Hoist the Jolly Roger! Ye Banished Privateers are back with their third full length album but first on new label Napalm Records. ‘First Night Back in Port’ instantly transports you back into the cruel world of the 18th century; where pirates dominated the seven seas, and sea shanties were as abundant as peg legs! Their sound, deriving from Irish and Scandinavian folk, mixed with ‘raw punk’, is somewhat unique, and is sure to have you raising a glass, and singing along! The tempo direction within the album is always in constant shift, however, does nothing but strengthen the performance of Ye Banished Privateers, and is a very welcomed addition!
Ye Banished Privateers is comprised of an extensive list of performers;
Bjorn “Bellows” Malmros (accordion/vocals), Blackpowder Pete (vocals), Bloody Liz (percussion), Bojtikken (percussion/guitar/vocals), Eva the Navigator (fiddle/vocals), Freebird af Wærmaland (fiddle/vocals), Happy Lou (fiddle), Jonathan “Hog Eye” (banjo), Magda Malvina Mälprim (guitar/vocals), Meatstick Nick (bass/bass trombone), Monkey Boy (percussion), Nobility (clavier/vocals), Old Red (bass/guitar), Quinton Taljenblock (viola pomposa/kalimba), Sara Landmark (percussion), Scurvy Ben (percussion/vocals), Shameless Will (vocals), Sickboy McCoy (bass/harmonica/percussion), Silent Jim (irish banjo/guitar/mandolin/vocals), Slagter Lars (bass/guitar), Wan Chou Zhong (guitelele/banjo/sitar).
A shanty about a woman named ‘Annabelle’, who now is ‘resting in the ground, in a grave in Georgia’, the opening track of ‘First Night Back in Port’ instantly transports you to the high seas. The ambiance of the ocean swirling amongst the female vocals, and the sound of beating drums, sets you up for the adventure you’re about to undertake. The other instrumentals start to slowly introduce themselves, with the other band members joining in sections of the vocals, creating a true shanty feel. The undertones of Irish style folk is clearly evident in ‘Annabelle’, and the lyrics themselves are as catchy as I’ve come across. (4:38)
‘A Night at the Schwarzer Kater’ slightly ups the tempo direction of ‘First Night Back in Port’. With a predominant male lead vocal supported by his crew, this track transports you from the ocean, to a bar; surrounded by your crew-mates, linking arms, and swirling your rum whilst you sing along! The visuals that Ye Banished Privateers are able to paint with their music is absolutely brilliant; and is going to help them go a long way in the industry. (4:15)
It’s their ‘First Night Back in Port’, and Ye Banished Privateers are going to paint the town red! You know when you come across the title track you’re in for a treat, and ‘First Night Back in Port’ is no exception. Drinking, fighting, fornicating, and you guess it, more drinking! The combination of dual male and female lead vocals shifts the tempo of the album in a different direction, but is definitely welcomed.(3:07)
Envisioning a Pirate Captain singing to his crew, the tempo direction of ‘All the Way to Galway’ is in constant shift; opening with the slow pace of accompanying vocals, to be lifted by the bellowing of lead male vocals, reverting back to the slower pace to repeat over again. The shift between a soft melodic tune from the crew, before a louder prominent male lead, is a gift for the ears to experience. (2:55)
Returning to the tavern, the lead female vocalist telling her fellow crewmates that she’s “never had a spirit like Cooper’s Rum”, to the background ambiance of said crewmates drinking, shouting, and cheering alongside her. Half way through, she’s interrupted by a male vocalist who is met with boos and taunts. Asking for their attention, before seemingly taken out with a broken bottle, and the laughter of the crew, this segment of the track adds a bit of comedic value to the album, something which Ye Banished Privateers are known for, and definitely contributes to the atmosphere they’re trying to create. (3:33)
Opening to subtle lead male vocals, as well as a change of tempo direction yet again, ‘Skippy Aye Yo’ is sung by the ship’s Captain, saying he’ll ‘still be their captain still the same’ despite apparent darkness. The crew start to slowly sing behind him, bringing somewhat of an other worldly feel to the track. As ‘Skippy Aye Yo’ progresses, the lead male vocals becomes stronger, as does the backing vocals, demonstrating the transitioning of strength, before ending on the soft tones that the track opened with. (3:47)
Shifting the tempo direction, yet again, ‘I Dream of You’ is a melodic treat. The lead male vocals is singing of a wife he left behind, as well as his children, to hit the high seas; and despite all he’s done, as a ‘bandit of the ocean’, he still dreams of her at night. ‘I Dream of You’ definitely paints the pirate life in a different light – for however much trouble one can get themselves into without remorse, they still hold basic human emotion close. The instrumentals help lift the vocals to new heights, and in my opinion is one of the stronger performances on the album. (3:35)
‘A Declaration of Independence’ returns to the true Irish folk sound, with the instrumentals playing a huge part in pushing this track forward. The track opens up with lead male vocals, subtle as we’ve heard before, with the ambiance of a storm swirling behind him. The gathering of the crew slowly builds, before joining the lead vocalist in a rousing rendition that will have you wanting to jump out of your seat, and join in. (4:55)
Birds chirping, the laughter of children, and the soft plucking of guitar is what introduces us to ‘For a Fragile Moments Ease’. The lead male vocals, as soft as the guitar backing him, is truly soothing to the soul. You just want to close your eyes, and be whisked away to the high seas. The other instrumentals start to slowly introduce themselves, and the tempo direction slowly begins to shift, before building to a manic pace. Once it hits its absolute high, it slows right down, bringing us back to reality; just for us to be whisked back into the storm of chaotic instrumentals to close out the track. (3:44)
‘We Are Ye Banished Privateers’ opens with the ambiance of a crackling fire, and male vocals just as warm, inviting you to gather ‘round, and listen to his tale. The tempo direction starts to shift, with the inclusion of the crew’s backing vocals, and accompanying instrumentals, lifting the performance to new heights. If you want a taste of who Ye Banished Privateers really are, this is the track to do so! (4:01)
Ambiance of the ocean, yet again, behind the building vocals of the entire crew, is the perfect introduction to ‘Bosuns Verses’. The lead male vocals then kick in over the ‘hey hos’ of the crew behind him, the instrumentals building alongside them. You’re going to find yourself unwillingly slapping your leg to the beat, or joining in with the backing vocals, because ‘Bosuns Verses’ casts a spell that prompts involvement. (2:55)
‘Eastindiamen’ welcomes lead female vocals back to the forefront of the crew. The backing vocals, as well as the instrumentals, both assist in highlighting her vocal talents perfectly. The instrumentals play a big part in this track, filling the void, and creating a sense of energy. (2:57)
‘Devil’s Bellows’ is a leviathan of the deep, weighing in at over 9 minutes. The track opens with lead male vocals, backed by the folk style instrumentals that we’ve come to love from Ye Banished Privateers. The tempo definitely picks up once the crew’s vocals kick in, creating a frenzy that makes you want to get up out of your seat, and dance. Brilliant combination of both instrumental, and vocal talents, that both withstand the test of time. (9:34)
Opening to the sound of a crying child, and somewhat of a ‘carnival’ sound, ‘Ringaroo at Cooper’s Inn’ doesn’t pull any punches. The use of spoken word in the background of some sections breathes life into the track, painting vivid images of debauchery. (3:24)
If you thought ‘Devil’s Bellows’ was a monster of a track, then you weren’t prepared for ‘Mermaid’s Kiss’. Over 18 minutes of melodic dream, that rounds out the album with nothing but absolute glory! Close your eyes, and allow the instrumentals to sweep you away to a world you have never experienced before. Experiencing this within the last track of ‘First Night Back in Port’ leaves you begging for more. I had this song replay on a loop. Definitely soothed my soul. (18:39)
Pre-Order your copy of ‘First Night Back In Port’ here!