Venus Envy (VE) were a four piece rock band from Norfolk formed in 1993. They played grunge/funk rock influenced by Pearl Jam, Janes Addition on the RHCP and had a strong reputation amoungst local musicians for quality of playing and powerful performance.
The band quickly after forming recorded two demo's both at Purple Studios and engineered by Richard Hammerton and gigged in both Norfolk and London to much acclaim.
Orginally the band consisted of Pork (the good looking one) on vocals, Matt Charlton (the posh one) on guitar and Karl Minns (the funny one) on bass. Without a permanent drummer they borrowed friend Tom Toggle Watts (who played with a signature pillow case on his head) who dep'd on both live gigs and recording.
With the demise of local band Magic Johnson, local legendary drummer in the making, Steve Barney opted to join VE after seeing the band live at the Oval Rockhouse.
The band played at the Swan in Fulham hiring professional roadie Bruce for the gig. A foot note in history is that the week before he had been on tour in the UK with a little known US skate punk band called Greenday and VE complained bitterly that the tour bus was covered in Greenday stickers. Bruce complained bitterly that none of the band jumped from the amplifiers during the Fulham gig or apeared to be interested in skateboarding. Greenday went on to produce over 35 million stickers and sell a few records.
VE continued to work on new material and gig and were due to visit the studio to record their first single when Steve Barney was offered the gig as drummer in Bully Rag. Based in Liverpool, Bully Rag had a deal with Mercury Records. Understandably Steve saw this as an opportunity too good to miss and took the job.
As a result of Steve leaving Pork the lead singer also quit and the band imploded after a short but very bright career.
Whislt the band were successful it is the very succesful post band achievements of the members which marks them out as a fascinating collection of individuals who were thrown together in one single band.
The final line up was:
Nick Portlock - Vocals
Matt Charlton - Guitar
Karl Minns - Bass
Steve Barney - Drums
Post Band LifeEdit
Pork the lead singer moved to Australia. Matt Charlton went into advertsing and went on to become Founder and CEO of one of the world's leading ad agencies. Karls Minns, joned local act The Spendids but ultimately found his niche as one of the UK's top comedy writers, writing for Mock the Week, forming the Nimmo Twins and becoming writing partner for TV star Russell Howard and the show Russell Howard's Good News on BBC 1. Steve Barney left Bully Rag after their first album and went on to become one of the top drummers in the UK working with Annie Lennox, Jeff Beck, Will Young, Atomic Kitten and The Wanted.