Since September 12th of 2015, Tyler Warnalis and Ben Briggs have been booking shows at Charlie’s American Cafe in the Riverview District along North Granby.
Andy Briggs (no relation) attended that first show featuring Mas Y Mas, Honorary Girl, and Pete Dykema of Shake Your Baby. Relatively new to the area at the time, Andy recognized Tyler from one of his favorite local bands, DJP and MrT. Intrigued by the vibe of Charlie’s as a venue, and the apparent lack of a sound engineer, Andy introduced himself and offered his services… laying the foundation for Norfolk’s power trio of DIY booking.
Only later would they realize, after ten months worth of flyers featuring out-of-town bands — and +TBA reserving a spot for unnamed local acts — that their first initials T(yler) + B(en) + A(ndy), were too good to pass up when naming their production company.
Those of you with a decent internet connection or a good data plan, please take the time to watch the video of my interview with TBA (approx. 15 mins.). Subsequent episodes will be available on the YouTube and Vimeo channels for Scene & Herd.
At year’s end, Jeff Hewitt wrote about Charlie’s like it was the last punk venue in the city, and he continued writing about bands playing shows there for several months. Come April of this year, rock station 96X was featuring bands playing at Charlie’s at least once a month on Crizti Walsh’s show, The 757.
In July, attendance at Charlie’s shows crossed the hundred-head threshold to the sounds of Candidate Demo from Harrisonburg, Fat Spirit from Richmond, local favorites like Night Shark and Wandcarver, with a surprise appearance by Dumb Wolves (now in NYC). Tyler, Ben, and Andy officially formed TBA Productions in early August. Subsequent shows have featured bands from Montana, North Carolina, New York, Baltimore, Boston, Philly, Florida, Georgia, Italy, and Japan.
TBA Productions rejuvenated the local music scene over the past fifteen months, but when people ascribe the success to their keen sensibilities or consistent efforts they offer up the names of their friends: local artists who have designed, drawn, or even painted flyers for shows at Charlie’s; considerate peers in booking with the contact info for agents frustrated with negotiations in other cities; and, naturally, the people they’ve met in bands that are willing to keep traveling to play in front of people.
Tonight, Suburban Living returns to Norfolk from Philly to play at Charlie’s. You’re Jovian and True Body, two of VB’s best, will be rounding out the bill. If you care about live music that’s created by the people playing it, get up off your ass and go.