Blackbeard's Tea Party

The past few years have seen Blackbeard’s Tea Party play at festivals as diverse as Glastonbury, Cambridge Folk Festival, Fariport’s Cropredy Convention, The Rainforest World Music Festival in Borneo and many more. Their most recent album ‘Reprobates’ has been met with high praise in the folk press, earning a 5 star review in R2 Magazine whilst fRoots named it “convincing and essential”. With this growing reputation, it’s hardly a surprise that they are one of the most in-demand bands on the folk circuit.
Now we’re happy to welcome Blackbeard’s Tea Party back to Towersey Festival with their brand of gutsy folk rock. Traditional songs and tunes are given a heavy rock edge with playful arrangements and driving dance rhythms. This is all mixed up in an engaging, high-octane stage show that frequently leaves audiences cheering for more.

My Towersey: Blackbeard's Tea Party frontman Stuart Giddens

Any idea how many times you’ve been to Towersey?

This is only our second visit. The first time we played the festival was in 2015 when Towersey moved to the new site just outside Thame. We played an evening concert in Venue 65 and a late night ceilidh in the Festival Dance House. It's a prestigious festival and, being the reprobates we are, we have always been on the 'naughty step' of folk music so to be invited back is quite a coup. Venue 65 is such a great space, and we can’t wait to be back there again!

What do you like about the festival? Is there anything that you think makes it unique?

It’s a good melting pot of hardcore folkies and curious locals which gives the festival a really fun atmosphere. In 2015 our crowd were clearly knowledgeable about their trad music, but got pretty raucous too. That kind of crowd suits our music to a tee.

Do you have any anecdotes about previous visits?

In 2015 I spent a good half-hour watching a group of slightly worse-for-wear 30-somethings trying (and failing) to hula-hoop along to Bellowhead without spilling their pints. Towersey Festival really nurtures this kind of festival silliness.

Are there any other acts on the bill this year who you’re especially looking forward to or who you’d recommend people check out?  

One of our fellow acts at Venue 65, Spooky Men’s Chorale are one of the most surreal and entertaining groups you're likely to see at a folk festival: imagine a close-harmony male-voice choir doing stand up comedy! Jim Causley is an incredibly engaging folk singer and the Jim Causley Trio will bring the warmth of the West Country to Towersey, no matter the weather. Plus, our good mates Threepenny Bit will fill the Festival Dance House stage and probably deliver the second best ceilidh of the weekend...

What are your plans for the coming months?

We’re in the process of writing a new album, which is pencilled for release in Spring 2018. In fact, Towersey Festival, you’ve unknowingly managed to secure a Blackbeard’s Tea Party EXCLUSIVE as we’re planning to debut some brand new tracks during our Venue 65 concert.