Volume 91, Issue 11

Tuesday, September 16, 1997



See how our hair stays divine

Sam Pane/Gazette
"SAY AHHH!!" The Tea Party's, Jeff Martin, attempts to swallow his microphone last Thursday at the Wave. Doctors say he should recover and he's doing fine.

By Jeremy Schneider
Gazette Staff

Canada has become a secret haven for some of North America's finest prodigies. Away from the star-making machine of the south, Canadian musicians are free to hide in an intellectual adventure under a deep snowy cover. Last Friday night one of those bands peeked out into the humid London night. It was the night The Tea Party invaded The Wave.

Opening act Glueleg offered up a glistening performance, putting the crowd in a poetic state of mind. The audience was over 800-strong and the floor was a sea of chaos, as body-surfers reached out to touch the ceiling.

Following the inspiring intro, Tea Party lead singer Jeff Martin and the rest of his crew made their way onto The Wave's meager stage. The band launched into its set with "The Bazaar" as Martin plead to his creative muse, "Please my friend no matter what she sees/Tell my lover come back to me."

The group managed to dip into some great cuts off its new album, Transmission, including songs like "Psychopomp," – based on a Karl Jung philosophy that one can visualize figures from the unconscious mind during a near-death experience.

Later, the song "Release" was played, which instead of asserting male spiritual dominance, is an apology to the female spirit which has been oppressed for nearly 2,000 years.

One had to be there in order to truly understand Martin's musings. as he is an extremely intense young man. His guitar acts as the conductor of his gleaming soul and since he is part of a group, he doesn't enter the high platitudes of glory that a lone wolf may experience.

Still, the other band members do provide the deeper rhythms that make the Tea Party. While Stuart Chatwood is a strange-looking man thumping on his bass guitar and playing his keyboards, Jeff Burrows is the group's father figure and the one who attacks the drum kit.

The band's hit single, "Temptation," was played at the end of the show, featuring some biting guitar solos that pushed past the three-minute restriction of the video. The Tea Party was executing the jazz-induced art of improvisation.

After a three-song encore, including an unreleased number entitled "Heroes," the Tea Party had completed its mission and left the stage. Backstage, after the euphoria of a show, Martin discussed books, meditation, movies and reading minds.

Martin certainly demonstrates a creation of dark intellect and hedonism – slowly achieving sublime immortality. So what does he listen to after the show?

"My heartbeat," he said.

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997