhaps not unconnected with now living on the continent.

This album has been available at gigs and in Germany for some time and it is something more than a souvenir of a live performance. One difference those who have seen them on this side of the North Sea will notice immediately is the addition of Katie Doherty on extra vocals. That elevates a very good combo into the top bracket.

Among the many delights are Mark's forthright singing and songwriting and Andrew's delightful Northumbrian pipes. He also has the composer's credit for Keep Hauling, which will be familiar to more listeners since Show Of Hands added it to their repertoire. Here We Go Again is more representative of Mark's politically engaged approach, whilst their version of Jez Lowe's hard-hitting Bare Knuckle takes up many of the same themes. As for High Germany; well, it had to be done. It would have been rude not to. Less obvious is their take on what is becoming an instant classic; Way Down Yonder In A Minor Key – words by Woody Guthrie, tune by Billy Bragg.

If all this makes the album sound rich, varied and thoroughly likeable, then that is a fair call in my book. They can come back home and entertain us any time they like.

Dave Hadfield

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This album was reviewed in Issue 116 of The Living Tradition magazine.