Jeff Martin Returns To Adelaide To Play The Arkaba Hotel This Saturday

Jeff Martin is back on thje road again and will be playing The Arkaba Hotel this Saturday. Spanning across all States and Territories of Australia, Jeff will deliver two ‘all new’ setlists each night – the evenings first set will showcase songs from Jeff’s now legendary debut solo record Exile and The Kingdom, some of which have not been performed live for fifteen years. The second set will delve deep across Jeff’s other releases, taking in fan favourites and new songs from The Seven Deadly Sins album. Jeff talks to Hi Fi Way about the tour and returning to Adelaide.

It must be a feeling of relief and excitement to be back on the road touring Australia again?
Certainly is, it’s a passion for sure and the audience here in Australia are just as passionate, it is a reciprocal thing.

How have the first few shows of the tour gone so far?
Amazing, people are really enjoying the set because my first solo record Exile And The Kingdom from 2006, the stories of my recording of it in Ireland when I lived there. That first set really gives people an insight to some of those songs. The second set really amps up with quote unquote the classics from The Tea Party and other things. It is a really great night.

Have you found it an interesting process revisiting your debut solo album and learn how to play those songs again?
I had to Google my own tunings that I forgot. There’s two songs Lament and Stay Inside Of Me, they were such a long time ago I had to Google them. There’s a lot of guitar nerds out there that know all of my tunings better than I do. I found these two songs which was good.

Are there elements of that album you have rediscovered or fallen back in love with some of those songs again?
Oh yeah, I never stopped loving the songs. Songs like The Kingdom and Angel Dust, all of them they are like children, you love all your children equally. It is very emotional because that was a time in my life that I had left The Tea Party and everything was uncertain. I pretty much had to start over again and starting over in a country like Ireland. One of the reasons I moved there was that no one knew who I was and I could start to find the passion for making music again because at the end of that era of The Tea Party I was certainly losing my passion for making music. I couldn’t have found a better place to find the passion again. Music just runs in the blood streams of the Irish. The part of Ireland that I moved to was right down south west Cork, very rural, I had a three hundred and fifty year old stone farm house over looking the Atlantic, there was a stone circle and farmers field next door. You couldn’t get any more mystical than that.

Do you play that album start to end or do you change it up?
I’ve picked six of the strongest that I’ll play and they translate well for the one man acoustic show even though my acoustic shows are quite powerful. It is loud like a rock band, there’s a lot of tricks that I am playing with drum loops and samples. Just the sound of the acoustic twelve string, the one Maton customised for me, is the best sounding guitar I have ever heard.

Was it a tough choice with what to play in the second set having so many good songs to choose from?
It is picking songs that work well in this format, there’s songs like Coming Home, Bazaar, Requiem, Sisters Awake, a lot of those songs I wrote for The Tea Party were written on an acoustic guitar in the beginning and turned in to the monsters they became with their production. In their essence when you distil them down that’s where they came from.

Did the Covid years allow you to really get creative?
The Tea Party released two records, one was pre-covid The Black River EP and then during Covid we released Blood Moon Rising which was another EP. Right around when Covid hit I released my solo record Cinnamon Rose. I was certainly keeping busy.

Are you looking to preview any new songs on this tour?
What I am in the throws of doing right now and I’m kind of heading towards the finish line is a new solo record The Seven Deadly Sins. The concept of the record is that the seven songs that I have written apply themselves to one of those seven deadly sins. There’s a song I’ll probably debut in the second set called Envy which is certainly a catchy little number. I’ve played it the last the few shows and the audience reaction was superb.

Has that concept been milling around for a while?
Surprisingly it actually came from my manager because during Covid touring wasn’t happening and he came up with the idea of a Pozible campaign. Tim my manager is a fan of the darker side of the things I have written in my career like the Transmission album and all the middle eastern stuff. He brought up the concept of the seven deadly sins and asked me if I was interested in pursuing that and going in that direction because my solo work up until this record tended to be more gentler, kinder Jeff Martin Martin. This is one you don’t want to listen to with the lights off.

Is Tea Party still simmering away in the background?
We finished in the middle of August a tour in Canada, the first one we have done in four years and by leaps and bounds it was our most successful tour in decades over there as people haven’t seen us in quite some time. We were headlining festivals of ten to fifteen thousand people and it was great to be in that element again as it is such a different world compared to what I do solo. You get to play the rock star and it is a different psychology, but we had a blast the three of us. The Tea Party will definitely be coming to Australia next year and we’re trying to lock down some dates. Then in 2024 we are definitely thinking about writing a new record and contemplating going to Morocco for a month or so and writing some music over there taking in all the inspiration, going back to our roots. Next year will be the thirtieth anniversary of The Tea Party and it has been quite a journey and quite the ride.

What do you think has kept The Tea Party going so strong for thirty years?
We’re brothers, a lot of bands say that but you have to understand, it was my birthday recently, and Jeff Burrows, we’ve know each other since I was five years old, when I was ten years old and he was eleven we had our first band together. He put a photo up on Instagram of him and I from that time. That’s how far we go back. We love each other like brothers, sometimes we’ll disagree like brothers do but it doesn’t last long especially these days there’s a whole lot of love between the three of us. There is no problems because we have all grown in different ways and matured and accept each other for who we are. There are differences between the three of us as we are three really big personalities but we’ve learned to live and love with each other. It is the best it has ever been.

Interview By Rob Lyon

Catch Jeff Martin at The Arkaba Hotel this Saturday, tickets from OzTix

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