I had the rare opportunity of an evening out last night and headed down to Fibbers (one of York’s most palatial and salubrious night spots) to see Blackbeard’s Tea Party. Anyone who lives in York will probably have seen them busking in town; but this was one of the first chances to see them headlining– also to see them wired up rather than entirely acoustic. After a couple of support act (some drumming gubbins and a bloke and a guitar) they hit the ground running with British Man of War. One of the great things was that this was a proper gig with a proper atmosphere. Much as I like folk music, occasionally the atmosphere can be a bit ‘Sunday school teaparty’ – I remember once being told off for talking during a Dhol Foundation gig at the Beverley Folk Festival- apparently I should have been sitting down quietly. Anyhoo, it was their usual mix of songs and tunes (often with a nautical theme) with electric guitar and bass adding a bit of oomph (as did the sousaphone). Highlights for me were Rolling Down the River and I Can Hew. All in all, a good night out – looking at their MySpace page they appear to be putting in an appearance at the Beverley Folk Festival this year and they’ve already been played on the BBC2 Folk programme with Mike Harding. Now if Fibbers can only do something about the price of their beer….
(In the interests of full disclosure I should say that Laura from BBTP is my fiddle teacher )