The Zoo Friday, March 20
In a dark dingy, poorly lit pub known as The Zoo, Jeff Martin comes on stage, surrounded by guitars and some casually draped velvet.
He takes a seat and tells us that he finds it incredible that people have come out this evening because “It is so f-ing hot, I sing songs about the Devil quite a lot- I didn’t think I’d be in his house tonight”.
That being said, Jeff Martin is low key tonight; not the usual larger than life rock star that fronts successful Canadian band The Tea Party. Tonight he is an artist, with some really cool guitars that is here to play acoustic music to a dedicated intimate crowd.
Sure he’s going to play some of The Tea Party classics- “The Bazaar”, “Sister Awake” and new material like “The Black Sea” (sung for the first time acoustically) but if you really listen hard- and this is the brilliance of the solo show- he’s going to educate you some. Listen closely and he intertwines other classic music along with his own. There is some Led Zeppelin, Massive Attack, Dead Can Dance and even a little Hendrix interspersed with some exceptional guitar work.
He pauses for a reflective moment he tells us “Ok people so he’s the thing, with the music that I’ve had the pleasure to make with The Tea Party over all those years and uh, the things I have done off on my own, it seems that my music and The Tea Party’s music affects people in a certain way and sometimes it helps them get through things that seem quite difficult in life. And it seems to be a soundtrack of sorts. So I’ve got a brother, a friend who I consider a brother back in Perth that is going through some major, major s**t and I do believe that music can travel through the Ether, so I would like to send this song to my brother, because he needs it”. He launches into “Requiem” and it is clear that the pain is etched in his face delivering this. At the bridge he transitions the song into Trent Reznor’s “Hurt” before switching back. It’s a poignant moment and unforgettable for those of us here to witness it.
For the devoted fans that have come out this evening, watching Jeff Martin deliver his catalogue of songs this evening, interacting with the crowd has been a music lovers dream. He has taken the time to enjoy himself, interact with his fans and even poke a few jokes at Kenny his hard working roadie. He has made us listen enraptured as he delivers with a voice that could invoke the old Gods to come down to listen. For the truly dedicated fans, this has been a night to remember.