Rob Heron & The Teapad Orchestra THE PARTY’S OVER

Rob Heron & The Teapad Orchestra
The Party’s Over
Teapad Recordings

From New Orleans To Newcastle via New Jersey and New Mexico.

Even I have been known to usy the ‘lazy’ description of ‘genre defying’ to describe music over the years; but that is exactly what Rob Heron and his Teapad Orchestra are and it’s deliberate too.
While there are influences coming out of every groove or diode, these crazy kids genuinely have a distinctive sound all of their very own.
For the uninitiated, this is the band’s 5th full length album and (hilariously IMHO) tackles all of the things that effect the average and not so average, 30 something in 2022.

The album starts in a gloriously morose manner with Go Home (The Party’s Over) not just an ode to the aging process and the end of their ‘drinking and carrying on’ around Town on not just a weekend, but a school night too*.
Methinks this will be the start of any or all gigs this Summer and forever.
The party cranks up on the swingtastic She Hypnotize’s Me, which has a full on brass section ‘giving it laldy’ as if they are auditioning for a New Orleans funeral! It’s no wonder they chose this as the first single; it has ‘radio’ stamped all over it.
It’s safe to say that Rob Heron follows his very own path musically; as the third song; My Salad Days Are Through, he dives headlong into Western Swing, with Rob yodelling the opening and alongside an emotionally charged harmonica on a heartfelt look at the past via a nod to the future.
My salad days were ended,
When she no longer depended,
On my love.
Oh, my salad days are through
Just when you think you’ve got a handle on the band’s ethos …. and this is very much a band effort, they knock you sideways with the witty and wordy Country AND Western tinged The Horse You Rode In On; which includes the first whip-crack in a song I’ve heard since The Legend of Xanadu back in 1968.
All of the best party records have a tearjerker or two in there, don’t they?
The Teapad’s grab your heartstrings on the bittersweet ballad Trouble Is and don’t let go until you’re coughing up black stuff. It’s a similar sensation with the brass infused R&B of Remind Me Tomorrow; although that jaunty melody and rip-roaring sax are deceptive …. but trust me; as many people will cry along to this missive as those who dance to it at the end of the evening.
I can’t exactly remember the first time I saw the Teapad Orchestra; possibly SummerTyne or as a support at the Jumpin’ Hot Club; not that it matters but it was a long time ago and the band members were still at Uni; and now they are all growed up and in relationships; some with a family …. and following almost constant touring around Europe in that time, the music they create here is actually spectacular and incredibly well thought out from start to finish.
If pushed I can give you an argument why any single song here is my Favourite; but for purposes of brevity I’ve somehow managed to shrink that down to three songs to battle it.
Rob has never shied away from left of centre causes in his songwriting; and here he includes Right To Roam as a Cowboy ballad; although it’s actually about his beloved home county of Cumbria and the fences going up around the beauty spots in the Lake District and beyond.
I’ll pitch up my little tent,
Light a fire, sing a lament,
But I’ll never feel alone,
In the hills, by the lakes, of the place,
That I call home
The Honky Tonky Polka infused tune Snip Snap Shout is probably the one song most people would suppose was ‘A-Typical’ Teapad Orchestra; and it is as it’s a mighty fast pace and features their trademark Accordion every thirty seconds; and trust me when they play this live smoke will come out of that squeezebox as the pace trebles!
As is my won’t I’m actually selecting a song that genuinely took me by surprise; but knowing Rob … shouldn’t have.
A Call To a Mother’s Arms starts and ends as a simple Country Shuffle and you won’t catch the twist the first few times you play this song … but when you do it will feel like a punch to the gut. Without giving anything away it’s a response to the flag-shaggers around the world and; especially the likes of Toby Keith and his ilk.
It’s back to Newcastle meets New Orleans with the album closer; the really clever The Doctor Told Me; which while observed and told by a young singer, it’s a tale of aging and living a long and fulsome life; that he wants to carry on after death … as ‘smoking and drinking and carousing…. can’t kill me again.’
While I still love the urgency and passion in The Teapad Orchestra’s early recordings; but the more I’ve played THE PARTY’S OVER the more I think it’s their finest album to date; but that shouldn’t be a surprise as I said that about the last one too.

*Obviously appealing to their 30 something demographic; I find this hilarious as I’m older than not just Rob; but all of the band members parents!

Released September 30th 2022


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