The merits of tireless enthusiasm and relentless work ethic as the maintenance required for the upkeep of the engine that drives success can often be overlooked even by the most attentively earnest band. A wise man once said that enthusiasm is nothing but faith with a tin can tied to its tail. Ignore the religious connotations of this statement and interpret its message in relation to Liverpool band culture and the exploits of THE TEA STREET BAND, who have adamantly demonstrated their renewed confidence in their musical convictions.
After a scintillating recent performance at Liverpool Sound City, they’ve ardently begun to win over every man and his dog that’s had the pleasure of witnessing them as a live spectacle, and what a bewildering spectacle it turned out to be. “We want to fill the stage with smoke, go on, give them all the songs, give them all the fucking riffs, give them all the basslines and make everyone feel like they want to stay and watch D/R/U/G/S and have a really good night.” Frontman Timo Tierney rather eloquently explains his categorical aspirations prior to their performance at Red Bull Studios Live @ the Garage. The derelict and downright squalid space of Wolstenholme cark park was transformed into a transcendental cavern of otherworldly ascendance as attendees ended up getting more than they bargained for; the realisation of a new era for these likely lads.
The bustling energy just doesn’t seem to translate in their double A-side single Fiesta/Summer Dreaming, though. The shimmering guitar tones and Balearic rhythms don’t evoke the same emotions on record, which is a folly Tierney openly concedes. “I don’t think it’s a very accurate representation of where we are now. I think if you come down to the live show then you’ll go home and listen to the EP and realise, ‘I want to go and watch them live again’, because it doesn’t really translate.” Bassist Nick Ellis nods in agreement and confirms Tierney’s assertions. “That was a year ago when we recorded that so there’s been a lot of progression since then; there’s a lot of new songs, a lot of new sounds, and there’s a lot of confidence in the band, so there’s so much more going on musically.” There’s no time for complacency though, with fresh tunes already on the way. Nick describes how their new sound has grown in both statue and prowess with a wide smile across his face. “Massive, bigger; a lot bigger and a lot wider in scale. There’s an overall ethic running through the band of massive confidence and self belief. We’ve tried to channel that ethic into our music; the riffs have become more raunchy and bolshie.”
The Tea Street Band have resolutely proved that sometimes a little faith, unreserved compassion and a fresh direction is all that’s necessary to reinvigorate a creative vision that’s generated a re-established interest the city over. Now under the wing of Sound City overlord Dave Pichilingi, they seem to have found a new lease of life and a brotherly camaraderie that speaks volumes about their commitment. “A lot of people didn’t really want to give us a chance when we first started, in my opinion; we were running up the hill without any shoes on. To get up this hill I felt like we needed to get to this next level of where we wanted to be, and then Dave came down to watch us and started managing the band.” Timo tries to convey that all they really needed was a stern push in the right direction to spur them on to pastures new. “We had it all there between us, being all close knit and best mates; I mean, we had the ship but we were just stranded in the middle of the ocean, we just didn’t know which way to sail it; then Dave came on board and since then it’s been… well … he’s just boss, he’s like another member; he’s even been contributing his own ideas.”
As a collective they seem hell-bent on not just producing distinctive music, but figure-heading the resurgence of an acid house culture in the form of warehouse parties – a fundamental theme engrained in their ideological beliefs. “I think we need to keep doing our own raves, keep playing to more people, hopefully release an album and spread the love, you know. I feel like we’re on a mission to put Liverpool back on the map and kick-start the resurgence.” The band have fully redefined themselves, imposing their self-affirmed mission statement into the veins of Liverpool itself with a view to putting the city back on the map as a central hub of culture and reaffirm a forward-thinking ‘heart on sleeve’ ethos. 2012 is without doubt a massive year for The Tea Street Band. Without gushing despairingly or sounding lamentably hopeless, maybe a little faith was all they really needed to take things to the next level; if you get the chance to see them live, I’m sure you’ll agree.