Gypsies, Pirates & Hardcore Scrumpy Drinkers


So the latest band announcement for Boomtown Fair came out on Friday, this time it was for the Old Town Theatre, the place where Gypsies, (Pretend) Pirates and hardcore Scrumpy drinkers make up the members of most bands. As part of my job is to get all the biographies together for the website, I have been pretty well versed in all of the acts here. So I’ve put together a little selection of recommendations:

Gentle Mystics

Something of a new favourite, these guys are actually playing in the Town Centre but didn’t get announced the first time round. Not easy to pigeon hole, their music has elements of Gypsy and Twisted Cabaret hence why they were included on the Old Town line up, but their style is something all of it’s own. Love the dark fairytale vibe of this track and video.

Les Yeux d’la Tete

Another Town Centre band who didn’t get announced the first time round but nestle quite nicely in with the Old Town acts. I’d say these guys are second only to Gogol Bordello for Gypsy Swag. Although rather more clean cut than Eugene Hutz and co, they’re full of French attitude and have an almost tongue in cheek youthful cockiness about them. They also have the music to back it up. Fun and infectious to the core, definitely plan to catch these at Boomtown.

Zen Hussies

An old favourite of mine, we had them at the Secret Garden nights a couple of times and also at Cardiff Arts. A lot of their music (such as this one) is very Swing so they’re also playing our Chin Swingers venue in Mayfair but I’m sure Jules the lead singer would rather be included with the Gypsies and Pirates then any of the Electro Swing lot we have over there (he’s not the biggest fan of the genre, in fact he once told me he “f**king hates it”). I’ve only just noticed that this version of the track is a much more recent recording than the one on their 2010 album ‘Troubled Feet’. The vocals are a lot gruffer than the original.



I’ve already posted a couple of the great Swedish bands we’ve got at the festival and this is another. More full on Gypsy madness. These guys have been blazing a trail since their busking roots and are now considered one of the best live acts in the country.

The Fat Bastard Gang Band

More swagged out French Gypsies. These guys played a couple of years back and smashed it on the main stage, top lads. I’m looking forwards to them coming back, especially as I’ve lost the T Shirt they gave me and it’s one of my favourites for confusing those who misread it.

The Great Malarkey

Love this track, it’s sleezy, drunken, bar room Blues and Jazz. Great Malarkey are a Dalston based band who like many of the bands at Boomtown Fair, mix up various musical styles. Gypsy, Folk, Punk and of course Tom Waits, all seem to have a healthy input into their influences.

Gypsy Hill

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Plus remember these guys I posted the other day? It’s a project from London DJ / producers, DJ Kobayashi and Herbert Newbert, who shall be playing with their full live band. I’ve included the Slamboree mix of their new single as they are the other Town Centre band who have been included on this line up…. plus it’s a slamming mix anyway..

There are loads of other great bands as you can see from the poster above (and that’s just one venue!), I sometimes wish I could split into many different people at once and go check them all but shall definitely try and make an effort for all of the guys featured here.

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