After much anticipation and two venue changes, Californian indie group TV Girl made their Welsh debut to a sold-out Tramshed. Supported by Sidney Gish, who delivered mixed-tempo songs that the crowd seemed to love, the headliners were duly met by a sea of diehard supporters. TV Girl’s set – described, accurately, by frontman Brad Petering as “crowdpleasing” – consisted of fan favourites, covers, and some of the band’s most cherished songs, including 7 Days Til Sunday, Hate Yourself, and King Of Echo Park.
They started off, though, with a couple of lesser-known songs, before jumping into 2016’s Cigarettes Out The Window, which received with particular adoration and singalongs. The setlist was interspersed by the frontman’s tales about his apparently star-studded career: Petering, we hear, wrote a song for his “good friend Harry Styles,” who told him it was “the most beautiful song he had ever heard in his life”. Heartwarming – and curiously similar to subsequent yarns about a night out with Justin Bieber and praise from Post Malone, by which point we realised he was on a windup. (His description of keyboardist Wyatt Harmon as the “hot, likeable member of the group,” in the course of introducing a band that also includes guitarist Zoe Zeeman and drummer Jason Wyman, also had a touch of the raised eyebrow about it.)
TV Girl’s unique sound comes from their heavy use of samples; as such, we were curious to see how this would be replicated live with a vocals/bass/drums/keyboard setup. The answer was the soundboard at the front of the stage, which triggered their samples. The stage set, meanwhile, included the Dream Girl figurine from the cover of the Who Really Cares album, and lighting that cycled through multicoloured tones and projected onto the audience as often as the band.
Lovers Rock, from 2014’s French Exit, proved another audience hit later in the set, and having performed their supposed last song, TV Girl couldn’t leave without an encore. Not Allowed, the first of two bonus numbers, rose to TikTok fame last year – cue phone screens hoisted aloft. The crowd’s vocal contributions were deafening to the point of Petering’s voice being drowned out, which he honoured by mock-conducting us orchestra style.
With the TV Girl frontman underlining how welcome the band felt in Wales, it’s clear they’d be welcomed back with open arms.
Tramshed, Cardiff, Thurs 9 June
words and photos RHIANNON FARR & EVE DAVIES for BUZZ CULTURE
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