Folky Terry and The Strawberry Crunch Bunch: 09/01/2018

We don’t usually play folk music here at Riga.

Despite our resident DJ’s impassioned (and often drunken) arguments in favour for Simon and Garfunkel’s early folk recordings, for a long time it has remained a genre that has been untouched at the Riga Music Bar.

Whenever I think of folk music, my mind drifts to dismal country fairs, Joni Mitchell wannabes at open mic nights and God-awful-buskers in quaint historical cities like York and Winchester. So, with that being said, you might be surprised to hear that I found Folky Terry and The Strawberry Crunch Bunch to be one of the most entertaining and energising live acts to have graced our stage here at the Riga Music bar.

A good-sized crowd turned up for the support act on a Tuesday night, either an indicator that the students were back and really didn’t want to get on with their revision or that up and coming local act Good-Time Jarv was already building up a considerable local following.

With a mop of bleach blonde hair and a battered acoustic guitar, Good-Time Jarv more than resembles a certain deceased Grunge icon however the pure tone that he sings with and the delicacy of his guitar puts him in closer reach to a singer like Norah Jones than any of Cobain’s acoustic work. As is expected from a large crowd, Jarv initially struggles to be heard over the din, however after drawing the mob’s attention with a blinding rendition of Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World (surely a nod to his bleach blonde 90s hero) he soon settles into a groove that has the audience lapping up his softly crooned vocals.

By the end of Good-Time Jarv’s set the Bar is reaching max capacity and there’s some real anticipation building in the room. The stage is cleared and brightly coloured instruments of all shapes and sizes are brought on stage. There’s a tuba, a double bass and even a Korg synthesizer: hardly the kind of instruments that you’d associate with a usual folk band but, then again, Folky Terry and The Strawberry Crunch Bunch aren’t your usual folk band.

The 7-piece band are given a rapturous welcome as they take their positions on stage. Dressed in black, they’d look a little ominous if it weren’t for their technicolor instruments. The band begin a thrumming intro based on Sunflower River Blues, a folk standard that is clearly familiar to the crowd. As this opener reaches a crescendo, the man himself bounds on stage. Folky Terry has always been known for his outlandish getup, yet it seems like he’s really pushed the boat out for this show.

Thick dreadlocks wheel through the air as the front man grabs his uke and begins to strum madly; this kind of devil may care performance is normally associated with hardcore punk acts rather than folk performers and it’s clear that his energy is infectious.

Within a matter of minutes the crows is a sweaty mass of smiling faces and it’s clear that Folky Terry has won over a new slew of fans.

Folky Terry and The Strawberry Crunch Bunch played the Riga Music Bar on the 9th January 2018 and were reviewed by Part-Time Bar Staff member, Jolene Fitzstewart.

Our 2017 in Review

What a year it’s been for us!

With yet another successful year under out belts, we thought we’d collect some of the highlights from the team here at Riga, from the most disastrous to the most successful!

Chip Pan Fire in the Kitchen

It was only a matter of time before an accident like this came a cropper. Every bar is tested at some point, whether it’s a robbery or something a bit more serious. Our little accident came in the form of an overzealous chip fryer and thankfully didn’t result in any lasting damage to either persons or property. A busy Friday night shift can often take it’s toll on the kitchen, ask any of our chefs; as tidy as they try to be sometimes, messes can often be hard to avoid.

Although we had to shut down the kitchen for the weekend, we were glad to be back up and running the week after. The faulty chip fryer was replaced and we’re happy to report that there have been no further technical issues – Jakers’ Chicken Shack we are not.

Hosting the Bob Bobbins Blues Blast

For over a decade the name Bob Bobbins has been synonymous with groundbreaking blues music and it was our honour to host what would be the great man’s 27th annual Blues Blast this year at the Riga. As with all of his Blues Blasts, this one-day show brought together Bobbins’ seasoned house band with locally sourced talent, as well as Bobbins himself, making for an epic night of Blues that has gone down as one of the nights of 2017.

Introduction of our World Hoedown

Combining the best dance and hoedown moves from around the world to create a completely unique, fun, community based experience that everyone can get on board with. Our inaugural Hoedown in May was a massive effort that spanned across the entire bar. We’re so happy to have such a talented and enthusiastic team here at Riga’s and it’s thanks to their efforts that we were able to pull this event off and keep it running throughout the year as a successful weekly event.

New Year’s Eve Extravaganza

We’ve always had fun at our New Year’s Parties and this year’s celebration was no different. Once more we opened our doors to the mercy of the town with only one aim in mind: to blow the socks off every person who chose Riga to party the New Year in with. We had a tonne of our friends helping us out this year and the live music performances were as much a celebration of them as it was of 2017 in general. Performers from our sensational World Hoedown teamed up with our Salsa DJs to build some seriously funky beats and it was great to see our chefs on the dance floor letting loose.

We’d all like to thank our wonderful staff for the great work that they’ve done for us in 2017. Riga Music Bar is going nowhere anytime soon, we’re going to be right here entertaining you lot for as long as we can!