JEFF MARTIN & TEREPAI RICHMOND
Brass Monkey- 01/09/11
by Kristy Wandmaker for Drum Media
Tea Party fans are devout – and a little intimidating – and this reviewer has often been encouraged by fans to give them a listen. Tried, but just never got it. Until seeing Jeff Martin live, joined by percussionist doyen Terepai Richmond. A twelve-string acoustic accompanied by a modest jazz-set drum kit – yet with Martin’s use of effects paired with Richmond’s Mary Poppins-like supply of noisemakers, they produced a wall of sound Spector would be proud of. The violent tenderness of Martin’s voice enveloped the room, reaching out with Sad Eyes to give everyone a spine-tingling embrace. Despite being ill, Martin had lost only the tippy-top of his vocal spectrum, imbruing the audience with his ethereal timbre. Tea Party favourites were covered including The Bazaar and a killer rendition of Requiem that managed to weave into a tearing sample of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt. The medleys of You And Me, Stairway, All Along The Watchtower, followed later with Hoochie Coochie Man, Black Snake Blues and Five To One, were phenomenal. Mind blowing tempo and timing changes that drew on his plenary music knowledge and devotion to his craft turned Martin into a human sampler.
Both gents were celebrating the recent births of their sons and Martin kindly dedicated Harvest Moon to Richmond’s, who was only born two days previously. With Coming Back Again [correction: Coming Home], Martin promised to always come home. While the crowd was agog at the thought of The Tea Party possibly visiting our shores, this reviewer
was simply glad to fi nally see him live – to fi nally get it.