The Tea Street Band – Tea Street Band (2014)

Like every summer day you ever had crossed with every wild night you ever had, The Tea Street Band waltz into your life with enough energy to melt Norway.

The Liverpool band takes dance music and augments it to make the competition seem foolish. Their music is simply euphoric. One of the many strengths of The Tea Street Band is Lee Smith’s guitar playing: shining so hard it can barely be gazed at. Listening to the guitar is like mainlining sugar. Want proof? Hear the ringing, effervescent chimes that colour the glorious ‘Disco Lights’…

Click to watch the (loveably 90s) video for ‘Disco Lights’

There is much more of offer than dappling guitar though. There is also frantic, breathless drums of Dom Allen and the crunchy bass of Nick Otageui that gives the band it’s vitality and urgency. The full band line up of The Tea Street Band leads to an immediate and three dimensional sound. Vocals are passionate and exuberant. The words may not be any great shakes but the point is the enjoyment passed on from singer to listener. The keyboards play a supplemental role on the album, offering radiant textures as opposed to driving the music as in so much of dance music.

The first three tracks offers a staggering start to the album, there aren’t many records that offer such a terrifying salvo of opening shots across the bow. It starts with the surging electricity and singalong chorus of…

‘Lost For Words’

Other treats include the stately guitar solo that intrudes on the riotous ‘Dance With Me’, which also has shades of 808 State. The strobe lit majesty combined with a spare Peter Hook bassline on ‘Ptfo’ nearly dissolves into a total white out.

As an album of dance music this is nothing less than a total triumph. It isn’t every day you hear an album that makes Technique by New Order sound like a wet Wednesday afternoon in Wakefield taking the library books back.

Frankly if The Tea Street Band can’t make you dance, I don’t pity, merely feel you are missing out on an experience to be grasped, savoured and squeezed for every possible ounce of fun.

Click to watch The Tea Street Band live at Night & Day Cafe… (it doesn’t’ capture the moment when keyboard player James Albertina shook my hand mid song but you can’t have it all…)


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