FOLK group Blackbeard’s Tea Party are ramping up to release their new LP Whip Jamboree on the back of a growing reputation for live shows as incendiary as Edward Teach’s facial fireworks – and if the album’s anything to go by they probably do put on a bloody good show.
Now I admit I approached this album with slight trepidation – although I’m a lover of much folk music, the band’s name, I have to say, is pretty rubbish, and the album artwork has the whiff of an amateur effort about it.
Then on opener The Valiant Turpin they started off in a trad folk vein, but caught me off guard when in kicked a guitar solo which wouldn’t have been out of place on an ’80s hair metal track.
This did jar a bit, I’ll admit – but from then on in the group mould the two styles together to create a sound that’s unashamedly trad folk, but with a real edge to it, and bloody good to boot.
Mixing electric and acoustic, the group play with syncopation and aren’t afraid to toy with their energetic Shooglenifty-esque rhythms, stopping and starting and dragging the tracks around, and above all they know how to entertain the listener, from the murder ballad Lankin to absolute standout Landlady.
So by the end of the LP, all the initial fears are well forgotten – Blackbeard’s Tea Party show really does sound like my cup of tea.