When the traveling Spiegeltent docked in New York City in late 2006, it brought some varied acts to the South Street Seaport area. There were vaudeville shows, cabarets, cross-dressing knife jugglers, and the like. Most shows were one-time deals, while a handful of high-demand acts enjoyed a two-night run. And then there was the World/Inferno Friendship Society, the only rock show with enough punked-out glitz 'n' glamour to warrant a week-long residency at this notorious venue.
So here they are: the World/Inferno Friendship Society in all their tuxedoed glory, playing a high-octane mix of punk and cabaret to a circus tent full of sweaty, ecstatic fans. There's lounge piano, jazz horns, screamed vocals, distorted guitar, auxiliary percussion, audience interaction, crowd surfing, and mosh pitting. Who needs giant elephants and tightrope walkers? The World/Inferno Friendshop Society is all the freakshow you could ask for, and the circus has never rocked this hard.
- Andrew Leahey
The World/Inferno Friendship Society is a rotating cabaret of punk, ska, and gospel music. Based in Brooklyn, NY, the band augments its vaudevillian sound with multiple instruments and a mayhem-inducing live presence.
The Brooklyn-based collective formed in the late-'90s and has seen over 30 members move through its ranks, including former members of Dexy's Midnight Runners. Singer Jack Terricloth, drummer Benjamin Kotch, and guitarist Lucky Strano have been the most constant members of the Society, which generally consists of 9-10 members at any given time.
The World/Inferno Friendship Society released their debut CD, The True Story of the Bridgewater Astral League, on the New Jersey-based indie Gern Blandsten in 1997. They followed that with The East Coast Super Sound Punk of Today! (which featured the track "All of California and Everyone Who Lives There Stinks") and April 2002's Just the Best Party. The live album Hallowmas Live at Northsix appeared in August 2003. Three years later, the group returned with the EP Speak of Brave Men in January and the full-length Red-Eyed Soul that July, the latter marking their debut on Chunksaah.