Playing together since summer 2009, Blackbeard’s Tea Party began as a busking, function and ceilidh band, but quickly grew a reputation as a formidable live act. They soon found themselves selling out venues in their home town of York.
Word quickly spread, and the band began to play gigs further afield, including a number of noteworthy festival concerts and ceilidh bookings through 2010 and 2011. These included Sidmouth, Shrewsbury and a headline slot at Galtres, amongst others.
During this time, Blackbeard’s Tea Party released a mini-album (Heavens to Betsy, 2009) and a full length album (Tomorrow We’ll Be Sober, 2011) to excellent critical acclaim and public response. Both were recorded in Kajunga Studios (a series of progressively bigger bedrooms) and were funded and distributed independently.
After the release of Heavens to Betsy the band’s distinct sound was picked up by the BBC’s Mike Harding, who played Blackbeard’s Tea Party on BBC Radio 2’s weekly folk show.
Since the release of Tomorrow We’ll Be Sober – which R2 Magazine gave a five star rating – Blackbeard’s Tea Party have gone from strength to strength. They were recognised as one of the best live bands in the UK in the 2011 FATEA Awards and 2012 saw a long run of festival bookings, including Cambridge and Whitby, and return visits to Sidmouth and Shrewsbury, amongst others.
2013 saw the band continue to grow. In April, Blackbeard’s Tea Party issued their second full length album “Whip Jamboree”, released nationwide through Proper Music Distribution and reaching #4 on the Amazon MP3 folk charts alongside continued critical praise. In support of the release the band embarked on 2 UK headline tours playing far and wide in both the Spring and Autumn.
In between touring, Summer provided a stunning festival season including return visits to Sidmouth (3 consecutive years), Beverley and another headline slot at Galtres, alongside breaking into more mainstream festivals such as Bingley Live and Hull Freedom Fest.
In 2014, Blackbeard’s Tea Party experienced their biggest and best year to date. They finally signed up for their passports and branched out into international gigs, playing at the first Costa Del Folk Festival in Spain, and headlining the Rainforest World Music Festival in Borneo. At home, the band continued to support “Whip Jamboree” with their longest and most prestigious festival run to date, including slots at Glastonbury, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, another Galtres headline and Larmer Tree Festival!
2015 sees the band embark on another long run of festivals (with bookings still being taken!) and the end of the year holds some very exciting plans that they cannot possibly reveal yet!