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Music / The Tea Party

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The Tea Party is a Canadian Alternative Rock band active between 1990-2005, known for their distinctive fusion of rock music and numerous other influences, especially Indian and Middle Eastern, which earned them the humorous categorisation "Moroccan roll". In 2011, the band reunited for a successful cross-Canada tour; shortly afterwards they announced their reunion was permanent.

The band's members are:

  • Jeff Martin (middle) - vocals, guitar, sitar, sarod, oud, banjo, mandolin, dumbek, Record Producer
  • Stuart Chatwood (left) - bass, guitar, keyboards, harmonium, percussion, mandolin, tambura, cello, lap steel guitar, bass pedals
  • Jeff Burrows (right) - drums, percussion, djembe, goblet drums, tabla

All of The Tea Party's albums were produced by vocalist/guitarist Jeff Martin, as a means of giving the band complete artistic control. The band's members were also known for being multi-instrumentalists, bringing up to 37 instruments each on tours.

The Tea Party's music was largely based around a fusion of Blues and Progressive Rock with Indian and Middle Eastern music, something which earned them quite a Hatedom that dismissed them as Led Zeppelin-meets-The Doors imitators. However, they became very popular in their native Canada, Europe and Australia. Later in their career, they also added electronics and an Industrial Metal influence to their basic "Moroccan roll" sound starting with the album Transmission.

The band suddenly broke up in 2005 due to Creative Differences. Martin has gone on to a solo career at first and then formed a new band called The Armada, while Burrows is currently a member of Crash Karma. Stuart Chatwood has arguably received a Breakup Breakout, having earned critical acclaim and a steady job doing the soundtracks for the Prince of Persia games.

In 2011, the band reunited for a successful cross-country tour of Canada. Shortly afterwards, they announced the reunion was permanent, embarking on a second cross-Canada tour, talking about recording a new album, and making plans to tour Europe and Australia. In September 2014, their eigth studio album, The Ocean at the End, was released.

Their name has nothing to do with the thing that launched the American revolution, the right-wing populist movement, or y'know, actual parties that involve tea, but instead comes from the nickname for the hash sessions of Beatnik writers Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.


  • The Tea Party (1991)
  • Splendor Solis (1993)
  • The Edges of Twilight (1995)
  • Alhambra (1996) - live album
  • Transmission (1997)
  • Triptych (1999)
  • The Interzone Mantras (2001)
  • Seven Circles (2004)
  • The Ocean at the End (2014)

Tropes associated with this band include:

  • Album Title Drop: Transmission has its title dropped about 7 times at the end of its eponymous song.
  • The Band Minus the Face: After their 2005 breakup, Chatwood and Burrows formed a duo called "The Art Decay." It didn't last.
    • Then again, neither have any of Jeff Martin's bands.
  • BSoD Song: "Gone."
  • The Dandy: Jeff Martin.
  • Entitled Bastard: The narrator from "Sun Going Down" made a deal with the devil and expects to get into Heaven via a dying prayer. It doesn't work.
  • Epic Rocking: "Correspondences" clocks in at 7:31. Not the longest track on the album, but by far the longest single song.
    • "Mantra" runs for nearly 10.
    • "The Ocean at the End" is just over 8 minutes.
  • Fading into the Next Song: They pulled this trope on Interzone Mantras. First up is "Cathartik" which plays into "Dust to Gold" which plays into "Requiem."
  • Hiding Behind Religion: "Army Ants" is all about this.
  • Intercourse with You: For a while, they did this once an album. "Under Raven Skies," "Turn the Lamp Down Low," and "Temptation."
  • Lampshade Hanging: The band's site nods to the confusion their name can cause, having the subheadline "No Politics... Just Rock and Roll". The page also states that the band has not sold the site domain, contrary to a rumour that they were going to.
  • Long-Runner Line-up
  • New Sound Album: Every fucking album has a sound that is wholly different from the album before it. Triptych very subtly lampshades this in that its sound is a combination of the three previous albums.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Mentioned in "A Certain Slant of Light" with the line "while she's sleeping with the one she hates."
  • One-Steve Limit: Jeff Martin and Jeff Burrows break it.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Arguably Stuart Chatwood.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The 2011 reunion.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "Haze on the Hills" is a Celtic-influenced instrumental which plays directly into "The Majestic Song."
  • Self-Titled Album: Their first album. However, their second album features numerous remixes from much of their first album.
  • The Something Song: "The Majestic Song"
  • Spoken Word in Music: Roy Harper has done lead vocals on two of their songs: "Time" and an untitled hidden song on the last track of Edges of Twilight.
  • Stepford Smiler: In "Great Big Lie":
    I see you suffer with a smile
  • Take That!: Both "A Slight Attack" and "Dust to Gold" are digs at Marilyn Manson for apparently not being as well-read about the occult as Jeff is.