The roots music scene in the UK is growing more popular these days and Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra who hail from Newcastle upon Tyne are a fine testament to how vibrant that scene is. The band began life as a three piece after meeting on the Folk and Traditional music degree course at Newcastle University. As the band grew so did their influences and Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra became more focused on early twentieth century American music.
They may very well be the UK’s best answer to the very fine Pokey LaFarge who also appreciates their fine talents after having them support him on tour. Their gambit is arguably a little wider with a slight British angle as demonstrated on their debut album ‘Money isn’t Everything’ covering western swing, Gypsy Jazz, Hokum Blues, Ragtime, Cajun, and Roots-of-Country.
From the opening Cajun Danse De La Limonade they transmit an energy that is difficult to achieve on any studio album. They are a slick outfit for a young six-piece band and they have that British home-grown feel, a banner they make known through lyrics such as ‘Great Fire of Byker’ which tells the quite recent disastrous tale of the fire in Shepherd’s scrapyard in Newcastle upon Tyne in May 2011…ironically Blank Studios where the album was recorded is just down the road from there.
They take some of the faster jazz standards on ‘Hot Bath’ in which Rob delivers some fine Cab Calloway’esque tongue twisters demonstrating the breadth of what they can conjure up. Their music is dynamic, lively and fun something that will no doubt see them snapped up at festivals this year! Keep an ear out for them on our playlist.
They also have a monthly residency at Cumberland Arms in James Place St; Byker Bank in Newcastle upon Tyne. The Teapad presents takes place every month where they put on different acts and keep the joint jumping as the house band.