We are the Tea n Biscuit Boys, a Rockabilly band from the Isle of Wight
It's quite likely that you are reading this because you stumbled upon us busking either in Newport or Cowes.
We initially formed out of the need to make some money, the backend of 2009. Rick the band's Mr. Rhythm phoned me suggesting we go busking. The first problem to overcome was that I was an ex-drummer without a drum.
Having dabbled with playing a tea chest bass a few times in the past, I found an old Ronson packing box that once contained lighter gas, a broom handle and a length of string and knocked one together and I was in business.
We decided to try our luck at Newport's Market on Tuesday, me on the box and Rick with his Tin Din Thing, a 3 stringed guitar made from a biscuit tin, hence how the name came about, and as it happened we didn't do too bad.
Unfortunately my tea chest substitute wasn't really cutting the mustard and so the hunt was on for something bigger. As it happens Rick had a proper sized one rotting away in his shed and so it was quickly modified and boy what a sound difference!
A few weeks past, and we continued at the market and also on a Saturday outside Poundland in Newport High Street.
We were and still are to some a complete novelty, as at the time to see buskers outside of Cowes Week was rare, and even rarer in Newport. Although now there’s quite a few people busking, it seems we’ve started a new craze.
It was this sort of time when Mark joined us and we became a trio, bass, rhythm and lead, this addition and the fact Mark can also sing has given us a more diverse sound. Although the duo works, the trio makes us more money, and Rick doesn’t have to work so hard.
The Tin Din Thing has now been replaced with an ordinary acoustic guitar. The Biscuit Tin with only 3 strings limits the key that our tunes can be played in, and bores the pants off of Mark because he is a show off lead guitarist and loves to improvise.
Because of the tea chest, the older generation who see us describe us as a Skiffle band, when actually we play a mixture of Rockabilly, Blues and Jump Jive. Most are forgotten tunes of yesteryear and were performed by obscure artists.
Unlike most bands including previous ones all three of us have been in over the years, we don't spend hours rehearsing, we just go out and perform. If a tune goes over well and money is chucked in the case it'll become part of the set.
The lack of practice gives us a real basic raw sound and because our act is improvised it means that the same tune never sounds exactly the same every time we play it which keeps it fresh. In former bands we would rehearse each tune to the point of being able to play it on autopilot which in hindsight was boring both to play and no doubt to listen to.
Dear Paul and Co
Apologies for the delay in writing to you - the last couple of months have flown by!
We just wanted to say a huge thank you for playing at our wedding in Seaview on the 1st August - your music was the perfect way to get the paert started. Our guests absolutely loved you too and it was fabulous seeing so many people up on the dance floor - young and old. Thank you also for learning a new song for our first dance - lots of laughs were had as we had our first boogie as Mr. and Mrs. Good luck with everything and we hope you will play for us again in the future!
Thank you Thank you Thank you !!!
You were amazing on Saturday at our wedding and we were just bowled over by the incredible vibe you created and the effort you put in.
Everybody loved you and you were such a talking point for the whole day.
I am only sorry I didn;t come and dance - it went so quickly and I was just taken all over the place and before I knew it you were off to your next gig !
I will definitely dance when I see you next in Cowes !
I hope you enjoyed it and had everything you needed.
You are incredible musicians and it was such a pleasure to have you play for us and our guests on our very special day.
We just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed you and your band at our wedding in September at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.
All the guests loved it and it gave the whole thing a real wicked vibe which was just PERFECT for our day.
The Tea n Biscuit Boys are simply fabulous. We have had so many compliments about you guys. We hope you enjoyed it too (if you can cast your minds back that far!)
All the best for a cracking 2015
As Father of the Bride I would very much like to thank The Tea'n'Biscuit Boys for attending & performing at My Daughters wedding reception on Saturday 10th September 2016 held at the very rural & rustic "Afton Apple Farm" These guys fitted the bill perfectly, suitably welcoming & entertaining our guests and getting the celebrations well & truly underway, helping create the ideal atmosphere for a very "real" wedding in such casual, relaxed surroundings. They quickly became a big talking point delighting everyone with their faultless performance.
From the very outset submitting the initial enquiry with them to find out whether or not they would be interested in playing for us almost 2 years ago they proved to be among the most reliable of all involved for the big day, so get'em booked to avoid disappointment.
29th April Yarmouth Spring Festival 11am - 3pm 3rd June Rookley Private Function 7:30pm to 9:30pm 1st July Apple Farm Afton Private Function 7pm to 9pm 8th July George Inn Newport 12:30pm to 3:30pm 10th July Island Sailing Club Cowes 7:00pm to 9:00pm 15th July George Inn Newport 12:30pm to 3:30pm 19th July Steamer Inn 8pm to 10pm 22nd July George Inn Newport 12:30pm to 3:30pm 27th July Steamer Inn 8pm to 10pm 29th July George Inn Newport 12:30pm to 3:30pm 29th July Gurnard Private Party 8pm to 10pm 3rd August Steamer Inn 8pm to 10pm 5th August George Inn Newport 12:30pm to 3:30pm 5th August Private Function Whitwell 7pm to 9pm 12th August George Inn Newport 12:30pm to 3:30pm 12th August Private Function Newport 13th August Private Function Gurnard 17th August Steamer Inn 8pm to 10pm 19th August Garlic Festival 11am to 2pm 19th August Private Function Gurnard 3pm to 5pm 20th August Garlic Festival 11am to 2pm 26th August George Inn Newport 12:30pm to 3:30pm 27th August Private Function Whippingham 4pm - 6pm 30th August Steamer Inn 8pm to 10pm 2nd September George Inn Newport 12:30pm to 3:30pm 2nd September Harley Davidson Chill Rookley 6pm to 8pm 9th September George Inn Newport 12:30pm to 3:30pm 16th September Classic Car Show Newport Quay 11am to ?pm 16th September Sugar Store Sheppards Wharf Cowes 7:30pm to 9:30pm 30th September Private Function Apple Farm 4:30pm to 6:30pm
27th October Private Function Shanklin
30th November Alzheimer Cafe Newport 6:15pm to 8:15pm
3rd December Private Function Fareham
Our prices are based on a minimum of a two hour booking.
We come in two formats:
This is how you see us in the street. Acoustic rhythm guitar, acoustic bass, a small amp for the lead guitar and a lot of shouting. Ideal for small gatherings where the band doesn’t have to be the main focal point.
*For this we charge £75.00 an hour.
This set up is the full rig. Mics, amps and speakers, and lots of noise. This is for larger events where you want to get up and shake your tail feather.
*For this we charge £96.00 an hour.
Bookings are accepted via the form on the booking page. A calendar shows our available dates and there’s a list of forthcoming gigs.
Fill in the form with the date you require. In the message box give us the details, times venue and so on.
Once you’ve received confirmation of your booking, it will appear in the list. It is now subject to a 50% cancellation fee if we do not receive at least 2 weeks notice prior to the booked date.
Unless other arrangements have been made at the time of booking; payment is to be made at the end of the event.
Bookings to play on the Mainland are quoted for individually. Use the booking form as above and we will get back to you.
Back To Booking Form
Preview our tunes and then purchase them singly or treat yourself to the whole album.
A while before the Tea N Biscuit Boys formed Rick and Mark were a duo performing much the same as is heard from us now. Below is the album they put together.