Live Review

TOY, The Garage, London

It’s pretty obvious that the world hasn’t seen the best of them yet.

What happens to many bands after they release a buzzing critically acclaimed debut album? They usually come back with a very uninteresting/trying-too-hard/unfocused follow up and go off the radar without being able to make a noticeable dent in the British music timeline.

This is exactly what will not happen to TOY. The world got a little live taste of their brand new songs (four in total) at this one-off headline show, and it’s pretty obvious that the world hasn’t seen the best of them yet.

‘Kopter’ with its never ending loops and ramifications that turn into a huge sound bubble used to be TOY’s set-closer, but not any more, it’s now the first track of the night. In fact they’ve realised they’ve got so many amazing compositions that they can confidently drop that one and the equally mesmerising ‘Dead And Gone’ within the first 15 minutes and still keep the level of the show at an all time high.

New tracks (‘Too Far Gone To Know’, ‘You Won’t Be The Same’ and ‘Fall Out Of Love’) are scattered evenly through the set. The titles may be melancholic, but the beats are intricate and dark with a sudden optimistic twist. Their level of awareness has made them tweak their already accomplished sound into something slightly spicier and definitely bigger.

Keeping their stage presence as steady as their tunes, nothing disturbs the band’s flow of synchronised finger tips and for some moments they get so deeply into it that it looks as if they’ve completely forgotten they’re playing for a live audience.

The thick smoke is distorted transversely by the striking keywords of ‘My Heart Skips A Beat’ tied straight after with ‘Motoring’ where the crowd starts a polite mosh pit cheering not a big chorus but the sound of layers of guitars.

Who chooses a brand new only-released-one-day-ago track to close a show? TOY do. Going by the good old trick of keeping the best for last, ‘Join The Dots’ kicks off with an inviting intro leading to a peaceful vocals-moment by singer Tom Dougall, stepping aside from the other instruments for a few seconds before being chased by a maze of psychedelic explosion and leaving him just enough room to end the evening in command.

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