Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra can’t have managed to stray too far from your minds considering their last album release was only back at the beginning of this year but with the young men that make up this jaunty band there is truly no rest for the wicked.
Having opened 2019 with their stunning album Soul of my City they now intend to close it with the release of Eta Carinae, a 5-track EP to remind you of just how good this year has been. It’s short and sweet but it’s another well-desired foray into the world of this country-psychobilly-blues-swing-rock-whatever you want to call them band…The truth of the matter is that they group are completely undefinable because you could find a home for them in almost any genre. There is a rich swinging rock n’ roll vice that’s evocative of drapes and squares, with songs like Basket Full of Nothing that echo the likes of Stray Cat Strut. But alongside that there is a rich blues twang and country melodies that flit alongside almost orchestral backdrops and Balkan inspired mandolin melodies breathing a contemporary breath into a score of genres all at once.
The band have famously stated they don’t actually care what you call them – it’s not about the genre you like, it’s about what you like and with Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra there is quite literally something for everyone. They are an immeasurably jovial band with a flare for the dramatic as you find them putting on a show even when there is no show to be had. You could be driving on the motorway or sat in your favourite chair at home with your eyes shut and the result would be the same; you’d still find yourself transported in a whirlwind flurry to the middle of a raucous dance floor as they play until they are spent. The energy and passion that the band produce their music with is contagious, drawing you in and building you up until you go off like a rocket.
Eta Carinae is a brilliant glimpse back into the minds of these peculiar musicians and the most perfect end to the year as it takes into account the dark and grey weather we will all face and chases it away with an EP that radiates sunshine. It’s no understatement to say that Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra are the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off.
Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra · UK Tour · October 2019
Wed 9 Manchester Retro
Thu 10 Stoke-on-Trent The Artisan Tap
Fri 11 Paignton The Lucky 7 Club
Sat 12 Maidenhead Norden Farm Centre for the Arts
Sun 13 London The Lexington
Wed 16 Hull The New Adelphi Club
Thu 17 Stockton-on-Tees The Georgian Theatre
Fri 18 Glasgow Stereo Cafe Bar
Sat 19 Aberdeen The Blue Lamp
Fri 25 Newcastle upon Tyne Old Coal Yard
Review by Joe Knipe