at the Forest Arts Centre,
New Milton, UK
(7 July 2001)

Broderick, a twin fiddle-based quintet boasting a finer pedigree than most supreme champions at Cruft's, came to the Forest Arts in New Milton on a Saturday night and left a skeptical audience spellbound and gagging for more.

This bunch of twentysomethings show that you don't have to be a bearded, Arran-wearing child of '60s folk clubs to realise that some of the best music ever written came from British and Celtic heritage. What Broderick displayed in spades is that, rather than being students of this heritage, they are ready to replace the old guard and become worthy masters of the tradition.

With Luke Daniels -- formerly with Riverdance and a BBC Young Tradition winner -- the button accordion fairly sings, beautifully underpinning the gorgeous interplay of the fiddles. Speaking of fiddles, both Clare Garrard and Colm Murphy are blessed with a rare gift, matched by few. With them were Don Oeters on guitar -- also with the Flatville Aces and owner of the loudest shirt this side of Hawaii -- and his partner in rhythm Rick on double bass banging out irresistibly crisp "get up and dance rhythms" all night, creating an atmospheric blend of music that has one foot in the past while the other is firmly in the 'here and now'.

Broderick treated us to a European feast of folk, from such places as Scandinavia, Ireland, France, Galicia and Canada, as well as the band's own tunes, all of which melted seamlessly into the covers that they played. High praise indeed when you consider the likes of the great Christy Moore made their set. After a couple of tunes admiring the wonderfully understated accordion and blissful fiddle harmonies, the musical boundaries begin to merge, leaving you not listening to folk, classical or country just quite superb music, making Broderick a must for any lover of live performances.

All five people in the band are humble, laid-back and so cool they could have come onto the stage wearing penguin costumes and still won over the crowd. If you are a lover of fine music, any music then this is the group for you. (Also check out their CD Kissing Fishes.)

[ by Steve Davies ]
Rambles: 25 May 2002