BROOM BEZZUMS – Winterman (Steeplejack Music SJCD019)

Broom BezzumsMark Bloomer and Andrew Cadie are Broom Bezzums, a duo regularly augmented by Katie Doherty’s vocals. In fact the opening track here, ‘Salt Sea And Coal’, is one of Katie’s songs.

Although British, Broom Bezzums are based in Germany where they have released three previous albums, all available from the usual sources in the UK. There is nothing earth-shatteringly new in this seasonal set but, having said that, they have found some interesting tunes with a Christmas connection. ‘The Cherry Tree Carol’, ‘Crow On The Cradle’, ‘Good King Wenceslas’ and ‘Wassail Song’ cover most aspects of the festive season. It’s all done very well, though in a style that doesn’t feel particularly English. I don’t know but I suspect they have tailored their music to the continental audience. There are complexities and show-bizzy twists that you wouldn’t hear in a British folk club – blending Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ with a strathspey is cheeky and it works. Who’s to say that we couldn’t do with a dash of that over here?

Winterman is a perfect accompaniment to stuffing the turkey but probably too lively while reading the Dickens. Merry Christmas Everybody!

Dai Jeffries

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