Coffee House Sessions: Joel Rothwell and Bohdi

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Coffee house sessions just keep getting better with fresh new talent from Joel Rothwell and Bohdi who bring soulful vocals to Dylan’s.

As I ascended the stairs, I thought a hit record was being played through a surround sound system in Dylan’s. Joel Rothwell and his band produced a professional sound, with their own backing tracks and electric equipment mixing up the usual acoustic atmosphere on Tuesday afternoons. 

Joel, 21 from Manchester wowed the audience with his flawless vocals and his banterous personality made him a likeable act. The singer enjoyed interacting with the audience, encouraging them to sing along to his covers and even joining a table during his act. His confident personality allowed him to jam to the beats that his band behind created.

Joel showcased his soulful voice in covers such as Dua Lipa’s New Rules, but he mainly performed his own material. Joel has written songs with his sister, Rebecca for years. Perhaps she was the one behind the theme of love in his songs. Examples included, “Satellite” and “Just Don’t Know” which are available on Apple and Spotify on the 22nd.  These relationship based songs were catchy that you couldn’t help but tap your feet along.

His inspirations include Eminem, Pink and Maroon 5. It was the latter that he concluded his set with. Slowing down the beat with his version of “Girls like you”, Joel demonstrated his impressive falsetto and luscious tone.

Along with magazines, I’m not the first to say, watch out for Joel in the future.

Unlike Joe, who had never been to Bournemouth before, the act that followed was originally from this seaside town.  Now an emerging artist, based in South East London, Bodhi won me over before she even started singing by complimenting me on my dress. But when she showcased her soulful and raw vocals, she proved she was talented as well as kind.

From an early age, Bohdi played piano and was writing music. She was influenced through her Dad’s record collection by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Fleetwood Mac and Alanis Morissette. Recently featured on BBC Introducing, Bohdi shared strong themes like anxiety, relationships and womanhood through her music.

Her songs were extremely poignant and powerful, with lyrics such as “I’m just asking for a friend” and “these pills aren’t working out for me”. It was only natural through these moving words that Bohdi incorporated a lot of soul and emotion into her voice.

Naturally through enlightening an audience to such emotional issues, Bohdi was a bit nervous. However, her guitarist, Brian was a great help admiring her through his reassuring facial expressions when she hit some incredibly high notes. Bodhi also used percussion instruments like a tambourine in her song, “Doctor”, layering onto the rhythm. A classic egg shaker also made an appearance.

She described her last song, “Scare me” as a “bit of a sad one” but this slower tune was my favourite. Her voice was soft and meaningful as she sang the lyrics, “afraid of my own reflection”. Bodhi is one of those artists where every lyric means something and she truly becomes drawn into her music. Not only does she raise awareness to important issues and speaks to an audience, she does so through the power of music.

You can follow Joel on Spotify here.

You can follow Bodhi Rose on Spotify here