TOY: Liverpool Sound City – live review


Liverpool Cathedral

May 3rd 2013

Epic  is one of the most over used words in pop culture but standing in Liverpool’s gob smackingly huge Anglican Cathedral whilst Toy hit a new gear it somehow defines itself perfectly.

Liverpool Sound City has really come of age this year and its sheer scale of events and choice of venues places it at the forefront of the music conference and urban festival circuit. The old Neptune Theatre, now renamed the Epstein theatre after the brilliant young manager who made so much so an all those decades ago, is one great spots but this cathedral is something else.

It takes a special kind of band to make an event In a place like this work and Toy are one of those rare bands. They seem to have cranked everything up since the last time we saw them a few months ago but even then they were mesmeric swirl of hypnotic drone riffs and crystalline melodies, a post indie band in a new age of invention and, along with The Horrors, a whole new way to move the music forward.

With their perfect Dave Davies from the Kinks 1965 hair and regency neo Dandy look they also were very striking, with a skinny swagger that matches the trip out of their music. From the top when they zoom into My Heart Skips A Beat the band are in their distinctive groove which they hit perfectly for the following Left Myself Behind. Their distinctive drone rock with the mesmerising synth lines which are as silky as keyboard player Alejandra Diez’s shirt, really pulls you in.

It’s these layers of sound that Toy have honed down so perfectly. The propulsive rhythm section and the building drone or instruments with nothing sticking out too far drowns you in a sticky sonic goo. It’s a sound that you can wallow and get lost in, a 21st century psychedelia, a huge sound for that fills the astonishingly high roof of the cathedral.

Stunningly effective, this is a band hitting a new peak and they pack a heavy punch to their sound, a real genuine throb of power inside the trip. Toy have arrived. They are no longer circuit faves, this is a band that can make their trip work on the biggest stages.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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