Celebrating their 10th anniversary as a band The Teacups, comprising the talented Alex Cumming, Kate Locksley, Rosie Calvert and Will Finn, release their third and final album entitled In Which and rejoice with a series of online listen-alongs and launch concert celebrating all three of their releases and saying goodbye.
The a cappella quartet met in 2010 while studying on the folk and traditional music degree course at Newcastle University. An acclaimed live act they have gone on to win over many an audience in the UK and Europe. Equally outside of the band they have been hugely successful on the folk circuit Alex as part of a duo with Nicola Beazley, Kate as part of the band Night Fall, Rosie with Speldosa and Will in Tyne Signature and as a duo. Recorded as a start to finish album at the studio at Sunbeams in the Lake District it was recorded as a final journey.
The Teacups’ previous albums 2013’s One For The Pot (20th September online listen along 2pm) explored traditional and contemporary songs from across the British Isles, while Of Labour And Love (27th September online listen along 2pm) from 2015 combined new and original compositions as well as murder ballads, exotic shanties, and traditional songs of love and loss. While their new album, In Which, (online album party listen along 11th October 2pm) harks back to their debut seeking out songs of tradition it is interspersed with vignettes and modern day tales with a human twist to them. A live to your living room final concert of material from the last decade and live launch is planned for the 4th October at 8pm. All events can be viewed at youtube.com/haystackrecords .
In Which has sea faring songs aplenty each with a different tale. On ‘The Weary Cutters’ a woman tells the tale of how her lover was press-ganged into joining the navy, and almost accompanying it ‘Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still’ dating back to 1864 and of American origin sees a sailor at sea seeing the smile in the waves of his lover left behind and hears her voice in the wind. Tragedy abounds in the form of a drowning in the ‘Deep Blue Sea’, ‘Dogger Bank’ tells the story of the plight of the fishermen sailing out from the port of Grimsby, while on ‘Shiny-O’ a ship’s mate hopes to win over the captain’s daughter.
Hunting songs surface on the tale of ‘Three Jolly Huntsmen’ who seemingly fail to find the fox, ‘Valentine’s Day Hunt’ seems to make the allusion between different forms of the chase while illegal activities take place on the ‘Poaching Song’.
Different forms of drinking songs adorn the album with one of the vignettes, ‘The Harvest Jug’, being of the alcoholic variety, while ‘Celestial Tea’ celebrates the band’s mutual love of a good brew be it of the builders variety or something slightly more exotic in the forms of Rooibos, Oolong, or Mountain Dew. ..and thinking of vignettes there are three others that punctuate the album in the form of the plaintive ‘This Too Shall Pass’, seeking love on ‘Love Fain Did Try’ and the protest song about English enclosures in the form of ‘The Goose’. In a more modern vein amidst the tradition ‘Man Of The Earth’ tells the moving story of a pensioner finding solace in maintaining his allotment partly to keep the mind and body active, partly for economic reasons.
The album’s opening song ‘Agamemnon’ is a mythological murder ballad, while ‘Street Cries’ tells the tale of street sellers calling out their wares for sale.
Well known songs surface in the form of When the boat comes in on ‘My Little Man’ and ‘Sugar Wassail’ has a hint of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ as part of its celebration of the season, while ‘Morris Set’ is an a capella take on traditional tunes.
Artists’ website: http://www.theteacups.co.uk/
‘Shiny-O’ – live: