Blackbeard’s Tea Party at Cropredy 9/8/14

Blackbeard’s Tea Party, a young band from York, play a fantastically lively kind of folk. Fun, loud and with bags of energy I’ve seen them go down particularly well as a late night attraction in far smaller venues. But how would they fare on a Saturday lunchtime playing to an audience of 20,000, which as lead vocalist, Stuart Giddens, told the crowd is at least ten times the size of anything they’ve played to before? Well, the Cropredy audience responded brilliantly and they went down a storm. Proof of that was the massive queue for the band’s CD signing session after their set, which snaked around the festival. And when the Tea Partiers over-ran their scheduled signing slot they, along with their queue of newly-enraptured fans, decamped to a spot by the bins where they carried on meeting, greeting and signing throughout the afternoon. Although they are now seasoned festival performers and this year played one of the small stages at Glastonbury, I hope that reaching this many people is the start of something bigger for them.

The combination of loud electric guitar and pumping bass lines, together with manic but beautiful fiddle sounds from Laura Boston-Barber, creates a hugely energetic brand of modern folk-rock. Stuart Giddens, who jumps up and down like the campest boy-band wannabe but has a commanding and powerful voice, is a perfect fit for the band. His vocals and his infectiously enthusiastic stage presence have really brought something to the band. They played a number of songs from their latest album, 2013’s “Whip Jamboree” as well as material from their two previous albums, recorded before Giddens joined. A particular favourite of mine was the traditional song, Landlord, an epic tale of drinking drunkenness, which for some bizarre reason I remember being taught at primary school and still remember all the words. Mid-70s education was so much fun at times.

A talented and hugely fun band with a great sound, Blackbeard’s Tea Party deserve to go far.

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6 thoughts on “Blackbeard’s Tea Party at Cropredy 9/8/14

  1. Hi Darren, I too enjoyed Blackbeards Tea Party at Cropredy. I also saw them at the Larmer Tree a couple of weeks ago. A super band who will be around for a long time to come. You might be interested in checking out my reaction to Marillions performance of Gaza on my blog at


    1. Thanks for the reblog and also for your reflections on Marillion and their song Gaza. I’m really sorry I missed this set now. I was hoping to catch them but tiredness, rain and the rest of our party wanting a rest back at the campsite meant I missed them. I’m pleased they used the opportunity to raise the terrible injustice in Gaza. I think I will have to seek them out on tour as I’m not much familiar with the post-Fish Marillion. Darren

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Darren, Likewise for me. Have to say though their recent stuff is brilliant. I have bought 6 albums since I cam home and loved them all. I have listened to little else! I too will be making an effort to see them again 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Blackbeards were amazing and the highlight of the festival (apart from Fairport)They made the stage their own and they will now go from strength to strength having busked around the streets of York ,playing to 150 people at Costa del Folk and now the biggest gig of their lives Cropredy Laura is an extremely talented young lady and all the band gel to make a stunning team.


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