Into Music Reviews: The Tea Street Band at King Tut’s, Glasgow

Act: The Tea Street Band
Venue: King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
Date: 9 December 2018

The Tea Street Band are wrapping up their early winter road trip, promoting the recent LP release Frequency. The tour may have been in the closing stages by the time the band rolled into Glasgow, but the four lads from Merseyside certainly weren’t winding down as they lit up the stage at King Tut’s on a crisp December night.

Perched at the top of Glasgow’s financial services district sits “The best UK live venue,” according to the sign outside anyway. Over the years, King Tut’s has played host to some of the best-loved bands in world music. This is where the universe started to change for Oasis back in the early 1990s, but it’s not all about breakthrough artists, some well established acts still come back and play at the Wah Wah Hut, just to be part of the legendary venue.

The quiet Sunday night streets are in contrast to the live music on offer behind the double doors of the Hut, being serenaded to the bar with six-string melodies and the voices of the King Tut’s Sunday night open mic sessions was a welcome treat before the doors to the main gig were opened for business.

With two support acts on, we moved upstairs early to hear what was on offer. First up were four-piece band Nineteen Canteen, playing a good selection of melodic rock tracks, they were followed by the energetic five-piece skate-rockers Forrest Can’t Run. Two variations in style before the main act took the stage.

A wee refresh of the stage and the unveiling of the magical box of tricks at guitarist Lee Smith’s disposal is the cue for the designer-clad Pretty Green and Adidas-wearing followers to make their way to the front of the stage. With two albums in the bank, the band have enough to keep the tunes going into the night, but unfortunately I’ve already spotted the curfew is just over an hour away.

Opening the set with Summer Dreaming from their first album before propelling into three tracks from the new album Givin’it Back, Sacre Coeur and single Marseille Blues is enough to get the revellers in full swing, and this brought acclaim from Nick, who quipped that Glasgow might be the best dancers of the tour.

An unscheduled break to rewire Lee’s box of tricks holds up the gig momentarily, but it’s not long before Timo gets the set moving again with the haunting melody-laden Taken it All before blasting out Disco Lights. The synth-mixing and classic dance beats from Dom are leading the night into a full club session. Two more singles from the album, Only Love and Feel It raise the temperature before Fiesta has revellers moving to the front of the stage to dance in the strobe-infused musical euphoria.

The set finishes up with more arms in air to the Donna Summer classic I Feel Love, but with an extra bit of gold dust thrown in from the MCs on stage.

A quick chat with Timo, and a set list to take home as a trophy from a mesmerising night’s entertainment from a group you’ve just got to see live.

Martin Donaldson

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