Jeff Martin 777 @ The Media Club

I first caught wind of Canadian rockers The Tea Party sometime in the mid nineties when I saw a video for "The River" on Much Music which, at that point, was still playing music; what a novel idea eh?

My first thought was that Martin was the reincarnation of Jim Morrison: same raw sex appeal, simiar 70s rock vibe and an amazing voice. It would be a few years before the release of "Edges of Twilight," still my favourite Tea Party album, but it would be years before I finally had a chance to see the band live just before their break up in 2005 when they played two acoustic shows in Vancouver.

It's been years since I heard anything else about the band and whenever they crept up on my playlist, I found myself delving back into the music and it still rocks solid. So when picking up tickets to Civil Twilight we noticed that Jeffwas coming into town, Kathy and I dediced we had to go.

The show didn't start off too well. To begin with, they kept us waiting outside the venue well past 8PM. The firts band, a local act called Angel Down, took the stage at about 8:45PM. I really didn't care for their heavy sound and I don't see them as "melodic hard rock" but to each their own. Let's just say it's was a looooooooong 30 minute set.

The second band, a Toronto act named Flowerchild were much, much better and did a fairly good job of getting the crowd, by this point much of it talking loudly and clearly bored, back on track. I really dug their mix of blues, jazz and rock. Definitely worth a bit of a closer listen.

Martin and his band came on at 11 and they rocked the house for nearly two hours. The band kicked off with a couple of tunes from Martin's new album, "The Ground Cries Out," which Martin went on to inform us, had sold out across Canada upon release on Wednesday (but I got me a copy. Boo yah!). He then kicked off into some old stuff and a couple of cover tunes including renditions of NIN's "Hurt" and Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." They also dipped into some old school Tea Party tunes which really got the crowd going.

My photographer had shaky hands :)

These guys are true classic rockers. The music is timeless, as good rock music should be - I'm still a bit surprised at the fact that the band never did particularly well int he US - and they play a mean set. I was particularly impressed by their continuous play from song to song. I can't remember the last time I saw a band do that - it seems something very old school.

It was a fantastic show. I wish I'd thought about it and picked up tickets to tonight's show as well.

Looking forward to seeing Martin and the band again when they come rolling through town next time. Hopefully it won't be another six year wait. As for those going to tonight's show, I'M JEALOUS. And be prepared for a rockin' good time.


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