Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra
Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra don't care what
genre you choose to put them in - western swing, country
blues, ragtime hokum or whatever else- as long as you
understand that they're 100% sincere and 100% immersed
in this stuff. This is no lazy pastiche, no dressing up
box. They live and breathe this music and want you to
get immersed with them.
The Tea Pad are five years into a remarkable story
that began with four friends studying folk and traditional
music at Newcastle University and now sees them playing
clubs and dancehalls and festivals the breadth of the
British Isles and into mainland Europe (there was even
a brief trip to India last year). Based on Tyneside
but with members hailing from Orkney to Warwickshire,
the Tea Pad sound draws on myriad influences - from
Bob Wills to Django Reinhardt, George Jones to Cab Calloway
- yet ultimately sounds like nobody else, that North
Eastern Swing style that's utterly their own and changing
all the time.
Across the three wonderful albums - 2012's "Money
Isn't Everything", 2014's "Talk About The
Weather" and now the new "Something Blue"
- the band have constantly added new flavours to their
sound: Heron in particular is a vinyl obsessive, always
fired up about some new passion - calypso or boogaloo
or whatever this week brings - and that eclecticism
feeds into their songs, with the new album adding gospel
and rockabilly to the Tea Pad palette.
The band tour the way bands should - widely and endlessly
- winning friends and fans at each new show. They played
150+ shows in 2015, including well-received performances
at festivals like Glastonbury, Bestival, Wilderness
and Towersey Folk Festival. They've appeared twice on
Radio 4's Loose Ends, and had their music played by
everyone from Marc Riley to Huey Morgan.
Contemporary - Western Swing - Gypsy Jazz - Cajun -
Hokum Blues - Ragtime