The Tea Party
April 21, 2017
Since the Canadian three piece’s inception in the early-‘90s, the Tea Party has pursued a singular epic sound melding middle-eastern influences with cacophonous power for what has become widely dubbed as ‘Moroccan roll’.
Their eight album spanning catalogue defiant of categorizations, balanced psychedelic and a myriad of other influences as they evolved from a heavy and bluesy band taking pages from the books of Led Zeppelin and Jim Morrison to incorporating electronica, psychedelic tones and noises, thereby becoming a progressive boundary pushing band while not losing appeal for their core audience.
Their latest guise saw the Tea Party perform with Sydney’s Youth Orchestras at the Star Events Centre Sydney, an Orchestral Show that has not been performed outside of Canada since 2002.
The show has been updated from its Canadian origins to incorporate a broad range of their bombastic songs and fan favourites from across the band’s career.
Under the directorate of conductor Marc Quellette, and the incorporation of instruments such as Oud, Sitar, Qanoun, Hurdy Gurdy, Theremin, Rabob, Tabla and many unusual and rarely seen percussive instruments, the symphonic treatment re-examined the songs in a different light and shaped a new story for each song, making the two-hour set flow and embedding the trio’s velvety and at times dark and mystical sonic arrangements in different contexts for each song.
With Sydney Youth Orchestras having honed their craft as part of Vivid Sydney (Intel, Ignite Dance Anthems), Carols in the Domain and the BBC Proms Festival and with the SYO musicians thriving on music and arts collaborations, the symphonic treatment seamlessly fused with the Tea Party’s DNA and lent their performance a dramatic and epic proportion, that made the evening a sensual experience which was further enhanced by Star City’s integrated audio-visual, lighting, production and its bombastic state-of-the-art sound system, one that is revered as one of the best in Australia.
Photos by KAVV