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.
This booking was made a little in advance as I recall.
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