Tag Archives: Joe Bell

Broadway Danny Rose, EP released March 2017

This EP from Broadway Danny Rose is called ‘Passive Aggressive Post-Its’ and according to the band is the distillation from 14 hours of music; that sounds like plenty to choose from, which is not surprising given the range and scope of the music made by Joe Bell and his cohorts.

‘Rabbit Foot’ is an out-and-out rocker, it sounds like Wilko Johnson has temporarily joined the band to play along with the riff for a tale of gambling, debt and low-life deals. Worth the price of the EP on its own, it is a great opener.
We then go over to ‘Jeffrey’s Place’, a strange concoction of loud loping bass and driving guitar; also it includes the lyric ‘….For Jeffrey knows what’s wrong, haunted by mistakes… Rupert Brooke’s can charm but the sentiment’s misplaced….’ and other cryptic delights.

‘Organised Sport’ is a short blast of punk pop energy, with an opaque cut-up lyric where it is the sound of the words that count. I am lucky to own an early acoustic version of ‘Carrie Simmons’, on this release it is now filled out to form a swirling mini-movie murder ballad,‘….There’s something about the way you use that knife….Together in death as in life…’. Disturbing stuff; this is also a track of musical contrasts and shows the impressive versatility of the band.

I look forward to the album….


Tom Williams and the Boat, Portland Arms, Cambridge, 29 May 2014

Joe Bell and The Broadway Danny Rose, named after the minor masterpiece Woody Allen film from 1984, took to the stage with gently plucked and strummed acoustic guitar. His warm and affecting performance connected with the small audience. The songs are brimming with creative ideas, from the titles (‘Hang my Gallows High’, ‘Beating Hearts of Birds’), to the ambiguous emotions of the lyrics (the poignant ‘I Can’t Belong to You’), to the wide vocal range and tones he uses. If you listen to his soundcloud page or sample CD the varied instrumentation used creates mini movie soundscapes, (a bit difficult to play solo on stage!) showing the potential directions in which his sound could be developed.

Tom Williams and the Boat have three albums of folk-driven indie rock to their names, many festival appearances and a devoted following. Opening song ‘Little Bit in Me’ showcased interesting dark lyrics, complemented by acoustic guitar and electric piano blending with fuzzy guitar lines. A strong bass and some fiery drums added to the light and shade through the set. There was even a (too brief) bit of harmonica later too..

Tom Williams is a relaxed and accomplished frontman, his easy exchanges with the audience worked well. They are justly proud of their new album ‘Easy Fantastic’ and its rockier sound featured on the later songs this evening, when Tom replaced his acoustic with electric. The sound was varied, the sprawling epic ’25’ begins with brooding guitar and voice, building up to guitar fireworks and feedback fade ending. This was a bit of a change, but the sound of the closing song ‘Get Older’ brought us back to the pounding folk rock where we started. It was a good show, the small but appreciative audience will be there next time too I think…