|Venue:||Manchester Soup Kitchen|
Arriving early I quaffed a swift Guinness in the Dry Bar and took to the streets of the Northern Quarter, indulging in a little evening pre-gig derivé. My drifting took me towards the venue, which was lined with a gaggle of paisley shirted young men who permeated the beatnik No. 5: Patchouli. The Soup Kitchen is typical of the achingly modish bars around the Northern Quarter trying to emulate the atmosphere of the Rive Gauche. Yet it is a perfect setting for Toy’s retro-phile European sound, which is perhaps more downtown Dusseldorf than Left Bank Paris.
The Golden Glows were already mid-gig when I arrived (due to the Guinness and my flanuer wanderings) however three songs were enough of the Felt-inspired group; accomplished, however a little too prosaic.
Toy made a somewhat trite entrance, under the heavy fog of a smoke machine and I started to worry the gig may fall into late-sixties pastiche (the bass player's Zapata was not helping things!) However my main concern was that lead singer Tom Dougall was rendered inaudible for most of the performance. Here stood a young man whose earnest convictions were muted by the sound man’s fecklessness, a great shame. The vocals were rescued just in time for latest single ‘Motoring’, a kosmische-covered delight. Spanish beauty Alejandra Diez’s insistent keyboards and drummer Charlie Salvidge’s muscular rhythms were particularly welcoming. Then the cheap-smelling smoke dispersed and they were gone, off to give their soundman his P45 hopefully.
Posted: Thu 12 April 2012