The Tea Street Band: Cantina, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk
The Tea Street Band inject some future sounds into Ormskirk as Cantina brings new music back to Edge Hill University. Getintothis' Nick Lodge takes in the disco lights.
Ay Caramba! Not since Margaret Thatcher was in No 10, Kenny Dalglish was in shorts, and the internet was but a twinkle in the eye of Sir Tim Berners-Lee has Edge Hill embraced the restorative power of live music.
It's been over two decades since bands such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Smiths and The Farm caught the groovy train to Ormskirk.
However, under the guise of Cantina, Friday nights at Edge Hill Uni's Venue are now dedicated to showcasing the very best of Merseyside's resurgent music scene.
The Maybes? were a good old-fashioned indie rock band who never quite made it.
The group that emerged from the ashes, the Tea Street Band, are, however, an altogether different proposition.
Like a good brew, the Tea Street Band are now a blend of the influences they've absorbed over the years, their music reflecting the 21st century cultural eclecticism that enables someone to see bands, watch the match, and go raving on a Saturday night. They appear to be a real band of brothers.
Tea Street Band's Lee Smith at Edge Hill University's new music night Cantina.
A cautiously curious crowd of largely Edge Hill students initially kept their distance as the opening number's clubby beats and chiming guitars echoed around the Venue, the band keen to kick off Cantina's opening night.
It signalled the start of a seven-song set that betrayed their love for big anthemic house choons as much as their loyalty to their indie guitar roots.
The result was a feet-friendly rush of catchy, spiralling keyboard motifs, louche and meaty bass from a player keen to step out from the shadows and fire up the dance-shy crowd, and ringing guitars, with dreamy vocals to match the music's hazy swell.
New single, Disco Lights, took the night to a suitably feel-good climax, with its lushly technicolor refrain.
The Tea Street Band play ethereal pop, with proper tunes you can - no, want - to dance to. Onlookers wanted to dance tonight, but perhaps a certain youthful self-consciousness combined with an early-ish start cramped their style.
The Venue is a great place to see a band, so if the Tea Street Band weren't everyone's cuppa tonight, Cantina has many more delights in store.
Pictures by Tom Hesketh.