Hopes for an insight into the Tea Party‘s new album, currently being recorded, at last night’s gig at the Hi Fi bar in Melbourne were dashed. What the three-piece did reveal was a powerful set built on Jeff Martin’s acoustic guitars, with Jeff Burrows and Stuart Chatwood laying down their always dependable rhythm groove.
Martin’s voice was showing the signs of previous gigs in Sydney and Brisbane and, presumably, the recording process, but the occasional threadbare note added to the emotion of staples such as ‘Requiem’ and ‘Messenger’, and the deeply personal ‘Oceans’. With his voice rasping, Martin rose to an audience member’s suggestion and sung the introductory note to ‘Soul Breaking’, to much applause.
The Hi Fi’s no-frills basement stage offered a great view, illuminating Burrows’ intensity and industry behind the kit.
The band, coming off their reunion tour last year after a hiatus of six years, were in full command, playing songs from pretty much all their albums for 90 minutes or so, with ‘Save Me’, ‘The Bazaar’ and ‘Walking Wounded’ among the crowd favourites. A (poorly remembered) medley included instrumental the ‘Badger’ and ‘Midsummer Day’. A rousing ‘Sister Awake’ ended the set, and the trio clearly enjoyed belting out an electric, sadly distorted ‘Overload’ for the encore.
Based on the killer tour last year and last night’s comfortable and confident outing, the stage seems set for the Tea Party to fulfil Martin’s promise that the new album is going to be something special. Meanwhile, we take heart from his parting promise that they’ll be seeing us soon — a new album demands a tour!
“Dawn” supported the Bris gig – not sure if they did Melb as well? Not a bad listen. And I wanted to roll the lead singer for her steampunk dress…
The Tea Party were good, but probably not the best I have heard from them. “Save Me” was amazing, with the entire audience singing along with the chorus. A few newbies were played which was refreshing.
Bring on the new album, I say!
Damn, I didn’t notice any new tunes Dawn did play, but I could barely hear the lead singer over the noise they were making, and couldn’t really appreciate the cross-genre stylings they were trying for. The studio album should be better. But yes, great dress!