El Toro! – Live at Chickenstock 2011

El Toro!
Saturday 3rd September
Chickenstock, Sefton Park, Liverpool

Some wise old sage once penned ”Ëœgreat things come in small packages’ ”“ well the make-shift stage at Chickenstock was certainly compact, and El Toro! on tonight’s display must surely have greatness thrust upon them anytime soon?

El Toro! took to the stage, front man Jimmy O barking “This is El Toro!” before his band bludgeoned the crowd into a seething mosh-pit with their 60’s garage crossed with surf ”“ but played with in your face punk attitude.

We featured these Liverpool based surf punks when they put out their self titled album back in March 2011 and were impressed then; live in the flesh the true ferocity of their sound is abundant ”“ that Deltones sourced echo guitar, coupled with a lead surf guitar, the whole thing being driven by a hotwired 56′ Chevy ”“ Jimmy O the lunatic behind the wheel screaming out clean crisp vocals before punishing a mouth harp, no instrument has been subjected to such treatment since the late great Lux Interior last slid across a stage.

Opening with newer number ”ËœEscape Plan’ was brave, but El Toro! cleary don’t care about the ”Ëœnorms’ of a gig, and nor should they for they are presently one of the most vital bands in the UK, and to witness their loud menacing garage racket in such a confined venue induced a joyous intensity.
The set progresses with ”ËœWho Said That’ and ”ËœI Wanna Know’ lifted straight from the album before Jimmy steps out of the spotlight and the instrumental ”ËœThe Boss Sound’ bares its teeth, surf guitar to the fore – like a cross between The Adams Family sat listening to The Shadows but then The Cramps gatecrash the party”¦ judging by the pace at which ”ËœVendetta’ is played it was one hell of a party!
The Chickenstock crowd are lapping this up ”“ El Toro! respond by launching into ”ËœNo Doctor’ with drummer Ben offering up his kit for sacrifice as he beats it to a pulp; the flailing masses stage front can only cope with one more and that comes in the form of ”ËœShame’ before El Toro! disappear into the darkness of the night.

El Toro! are currently producing some of the most intensely enjoyable and immediate sounds you are likely to hear; if you’re in the mood for having your mind blown then this is the band to look out for.

El Toro! have a few dates in September before rather special gig Friday 7th October at The Kazamier, Liverpool which they describe as “the theme is kinky/fetish/bondage — NASTY HABITS! So we expect to see plenty of transvestitism, dominatrices, gimps, furries and those weird baby-people turning up”

One for the diary me thinks!

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


  1. […] turned the pressure up – LTW have previously heaped praise upon these Liverpool based surf punks (Chickenstock review), and tonight\’s performance further justified the plaudits. Opening with the mouth organ […]


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