NICK Otaegui is never far from a guitar or a stage.

As director of independent music festival Sound City and bassist of The Tea Street Band he pretty much lives and breathes music 24/7.

“Sometimes you want to sit in a room in silence because your ears are ringing,” Nick joked.

“But really it’s a blessing to be working in the music business and playing and earning any kind of living from it is a buzz.

“If I’m not on stage I’m as close to being on a stage that you can get.”

When Weekend spoke to Nick he was typically immersed in music in more ways than one.

Bassist Nick was speaking to us to promote The Tea Street Band’s [WAM] Festival show at The Auction Rooms in Legh Street next Friday, March 15.

He was speaking to us during the Scottish leg of the band’s tour supporting Slow Readers Club.

Nick added: “It’s been brilliant. We’ve been playing to packed out houses. It’s been a good one because a lot of the fans have been coming down early to see the support bands and the response has been fantastic.

“A lot of people have been hearing us for the first time and have ended up buying records after the show.”

The Tea Street Band are on the same record label as Slow Readers Club and have been inspired by their recent success, selling out venues such as Manchester Apollo.

Nick, 39, said: “We’re also a similar age group so we’ve got similar story of balancing family, work and being in a band.

“You get to that point in your life where you’re not chasing any pipe dreams. You’re doing it for the sheer love of it. The band itself is your encouragement.

“You always have that voice at the back of your mind saying: ‘Where is this going?’But the success of the Slow Readers shows it can take a step in a different direction.

“Who knows what could happen but as long as we’re still putting out records and going out and playing gigs that we love doing that’s enough for us.”

Most of The Tea Street Band – who can count Manchester icon Clint Boon among their fans since he saw them at Friars Court – were originally in a group called The Maybes throughout most of their 20s.

After they disbanded guitarist Timo Tierney started making some dance music and got a gig at Creamfields and so The Tea Street Band were formed for the festival. It could have easily been a one-off.

Nick added: “Nine years later we’ve done two albums and done tours of Europe, North America and Australia.”

The four-piece have also graced all kinds of festival stages like V, Leeds and Reading, Latitude, Festival Number 6 and Kendal Calling. They even performed for Sundance Film Festival Utah.

Nick said: “We’ve got a relationship with a company called Red Touch Media. We’ve worked with them on Sound City on a few things and the owner has become a friend of ours over time.

“He loves our band and wanted to bring us to the festival because the movie industry has these showcase parties for the premieres.

“It was one the craziest experiences of our lives being around movie stars. At one point we had Alto Reed from Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band jumping up on stage with his saxophone jamming with us as he loved the band that much.

“It was very bizarre and a life changing opportunity.”

When Nick finishes his tour with Slow Readers Club and then plays in Warrington, the hard work then continues at Liverpool festival Sound City.

The event for emerging talent all over the world will bring 350 artists from more than 40 countries and Nick has currently booked 15 venues with 18 stages.

He added: “We’ve had the likes of Ed Sheeran on for £50. We’ve helped start careers and build things up.

“It’s very much about developing artists. When the festival is on and all in motion that’s when it’s worth it. You look back and think: ‘We’ve done that’. The international side I really love as well – bringing bands over to the UK for the first time and helping them grow their profile over here. That really gives me a buzz.”

The Tea Street Band will perform at The Auction Rooms in Legh Street on Friday, March 15, for [WAM] Festival. Tickets are available on


We have teamed up with [WAM] Festival to give away a pair of tickets to Tea Street Band's show.

Simply answer the question: What film festival have the group performed at?

Send your answers along with your name, address and phone number before noon on Tuesday, March 12, after which a winner will be selected at random.

Send an e-mail with the title ‘Tea Street Band competition’ to Usual Newsquest terms and conditions apply, log onto for full details.