The Busketeers – Different Breeds
The Busketeers - Different Breeds

Release Date: Out Now

For those living east of Bristol (or outside the UK), Plymouth based quartet the Busketeers are local legends in the Southwest and this, the first album from the multi-instrumentalists, is a foray in to pastures newer and horizons broader. That said, the seven tracks that make up ‘Different Breeds’ (does seven songs constitute an album? Just about) are something of a calling card for the different song writing styles of the four members, which gives you a flavour of what the live experience holds. Opening with ‘Howlin’ At The Moon’ and you’d be forgiven that this was a funk band hell bent on surfing, good times and wearing silly hats. The man-made howls and barks are reminiscent of Rootjoose in their pomp but the rhythmic acoustic and slick lead notes are more aligned to Brother & Bones. ‘Arrows’ is a more reflective, road-trip of a tune but still maintains that acoustic energy and rhythm which is a corner stone of the collective’s songwriting and performance. Indeed, it is on ‘Arrows’ that you get the first glimpse of the commercial potential of the Busketeers as this is the kind of folk-pop that could be easily given a dance beat and chanted back at stages by hordes of millennials (is a horde the correct collective term for millennials? Gaggle? Google?).

On ‘Leave It Burning’ the band explore their more bluesy side with some borderline cheesy lead lines but overall it’s an atmospheric, almost cinematic piece that conjures images of a line troubadour walking off in to the sunset, guitar in hand. Conversely, ‘Above The Water’ is a more straight up folk number which sounds a little like Morrissey having a go at Dylan or the much missed Avert Francis with that ability to cut like a knife with the softest of tones. There’s a gratifying chug to ‘Old Blue’ that is, presumably, and ode to the geriatric frat member in Old School who dies in the best way possible. The bluesy acoustic twang and furious Cajon work make for an urgent, primal tune that would work well in the roadhouses of Route 66.

The Busketeers - facing the wrong way for a change
Now, no band is without fault and, for me, track 6 represents the weak point of the Busketeers. For a band that makes something like a living from busking it’s perhaps excusable that they include a bit of indulgent noodling and jamming on their album but ‘Cuppa Java’ is a step too far. The bass goes for a trad-Jazz walk and then the quartet seem to attempt recreating some sort of South of France vibe with gentle strums and vocals about drinking coffee in bed with your “babe”. I’m just going to leave that one there. The album finishes on a strong point, however, as ‘Gone For Good’ channels the likes of Ben Howard, Richard Thomas and James Morrison to make a husky, desperate and, let’s face it, sexy noise. As a calling card for the versatility and range of these four musicians ‘Different Breeds’ is hugely effective but I have a sneaking suspicion that if they were given more time, more instruments and some more folding money then these guys could create something very special indeed. 

More information:

Live Dates:

25th August – The Inn On The Shore, Downderry w/Kenoby
13th October – The B-Bar, Plymouth