Image for The Tea Party, Hordern Pavilion, Sydney – 21/07/2012

The Tea Party, Hordern Pavilion, Sydney – 21/07/2012

Written by Catherine Robinson on July 23, 2012

I haven’t seen many reunion gigs. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen any. I’m the kind of person who rolls my eyes at the reformed band – thinking, “These guys clearly spent the money from the last tour, record sales are slow and now they want a bigger house” or something equally as cynical. I mean, how many times do bands really reform because they have an epiphany that the music is all that matters?

When I heard that The Tea Party had reformed and were touring, I thought this would either have to be an amazing gig or a straight out train wreck (it’s no secret that The Tea Party broke up on bad terms) so naturally I went along.

Sad to say, this show was neither amazing nor a train wreck. I know, I know, it’s a bit perverted to want a show to be terrible, but tell me honestly, how many of you tuned in to The Shire?

Their collection of blues meets Eastern/metal fusion songs were executed with enough passion to keep us watching, but not quite enough to deliver the level of excitement members of the audience remember from the early days of Tea Party gigs.

With no new output for almost eight years, they played all the hits and the more obscure tunes that have been sweeping fans away since they first hit the scene almost seventeen years ago. Martin’s richly charismatic voice, the Tea Party’s familiar riffs, and the pleasantly virtuosic acoustic moments reminded us that sometimes it’s nice to hear people that can play well as opposed to fashionably.

There was almost an awkward juxtaposition in the rooms’ reception of enigmatic frontman Jeff Martin. While it was refreshing to see someone carry on like a good old-fashioned frontman – Jeff clearly had the crowd in his hands conducting the applause and pulling at our heart strings with familiar banter – at the same time, he lost us a little when it became apparent that aside from riding on nostalgia, tonight’s show seemed to focus entirely on the ego of Jeff Martin.

The room felt a bit uneasy when Jeff launched into pro-Satan and pro-drug use rants on and off throughout the night. Something felt altogether too obvious and a little unexpected about such emphatically delivered sentiments. Indeed, the only new song of the evening was an anti Bible belt blues/country style tale of Jeff’s rejection from heaven and inevitable decent into hell. They lost a few punters at the point where the song began to converse with Jesus and St Peter. I don’t think the audience saw that one coming.

Having been to a few Tea Party gigs, I’ve never heard any blatant religious sentiment before. Sure, there are both spiritual and religious references in Tea Party tunes, but we like the level of subtlety that leaves one wondering exactly what a song is about, while allowing you to feel that you somehow already know.

With the extensive use of referencing throughout the set – Tool’s Sober, Jeff Buckley’s Last Goodbye, Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower, and Rolling Stone’s Paint it Black to name a few – I just can’t help feeling this is the cash-in on nostalgia tour, which maybe, judging by the packed hall of dedicated and satisfied looking punters, is just what the fans are looking for.

Nonetheless, I’m hoping the confirmed new album the boys are working on, due out in 2013, will prove me wrong about this tour and see the band I once missioned out to Fairfield RSL club to see (back in 1999) take the music to new and exciting levels.

Swipe/tap ← or →

Join Music Feeds on Facebook

More On Music Feeds

News

The Smith Street Band’s Wil Wagner Announces Solo Mixtape

Wil Wagner, frontman of Melbourne group The Smith Street Band, has announced a solo cassette mixtape titled, I Hope I Don’t Come Across Intense.

News

Jack White Says He’d “Rather Not” Play Festivals At All

Australian Jack White fans have been waiting patiently — well, not that patiently — for the former White Stripes frontman to return to Aussie shores, and now White himself has put another nail in the coffin of his future touring prospects by saying he doesn’t want to play festivals.

News

You Me At Six Stop UK Festival Show To Help Injured Fan

English rockers You Me At Six have proved once again just how gentlemanly they can be when a fan is in trouble.

News

SNFU Announce First Australian Tour In Almost 20 Years

Canada’s hardcore punk stalwarts, SNFU, have announced their long-awaited return to Australian shores for their first headline tour since 1996.

Music Videos

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations – ‘Flag’

The diverse and many-membered Xavier Rudd & The United Nations have unveiled the beautifully-shot new music video for Flag, the second single taken from their latest album, Nanna.

News

A$AP Rocky Flames Rita Ora In New Album Track

Because all the cool kids are doing it, A$AP Rocky went ahead and released his album At.

Around the web

This May Also Interest You