Heavens to Betsy is the debut EP from York-based group and celidh band ’Blackbeard’s Tea Party’. The album is a riotous combination of nautical tales, drinking songs and celidh dances which are all tremendous fun. Many of the tracks are lively interpretations of traditional material and there is some original material too. At times, such as in the instrumental ’The Belgian Tune’ or the rousing ’A Hundred Years Ago’, the energy is reminiscent of of Bellowhead.
Blackbeard’s line up is Dave Boston (djembe, cajon), Laura Barber (fiddle, saxophone), Marin Coumbe (guitars), Paul Young (guitar, melodeon, fiddle), Tim Yates (sousaphone, trombone, melodeon, bass) and Yom Hardy (cajon, foot-tambourine, cymbals). The very diverse set of instruments are used well and it never feels contrived.
Three tracks which stand out are the raucous drinking song ’Fathom the Bowl’, the piratical ’High Barbary’ with its memorable chorus and the instrumental ’Hummeabar’ which opens with a sinister laugh and keeps a mysterious tone throughout. Heavens to Betsy is a fine record, full of energy and originality and will have you shivering your timbers in no time.
Blackbeard’s Tea Party play ’The Belgian Tune’