Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra
From the start it’s abundantly clear that the listener is going on a frenetic journey through a myriad of musical styles of rock and roll, rockabilly, swing, and ragtime blues. Hailing not from Mississippi, but Newcastle Upon Tyne, the Tea Pad Orchestra infuse all the aforementioned music styles with healthy does of Northern humour to deliver what they themselves have described as “Geordie Swing”.
Across twelve tight songs, an eclectic mix of subjects is tackled. ‘Soul of My City’ looks at problems facing many small arts communities engaged in area regeneration and how they are almost always the ones who lose out to the town planners when the developers show them the money. Or as Heron puts it:
For a dirty Pound.
The modern music industry gets a knock on the 1950s sounding ‘Let’s Go Back In Time’. Social issues, most notably, poverty in the 21st century is the subject of both ‘There’s a Hole (Where My Pocket Used To Be)’ and ‘Lonely Boy on the Dole Queue’.
Humour abounds on songs ‘Life’s a Drag’ and ‘Double Meaning, Double Entendre’ which both show the broad range Heron’s songwriting skills.
As a band, The Tea Pad Orchestra are well travelled, tight ensemble who’ve been together for seven years and in that time have played festivals across the UK and Europe and can count Marc Riley and Huey Morgan among their fans.
Their infectious brand of “Geordie Swing” encapsulating so many musical styles delivers good old-fashioned toe-tapping vibrant tunes that could redefine the meaning of Northern Soul.
‘Soul Of My City’ is available now on Tea Pad Recordings.