One of the concerts canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak was the release show of the Swedish pirate folk act YE BANISHED PRIVATEERS. We got acquainted with the band due to the release of their latest album “Hostis Humanis Generis,” read our review here and check out our interview here. The band decided not to cancel the show, but instead organize a livestream in front of a virtual audience. We knew for sure we wanted to take part in the experience.
The party started with hostess Valentina Labbate giving an overview of the history of the band, and doing short interviews with some of the band members while watching their music videos together with track commentary, which altogether proved to be a very unique experience for the fans. The first part got interrupted by a brief acoustic performance, an inviting taste of what was to come. Fans could also vote which song they wanted to hear live, as well as who they should hit in the head with a bottle.
One hour and a half later, it was time for the actual party: the show. With an atmospheric intro, the band is telling the story of how the crew got quarantined due to an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague, something we all can relate to at this very moment. Afterwards, they started shouting “Bring out Your Dead,” introducing the very first song of the pirate party. While the Plague Doctor was ringing a bell to gather all the dead outside, Bellows was cheerfully singing as if his life depended on it. Bellows continued by greeting the crowd, and explaining why they wanted to continue with their show.
Next, the story of how this band came to be was told in the form of “We are Ye Banished Privateers.” Blackpowder Pete took the stand, and with conviction told the story of the crew, together with Silent Jim. While the crew was ready to take a sip of their finest rum, they started with a powerful rendition of “Cooper’s Rum.” Towards the end of the song, a drunken pirate steals the mic away from singer Magda Malvina Märlprim, and he ends up being the very first YE BANISHED PRIVATEERS‘ casualty on stage, after which the party obviously continues, and the band belts out one last chorus.
The band continues with a brand new track “Elephants’ Dance,” which immediately proves to be a great success on stage, thanks to the lively efforts of Shameless Will, and Magda Malvina Märlprim. Silent Jim introduces the next track, a song that is about being far away from home, longing for your loved ones, “I Dream of You.” While Silent Jim urges everyone to shout along hey in their own language, I find myself trying to participate, while dancing along to the track. Blackpowder Pete returns with some sort of a rainmaker creating the perfect mood and setting to perform the emotional “Annabel.”
A short break followed, during which Valentina interviewed some of the crew, working behind-the-scenes, after which the results of the vote would be made clear. The crowd voted “The Ship is Sinking Down,” during which the stream had some visible software errors, but luckily didn’t shut down the experience. Eva the Navigator and Scurvy Ben take over the microphones during the emotional “Parting Song,” which offers the viewer a break from all the intense songs. Before the next track, the double bass, for some mystical reason, seems to be a trigger to Scurvy Ben, and he destroys the instrument, as he’s trying to saw it in half.
Bellows starts belting out the next track, one of the latest album, “Capstan Shanty,” one of my favorite tracks, in which the spotlight definitely went to the marimba solo. Silent Jim grabs the microphone again to sing the energetic “They are Marching down on Highstreet.” Time for another story sang by Bellows, but not before a judge went on to accuse Bellows of thievery, to which Bellows claims he couldn’t have possibly done it because he was “Rowing with One Hand,” a humoristic track about masturbation that surely was a lot of fun to see live. Unfortunately, Bellows still got strangled as a sentence. This is followed by the sad “Death of Bellows,” adding a second victim to the body count of tonight’s concert. While a lot of F’s appear on the chatbox’s screen to show their support to the late Bellows, the party continues with a fan favorite “Gangplank.” At this point, I couldn’t resist moving my hips to the dynamic rhythms of the song and sing along to the track. “Gankplank” has the whole crew participating, and bouncing around on the stage like the mad pirates they really are. Towards the end of the song, it also becomes clear who won the vote to get hit by a bottle of rum in the head as Shameless Will attacked Blackpowder Pete from behind, who then collapsed to the ground, and towards the end joked that he had forgotten about the bottle of rum.
“Yellow jack” followed; a song which apparently had a bad case of COVID-1719 as the whole crew died off during the song. Bellows rises from the dead while explaining that they did promise us some hope, and introduced us to a land where it doesn’t matter what name you were born into, a place where it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor: “Libertalia.” Slowly the crew rose up to party one last time to the energetic end of the evening under the motto of stay home, drink some rum and dance! The song also included some virtual performances of the crew members who were currently in quarantine or self-isolation, providing a heartwarming ending to a fantastic show!
After the performance, the band gathered with Valentina and they talked about the show, the proceeds of the performance, and the future of the band. Blackpowder Pete explains what it felt like to receive the glass bottle from the audience’s votes. Then the band answers some questions from the fans, among which specifics about certain songs, their clothing, etc.
YE BANISHED PRIVATEERS promised to give us some hope and light during dark times, and they surely exceeded any expectations. The performance fulfilled any wishes from a super energetic group of pirates to a great variety of traditional instruments, ranging from guitarras and violins to marimba and harpsichord. Even though there was no real audience present, the band made sure to entertain the thousands of viewers, and succeeded very much!
You can watch the entire performance here, and make sure to help out the band by buying some merchandising!
- Bring Out your Dead
- We are Ye Banished Privateers
- Cooper’s Rum
- Elephants’ Dance
- I Dream of You
- The Ship is Sinking Down
- Parting Song
- Capstan Shanty
- They are Marching Down on Highstreet
- Rowing with One Hand
- Death of Bellows
- Yellow jack
Written by Laureline Tilkin