Tea Street Band, Halem, Scarlet, David Barnicle: The Zanzibar, Liverpool

Tea Street Band

Tea Street Band

The Tea Street Band return to their old stamping ground, Getintothis Warren Millar laps up the local heroes return to the Zanzi.

The Tea Street Band and The Zanzibar good together like chips and gravy. They’re made for each other and that sense of belonging has been on the menu for as long as we can remember.

When Timo and the boys emerged as The Maybes? all those years ago they reignited the Zanzi and were cemented in Liverpool rock and roll folklore as their moniker was spray-painted around the streets of Kenny, Anfield Road and just about every other part of inner city Liverpool. The acrimonious fallout saw four fifths of that line up rise up and the dance-inflected fruits were reborn as The Tea Street Band.

Years later, and in respect of their long-time champion, Tony Butler – and his home, the Zanzi – the place were any Liverpool band worth their salt has plied their trade, they return for Independent Venue Week.

It’s a brass evening out but inside it really hots up, and fast. First up is David Barnicle and The Mystery Force who combines sweet acoustic melodies with synths and closes with a rendition of Rhythm of the Night with Tea Street’s Dominic Allen taking to the drums.

Making another return are Scarlet with a fine six-song set which opens with Heavy and finishes with Alone marrying their characteristic rock attack. Bonus points for their new drummer who makes his debut outing with the band. In a now heaving Zanzibar, Halem ramp proceedings up a notch with their pop beats, Katy Bryson‘s warm vocals, fizzing saxophone – and light up trainers.

Getintothis chats to the Tea Street Band

With the sweat almost pouring from the ceiling, Timo Tierney confirms what we’re all thinking when he says it’s “great to be back at The Zanzibar“. Once the opening bars of Disco Lights begin the crowd are in the palm of the band’s hand and the energy never relents as a beautiful version of the track were it all began; Fiesta is fired off before concluding with a Dominic drum solo.

It’s night like these we must cherish our local heroes – and the spirit of Independent Venues. And not just for this week only.

Photos by Getintothis’ Warren Millar