Toy, Dark Horses, Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs: London – live review

Toy/Dark Horses/Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs

London, Heaven

Up and coming indie rockers and friends of The Horrors impress with krautrock tinged live set – Willow Colios was there to witness it.

Tonight’s triple header at Heaven begins with Toy label mates Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs. They look almost too cool with a lead guitarist with perfect indie-rock hair wielding a de rigueur Fender Jaguar – not the only one on stage this evening. Debut single ‘I Watch You’ rumbles nicely somewhere between The Concretes and The Modern Lovers. It’s energetic, the guitars are crunchy and it wakes me from a Wednesday evening stupor. It’s most definitely a shot across my auditory bows because tonight is going to be loud… Bloody loud.


Toy, Dark Horses, Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs: London – live review
Charlie Boyer

Where The Voyeurs brought relentless pounding rhythm, Dark Horses offer a bit more light and shade. Coming on to what sounds like a recording of a member of the Hells Angels talking about Altamont, there is something slightly unsettling about them. Lisa Elle swaggers with a demeanor slightly reminiscent of Patti Smith, and harmonicas and guitars echo each other to brilliant effect. On a later track, ‘Traps’ bass thuds and fuzzes against twangy guitar and the drums give it the feel of Radiohead‘s ‘There There’.  The drums get more intense on recent single ‘Alone’, the electronic end of the band’s sound, testament to collaboration with Richard Fearless (of Death in Vegas) who produced Dark Horses’ debut album ‘Black Music’. It’s no wonder that the band are gearing up for an All Hallows Eve Album Launch Show in Brighton (31st Oct @ Green Door Store) – This is some scary primal stuff.


Toy, Dark Horses, Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs: London – live review
Dark Horses

Toy are a band who are definitely building momentum of late and there are a load of 14 year olds in the front row who know every word of their songs. This is even more remarkable as, for me at least, Toy are more about atmosphere and soundscapes than vocals and lyrics. The crowd start to come alive even more with the early inclusion of single ‘Lose My Way’ as the 3rd song in the set. Toy songs always have loads of energy but frequently veer off in all directions. With guitar noise that veers from shrapnel to swirling steam to breaking glass, Krautrock has come to a room that at weekends hosts the G.A.Y nightclub. Every Saturday night the day’s X Factor loser plays here – We couldn’t be further away from their usual weekend fare tonight. With ‘My Heart Skips a Beat’, there are soaring synths and the audience is bathed in purple light. It’s quite a reflective moment in what has been a fast paced and relentless evening, but it doesn’t last too long. Final song of the set and debut album closer, ‘Kopter’, is back to high energy Toy. They look like they could play all night if they had more than an albums’ worth of material. “I will go from here, I will disappear.”, sings Tom Dougall. With the packed room of Toy devotees here tonight, that seems unlikely. Toy seem to really relish playing to the large crowd and with this following, they could be around for a while.

Toy are on Facebook here, and their debut album is available now on Heavenly Recordings with an exclusive bonus disc from Rough Trade.

All words by Willow Colios. You can read more from Willow on LTW here or follow him on Twitter.

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  1. Great review! I agreed with every description you made! It really was a brilliant gig and yes, it was bloody loud! Haha


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