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visitors since May 12, 2002
January 25, 2002
The Interzone Pretensions

Listening to the new Tea Party record The Interzone Mantras and not enjoying it very much, apart from Angels, the second song. Jeff Martin's lyrics (as foreshadowed by the album title) are getting more and more pretentious. And lyrics aren't the Tea Party's strength, sadly. It's a pity, because they're otherwise an intriguing band.

Two years ago I went to see them play at the Palais Theatre in St. Kilda. At the time I didn't know anything about them, apart from having heard the magnificent Heaven Coming Down a few times on JJJ. I bought a ticket the day before the show, and by lucky accident got a seat in the second row.

They were phenomenal. They can really, really, really play. Jeff Martin is one of the best guitarists now around, and he was ably supported by Stuart Chatwood on keyboards, Jeff Burrows on drums, and the hardest-working roadie in show business. At the end of every song, this roadie would reappear with yet another new stringed instrument for Jeff, all of which were in unusual tunings. At one point the roadie came out carrying something that resembled a piece of loosely-wrapped space junk. It looked a bit like a sitar, if a sitar had strange antenna-like protusions on it, a remote control and a NASA sticker. Jeff put this weird contraption on his lap and said "I have no idea how to play this."

Towards the end of the set they played Sister Awake, and just for a few moments they did what Bob Dylan said a great song should do: they stopped time. Sister Awake segued into David Bowie's Heroes, and the results were just astonishing. If you've got a tape of this show, please get in touch.

     Posted by Sean Hegarty at 02:57 PM in the Musical category | Comments (1)
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