Tab Talks: Mo’s Gold Teeth

We caught up with MO’S GOLD TEETH to talk folk music, a Hiberno-Bulgarian revival, and the launch of their new folk night at the Maypole

acoustic david bailey folk music folk scene led zeppelin Maypole mo's gold teeth natalie portman planxty robin student bands

I’ve never really been one to listen to folk music. Or so I thought before I met Mo’s Gold Teeth, a four piece folk band formed by Cambridge students Robin Jones, David Bailey, William Addison and Aaron Burke. Meeting with the first three respectively at the Maypole, I discovered that ‘folk’, as a genre, “extends beyond just meaning traditional loud tunes; it embraces everything from Bob Dylan to Mumford & Sons”.

Yet despite the breadth of the genre, there still seems to be a gap in Cambridge folk market. Cue Mo’s Gold Teeth, who have decided to set up their own folk night at the Maypole, starting this Sunday at 9pm. “There aren’t many folk clubs in the centre of town for students” the band explain. “We know lots of very talented musicians in Cambridge, but you never really get the chance to meet them. This night at the Maypole is a chance to give a place to the student voice in the folk scene.”

maypole folk club

Mo’s Gold Teeth, however, seem already to have found their voice; having formed over a year ago, they’ve since played “almost every conventional student venue”, including several May Balls and last term’s King’s Bunker. Describing their sound in one sentence, they unanimously opt for “Hiberno-Bulgarian folk revival band”. Not entirely sure what music that encompasses? Expect “lots of traditional music” including “Irish and Scottish folk tunes” and “very fast paced and loud Bulgarian pieces, featuring weird time signatures and long instrumentals.”

From left to right: Will, Robin, and David

From left to right: Will, Robin, and David

It’s not just in Cambridge that the band have been making waves. They’ve also supported Planxty in concert, a 1970s Irish band they’d highly recommend to any newcomer to the folk scene. “They bring in a combination of Balkan and traditional sounds” Robin explains. When asked who they would most like to collaborate with, the trio reply in unison with “Andy Irvine”, one of Planxty’s founding members. “He’s an old guy now, but he’s still much better than us. He’s very much an icon” they enthuse.

As I photograph the band, with their mandolins and guitars and violins, I can’t help feeling that this might be the genre for me, my talents on the ukulele and harmonica having gone previously unappreciated. Irish drums, banjos, fiddles; folk music welcomes obscure instruments with open arms. Interested? Get yourself down to the Maypole this Sunday to perform, to meet other musicians, or just to kick back with a beer and have a jig.

For more information about the Sunday Singer’s Night at the Maypole, click here