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Jeff Martin ex-the Tea Party

Fly By Night Club Fremantle

Friday January 12 and Saturday January 13, 2007

and Caves House in Yallingup on Friday 19th January.

Jeff Martin will return to the Fly by Night to play two shows on Friday January 12, and Saturday January 13.

Jeff Martin is a haunting artist who's fascination with eastern tunings and instruments, love of rock n roll, and deeply internal lyrics, makes him a powerful performer.

As songwriter, singer, producer and guitarist with the Tea Party, Jeff Martin sought to buck the trend of dumbing down the music for quick commercial gratification. Instead, he continues to follow his inner voice, which speaks to him of the importance of melody, dynamics, musicianship and the manipulation of light and shade.

As a solo artist, Jeff is able to draw deeper from this same well of inspiration. It is, after all, a well he has dug himself.

Since leaving the Tea Party Jeff has released two albums, 'Exile and the Kingdom' (recorded before the Tea Party ended), and Live in Brisbane 2006 and has toured with the Toronto Tabla Ensemble.

Make no mistake this is still full-on Jeff Martin music that draws inspiration and instrumentation from around the globe.

Martin’s music has endeared itself to a rabid fan base on the strength of its rich palette of color and sheer adventurous scope. Add to this, the marathon live shows captained by Jeff’s elegant and powerful voice, as the front man of The Tea Party

The new music bears the same markings as the songs he penned and recorded with Tea Party collaborators Jeff Burrows and Stuart Chatwood, but with a tempered confidence and maturity as writer, storyteller and listener of his muse.

Jeff’s life lessons as husband and father have lent weight to the songs, added depth and conviction to the lyrics, harmonic density and arrangements.

Tickets are available now through Mills Records and 78 Records and online through heatseeker.com.au

Cost: $25+BF (the Fly) or $50+bf (Caves House)
Doors Open at 8pm


Where to start? Bloody awesome trio of gigs, which we were honoured to have VJ'd at. So much to say... and so tired! It's been a long, busy week. We were both injured in a scooter accident in between the gigs and incredibly lucky to have been OK to finish the last gig. My poor 1972 Vespa is a crumpled mess :(

We knew it would be a special opportunity for us to use the sort of material we love to use when Jeff Martin asked us before the gigs 'Do you have any visuals with esoteric symbolism?'. After picking ourselves up off the floor, I explained out that I'm the author of Golden Tarot, so pretty familiar with symbolism, and that we collect Surrealist and Expressionist cinema of the 20's and 30's. Talk about the right VJ-artist match :)

Jeff also generously let us film all three concerts. To be honest, although we have the equipment we're pretty crappy at filming live gigs, and also we've realised that it's impossible to VJ well AND to video a concert. So, we had our incredibly talented friend Neil Innes take over the filming side of things, assisted by Greg Bruyer at the Fly concerts and VJ Chikitronix at Caves House. He'll be editing together a couple of tracks from the concerts which we'll give to Jeff to put online or whatever he decides he'd like to do with them.

Support acts at all three concerts were Kenji and Nathan Gaunt.

Kenji regularly busks around Fremantle, and is also Jeff's Guitar tech for the tour. His set each time was a lovely, somewhat sad and gentle affair. His on-stage presence is as unaffected and sincere as his 2am lounge-room serenade to the crew as we sat around in our PJs at the Band House the night before the Caves House gig.

Nathan Gaunt's set was a bit more up-tempo, although also with a heart-felt Jeff Buckley cover. What is it with Jeff Buckley and this tour? It's like he's haunting it... I think Kenji, Nathan and Jeff Martin ALL played at least one Jeff Buckley song over the three nights! I guess since Jeff Martin and Jeff Buckley were pals, it's not quite so sacreligious to cover his songs - more of a loving tribute than a recycling of a popular tune...

In the usual tradition of my Backstage Reports, I'll give all the goss on the tech side of things... It's so great to work with a team you know well, and who really work as a team. These gigs (even the one at Caves House) were organised by John Reid of the Fly By Night Club, and so the Sound and Lighting were done by Fly regulars Rick and Ursula respectively. Both are an absolute pleasure to work with.

Ursula kindly altered the lighting after the first night (low red and yellow lights look pretty, but are a bugger to try to shoot video in), so we could get better video on the second and third gigs, which also had the spinoff that the web is awash with great photos by fans, as the lighting on Jeff was really good for shooting.

Also, Rick went to considerable trouble to make sure we had good sound-desk audio into our recording desk - which will make a big difference to the quality of the video we end up giving to Jeff.

It was too windy at Caves House for us to use screens, so we just projected straight on to the building. Not great for subtle detail, but it looked really cool. We also liked the idea of projecting Art-deco era footage onto an Art-deco era building :)

Ritesh, Hobbsy and Mal (?) played with Jeff, and and all were brilliant. Since we didn't get too many photos, we harvested some screenshots from our video... and so much more to tell.... Or you could just read a Review....

At each concert, the audience was absolutely entranced by Jeff - as you can see...

More videos at our YouTube.

Review from Rip-In Magazine by Cathy Gavranich:

Jeff Martin - A Party Minus Tea

With Nathan Gaunt and Kenji

Caves House Hotel

Friday, January 19, 2007

It was just one of those Caves House moments. You know the ones, when the sun's shining golden light onto the leaves, the sea breeze is rolling in, the music is gorgeous and you're just so glad it's summer.

Acoustic soloist Kenji set the mood with sweet melodic laments. His late afternoon set gaining steady momentum until it's climax, a beautifully delivered rendition of the classic gob-stopper 'Hallelujah' that consolidated those gathered in the leafy grounds into audience mode.

Next up was Nathan Gaunt. His casual banter worked its usual friendly magic on the crowd as he took it to the next level with a swathe of songs from his latest release Headlights on the Hills, as well as some well chosen and well twisted covers. The dulcet crooner got busy displaying his incredible vocal range and versatility wowing the crowd as VJzoo began weaving a magical spell of their own.

In case you're wondering, VJzoo are a couple of Perth VJ's (Visuals Jockeys, as in DJ) who've spent the last three years gaining themselves as international reputation as creators of live cinema (see VJzoo.com). They made the road trip down south on Jeff Martin's invitation, after blowing him away with their endless vault of evocative retro footage at his Fly By Night gig the previous weekend.

As the sun sank and McNaught's Comet followed in the twilight sky, VJzoo's lush and exotic picture show appeared ghostlike on the heritage walls. It was an alfresco cinematic fresco of the rare, the eccentric, the ornate and outrageous that brought the old walls to life. While Nathan plucked and strummed up an intercontinental euphonious storm, they traversed the olde world with images of gritty guitar slingers from Calcutta to Tijuana, supplying perfect visual dramatisations for his aural explorations. Then a moment of pure poetry in brick - as Nathan was busy ripping up Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' VJzoo covered the Caves House walls with 1940's sex education footage. Seriously, leave those kids alone!

Then of course there was Jeff Martin. The ex-frontman of power melancholy goth rockers The Tea Party's commanding prescence had the eager mob of adoring fans captivated from the moment he stepped on stage. Expertly backed by master Indian-tabla player Ritesh Das and rock drummer Malcolm Clarke (of Sleepy Jackson and End of Fashion fame) on Djembe, Jeff went straight to the heart of the matter, satisfying the hardcore fans who sang along to almost every word from woe to go.

The awesome threesome set sail into deep, dark lands with a diverse set of heartfelt songs. An absolute master of his craft, Jeff served up an intense show, delivered with conviction.

The touching highlight came when Jeff sang 'Daystar' to his two year old son Django, seen earlier dancing around in a 'my dad rocks' t-shirt. Jeff introduced the song by informing us that Django was up in a room above waiting for daddy to sing this one before going to sleep. At the end of the song, Django appeared in the window above as the whole crowd serenaded in support of a father's love.... awwwww.

copyright all material 2005 kat black & jasper cook