The Tea Street Band on grief and constant learning

“We’re here to help and listen. Its all going to be ok.”

The Tea Street Band on grief and constant learning

By Phil Bridges

If you haven’t hugged, high-fived or helloed Nicholas Otaegui on Bold Street, then you haven’t been around the Liverpool music scene in the past 15 years. From his work as Festival Director at Liverpool Sound City, to his bass slapping for Liverpool Balearic bosses The Tea Street Band, Otaegui is synonymous with Merseyside’s musical marriage. Read on as we go through the emotions.

What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

The Blinders debut album – Columbia. The Power Of Now. Westworld Season 2.

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?

Losing my father 10 years ago. Took time out and focused on the future, made plans, made new music, went back into higher education.

What have you learned about yourself over the past five or so years?

I’ve learned that I’ve still got so much to learn, and it will never stop.

What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?

Wake up to a shining sun, before 8am, exercise and get into work for 9am. Have a short day working till 1pm, preferably working on some new music, recording or rehearsing. Light lunch, little drink in the sunshine, shop for dinner, catch up with friends, bbq in the sunshine, drinks and play some music as the sun sets!

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Good health. Family & friends.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”

Being able to get out of bed in the morning with an appetite to embrace the day.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

Lentil soups, fibre bars. Lots of fresh veg and fish and seafood.

Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?

Hopefully get down the gym, three days a week, lots of walking and not staying sat on my bum too long during the day in the office. Basically make it up as I go along. Sometimes I have periods of consistent routine, then I fall out of it and lose momentum.

Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?

In the Infants when I was about seven, some teenagers must have trespassed on the school grounds and vandalised the building. The name “Bongo” was written everywhere on all the walls. Myself and my two best mates Nick Ellis and Adam Sherwood, became fascinated with the whole thing. We created a back story and urban legend type of mystique to surround the graffiti. Part Stephen King, part film noir Sam Spade escapades ensued and filled our school break times. Was he a killer, or was he killed on the grounds and was trying to reach out beyond the grave? We would spend hours looking for clues and coming up with stories to make sense of of it. Imagination and enthusiasm man. It can take you anywhere…

What three songs lift your spirits?

Dry the Rain – The Beta Band.

Cigarettes & Alcohol – Oasis.

The Fearless – Pink Floyd.

What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” M. L. King.

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?

Speak to your friends and family or someone you feel comfortable talking to. Don’t bottle it up. You’re not on your own. We’re here to help and listen. It’s all going to be ok.

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