Chairs, Vices & Versa, November 28

Vice & Versa was the perfect setting for last night’s 5 à 7 performance. One can chat, sip any of their 32 beers on draft, and munch on deliciously pretty burgers or appetizers with friends. But this is not a review of Vice & Versa, but rather the band who played the quaint venue, Chairs.

Clearly playing to the small room, the band established a subdued feel and comfortable volume, while maintaining the drive of a band cut loose. Ian Jarvis, the band’s frontman and singer, talksang like a man somewhere between Jeff Tweedy and Tom Petty, the resonance of his voice punching through walls of trebled-out guitar hooks, feedback, glitched-out synth pads, and droning saxophone wails, all engineered by the talented multi-instrumentalist Matt LeGroulx. The rhythm section was tight and felt more like a jazz band, with gentle ratatats and bass lines acting as the chair on which Chairs sits. Even the bartenders were grooving to the beat. Their sound varied, from sincere psychpop songs to hypnotic drawn out prog-rock jams.

The show finished early, for sleepy Sunday afternoon sippers and music goers to head home, watch a movie, and still get to bed at a reasonable hour.