The Tea Party are reformed and back in town with two gigs in Melbourne this weekend past. I was lucky enough to attend the first on Saturday night at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda. With that beautiful old theatre packed to the rafters with Tea Party devotees, the band treated us to two hours of all our favourites -- with some surprises embedded. (Midway through the wonderful Save Me, for instance, the band transitioned into a version of Hallelujah, and then back into Save Me again.)
Jeff Martin's gravelly velvet vocals sent shivers down my spine and I sat there for much of the evening with a stupid smile on my face. There were also foot-tapping and swaying in abundance. Fire in the Head, one of my favourite songs, was a highlight.
Somewhat wonderfully, the band recorded the gig and have plans to release a live double-album based on their Australian concerts. I only hope they don't get lumped with some of the nasty sound issues that plagued Saturday's performance. (A strange highlight involved Martin bringing all the sound down, pointing at an offending speaker/amplifier/whatever spewing out a dreadful hum and saying: "We gotta get rid of that.")
Technical gremlins aside, it was a fabulous gig enjoyed by a respectful and knowledgeable audience (for the most part). I can't wait until the live CD is released!