Live Review: The Tea Party

16 November 2015 | 2:48 pm | Mick Radojkovic

"Martin, visibly moved, dedicated Correspondences to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks."

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The trend of performing seminal albums in their entirety doesn't seem to be dissipating any time soon, but when the album is worthy, the experience transcends the gimmick.

The Tea Party exploded onto the scene in the early 1990s with their blues and psychedelic rock-infused sound. Their third album, The Edges Of Twilight, would become their most successful and defined a unique Indian and Middle Eastern sound that would stick with the band throughout their career.

"You...stay..." reverberates around the Enmore as the concert starts, as the album does, with the mammoth Fire In The Head. Jeff Martin's intense baritone is as impressive as expected, managing to make even the hardiest person quiver at the knees.

The events of the morning were hanging heavy over the band and the crowd as Martin, visibly moved, dedicated Correspondences to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks as he screamed, "It fucking tears me apart..."

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The album is eclectic, with instrumentals and a seemingly endless rotation of guitars and international noise-makers, including a hurdy-gurdy, sarod, mandolin and doumbek drums. A recent tour of Morocco for lead singer Jeff Martin certainly seems to keep him inspired to embrace Middle Eastern music.

The risk of performing an album in full is that not every song works live and that was the case with some of the latter songs. However, following a short intermission, the band returned for a short 'best of the rest' set, including Heaven Coming Down and an epic version of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir.

The enthusiastic crowd bellowed for more as Martin and his exceptionally talented band farewelled the crowd with Temptation, rounding out a memorable 20th anniversary show.