By Keeyahtay Lewis
A few weeks ago I got an email asking if I liked The Venetia Fair and if I wanted to cover an upcoming show. I had never heard of them, but it only took 20 seconds into one of their songs for me to be sold. Every so often a band comes along and it is hard to describe them. My initial thoughts were, “Panic At The Disco on Crack.” Afterwards I came to find out I wasn’t the only one who made that comparison.
They were playing at the Loft in New Brunswick, Monday 03/05/12. Finding the Loft was a difficult thing, but once we made our way inside I met up with the band. We spent some time hanging out, taking pictures, and getting to know each other a bit before they were scheduled to play. Hailing from Boston, MA, TVF were kind and definitely a little crazy. I could tell right from the start. We were trying to figure out where to take some pictures and the band suggested we do it in the bathroom. The grimiest bathroom I may have ever seen.All the guys piled into the shower and we definitely got some interesting shots. I liked right away that they were clearly up for anything. Shortly thereafter TVF got ready to take the “stage.”
If you go to their info it lists the band members as, Benny, Mr. Chark, Mike, Joe Brown and Chris. Chark on lead guitar, Mike on bass, Chris on Drums, Benny on vocals and Joe on keys. The Loft isn’t a huge space so it gave the band a chance to just take it over. In their bio Benny says that he hopes after you see them play you tell all your friends that you have no idea what you just saw. That is pretty accurate. It is hard to put into words what TVF is like live. Theatrical, dangerous, loud, chaotic, sometimes violent, utterly mesmerizing. Their album is called “The Circus” and their music definitely reminded me of a circus. Albeit a twisted, insane circus.
They’re all talented musicians. The timing of their songs is anything but normal. Somehow the guys manage to make it all work. All the while jumping around, running back and forth, swinging their instruments and making you feel like you are watching a car accident unfold in front of you. I mean that in the best way possible. It is like being inside of a car crash. Afterwards you walk away stunned feeling like your legs might give out at any second.
Being the first time I have ever heard most of these songs it is hard for me to talk about what specific songs they played. I honestly have no idea. I will say that their music held my interest. That isn’t the easiest thing to do when you are playing stuff I have never heard before, but they managed to do it. Towards the end of their too short set, Benny climbed on top of Joe’s keyboards, wrapped his microphone cord around the support beam, and hung out into the audience singing his heart out. The whole time I was waiting for the cord to give way and for him to fall face first into everyone. I also had the feeling that has probably happened a time or two before.
After they were finished I talked to the guys a bit again. They asked me what I thought and I told them I was impressed. And I was. I was surprised they were playing in a place like The Loft. Benny said that “they would play anywhere.” It is clear they just love getting these songs out and having people enjoy them. They are on their way to SXSW right now and playing little shows along the way. They will also play some shows on the way back from there. I would highly recommend seeing them if you get the chance. They are still playing anywhere, which includes some smaller venues. I promise you that in no time at all they will be playing huge clubs, headlining. Check them out in a small space while they can still hang out and bullshit with everyone. It is so worth it.