Playing together since the summer of 2009, Blackbeard’s Tea Party have become firm favourites on the English folk scene. Here are their latest 2016 tour dates.
An independent band with four albums to their name, the group have also completed a number of successful UK headline tours. Their new album ‘Reprobates’ was produced by Dave Boothroyd at Reel Recording Studios. Barn-storming folk tunes rub shoulders with narrative folk songs, telling dark tales of wicked and nefarious characters. The title ‘Reprobates’ doesn’t just give their latest album its theme. It’s also a nod to the band’s reputation for musical mischief, frequently breaking folk-rock’s conventions. The album shows off the band’s imaginative arrangements, accomplished musicianship and dark sense of humour. ‘Reprobates’ follows the 2009 mini-album ‘Heavens to Betsy’; the band’s first full-length album, 2011’s ‘Tomorrow We’ll Be Sober’; and 2013’s ‘Whip Jamboree’ which R2 magazine called “the best party going on five inches of plastic.”
Blackbeard’s Tea Party combine fiddle, melodeon and voice with the interlocking grooves of two hand percussionists, a distorted electric guitar, and funk-inflected bass patterns. Though their music often takes traditional tunes and songs as the starting point, it’s clear that Blackbeard’s Tea Party is not for folk purists. Theirs is a gutsy take on folk which aims to renounce the trendy twee of bands like Mumford and Sons in favour of folk’s darker and more primitive origins, all by way of classic rock, funk and dance music. The resulting arrangements are often quirky and boisterous. This playfulness – along with their anarchic and ebullient stage show – has won Blackbeard’s Tea Party a small legion of fans.
Reception for the band has been phenomenal over the last two years: the Huffington Post called Blackbeard’s Tea Party the ‘THE band to see at Glastonbury 2014’ and, after they played to their biggest ever crowd at Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, they were overwhelmingly voted the best band of the festival by Fairport Convention fans. Autumn 2015 sees the band on another UK headline tour in support of ‘Reprobates’, with new dates just announced for March & April and a string of major festivals on the way for the summer of 2016.
Fri 11. Arlington Arts Centre Mary Hare, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 3BQ, Tel: 01635 244246 Tickets £13.00 — Doors 8:00 p.m.
Sat 12. The Borderline Orange Yard, Off Manette St, Soho, London W1D 4JB, Tel: 020 7734 5547 Tickets £13.00 — Doors 7:00 p.m.
Sun 13. The Talking Heads 320 Portswood Rd, Portswood, Southampton, Hampshire SO17 2TD, Tel: 02380 678446 Tickets £12.00 — Doors 7:30 p.m.
Fri 1. The Duchess, Stonebow House, The Stonebow, York, North Yorkshire YO1 7NP, Tel: 01904 641 413 Tickets £6.00 — Doors 7:30 p.m.
Sat 2. The Platform Old Station Buildings, Marine Rd W, Morecambe, Lancsashire LA4 4DB, Tel: 01524 582803 — Doors 7:30 p.m.
Fri 22. La Belle Angele 11 Hasties Close, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1HJ, Tel: 0131 220 1161 — Doors 7:30 p.m.
Sat 23. The Greystones Greystones Rd, Sheffield, Sth. Yorkshire S11 7BS, Tel: 0114 266 5599 — Doors 7:30 p.m.
Sun 29. Chester Folk Festival, Kelsall Village, Chester CH1 9RQ, Tel: 07005 977045
Sat 4. Asparafest Ashdown Farm, Badsey, Nr Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 7PA, Tel: 01386 831173
Fri 8th. Ely Folk Festival, 38 Lynn Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB6 1DA, Tel: 07500 527334
Fri 29th. Sidmouth Folk Week The Bulverton Marquee Sidmouth, Devon EX10 8RP, 01395 577952
Sat 6. Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival By Beauly, Inverness, Scotland IV4 7BA, Tel 01463 741366
Thurs 11 & Fri 12. Broadstairs Folk Week, Pierremont Hall, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 1JX, Tel 01843 604080
Fri 19. Moira Furnace Folk Festival, Furnace Lane, Moira, Swadlincote, Leicestershire DE12 6AT, Tel 01530 272 305
Blackbeard’s Tea Party are Stuart Giddens: melodeon, sumptuous vocals, Tim Yates: bass, melodeon, trombone, sousaphone, Martin Coumbe: electric guitar, lidl acoustic guitar, Dave Boston: djembe, congas, shakey things, bells, faux bells, Liam ‘Yom’ Hardy: cajon, drums, tambourine, minature cymbal and Laura Barber: fiddle, cello.