Amelia’s Magazine | TOY at the Lexington: Live Review

Toy by Christina Pavlou

TOY by Christina Pavlou

Taking refuge from unusually arctic conditions outside, the main bar of the estimable establishment that is the Lexington was already beginning to swell as people patiently waited for the signal to head to the venue. There was a distinct mix in the clientele (not least age), reflecting the vintages of both of the bands who were due to play tonight.

Toy by Thom Lambert

TOY by Thom Lambert

Part of the five day DRLL:LONDON festival curated by influential art punk band Wire and music website The Quietus, tonight saw rising new band TOY supported by ‘secret special guests‘ (though it didn’t take much working out who those special guests would be).

Toy by Sylwia Szyszka

TOY by Sylwia Szyszka

Playing the understudy tonight, Wire hit the stage with bass player Graham Lewis mischievously announcing that ‘We are Horsemeat Searchlight.’ They then powered through a short, loud set, mainly composed of their choicer nuggets, before hot-footing it across town for another DRILL:LONDON show at Cafe OTO, where they were due to be play alongside another new band, Teeth Of The Sea.

Toy by Katie Eberts

TOY by Katie Eberts

Formed from the ashes of one-time indie hopefuls Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong, TOY have been making waves over the last couple of years, earning praise from the likes of Rhys Webb of The Horrors along the way with their psychedelic, krautrock referencing sound. Their self titled debut album was a keenly anticipated release last year, and they’ve been playing to steadily larger audiences – indeed, tonight’s show had almost sold out even before it became apparent that Wire were also playing.

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TOY snuck on stage about ten minutes earlier than billed, so I’d luckily timed my bar run right, and immediately launched into an epic Dead & Gone, with its hypnotic rhythm building into a wall of noise mid-way through. The set was largely a run through of tracks from the album, with vocalist Tom Dougall (who, incidentally, is the brother of former Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall) doing a quick introduction to each song. A pacy Colours Running Out led into a new number, Fall Out Of Love.

Toy by Sylwia Szyszka

TOY by Sylwia Szyszka

As a band, TOY visually seem to reflect their music, looking almost as though they’ve just stepped out of a rehearsal studio in Düsseldorf in 1974. Dougall is, as ever, clad in black, delivering clipped vocals between bursts of guitar, whilst there is some serious head bobbing from rhythm guitarist Dominic O’Dair and especially bassist Maxim Barron. Drummer Charlie Salvidge chips in with backing vocals, whilst a near motionless Alejandra Diez conjures some synthesizer washes.

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After early singles Left Myself Behind and Motoring, TOY finished with a distinctly cosmic Kopter, before leaving the stage to cheers from the heaving crowd. With a short break before festival season begins, with appearances including Field Day, Glastonbury and the Hop Farm Music Festival lined up, it looks like TOY are going to be taking their far-out sound far and wide.

Categories ,cafe oto, ,Christina Pavlou, ,DRLL:LONDON, ,Field Day, ,glastonbury, ,Hop Farm Music Festival, ,Horsemeat Searchlight, ,Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong, ,Katie Eberts, ,krautrock, ,Lexington, ,Pipettes, ,Rose Elinor Dougall, ,Sylwia Szyszka, ,Teeth of the Sea, ,the horrors, ,The Quietus, ,Thom Lambert, ,toy, ,wire

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Amelia’s Magazine | Music Listings


Monday 19th January

Greg Dulli/Mark Lanegan, Union Chapel, London


For fans of the drug-n-whisky soaked darker side of life this intimate venue should be the perfect place to catch the full intensity of this bad boy duo’s melancholic rumblings.

Still Flyin’, Stricken City, We Have Band, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, London

15-piece Californian band/orchestra/whatever headline with their sunny but diverse indie pop. Plus cool electro pop from We Have Band.

Tuesday 20th January

Kasms, White Heat, London

Noisy and shambolic guitar sounds from these metal-tinged black-haired Londoners.

Wednesday 21st January

Wire, Cargo, London


Sometimes gigs from old favourites can be a risky business, often liable to disappoint when your heroes have become sad old has-beens. With any luck these late 70s punk stalwarts were too cool to age badly and this should be a great gig.

Little Joy, Dingwalls, London

Strokes drummer Fab Moretti becomes a front man on this side project. Expect New Yorkey, indie-pop in a similar vein to, um, The Strokes via Brazil.

Thursday 22nd January

La Roux, Cockpit, Leeds


She’s in Issue 10 so she must be pretty good but don’t just take our (and every other music journalist in England’s) word for it. Check out her fun dance pop live.

Friday 23rd January

Sky Larkin, Barfly, Cardiff


Cute but clever indie rock from Leeds with a definite off-beat edge.

David Grubbs, The Croft, Bristol

Once the founder of 80s punk metallers Squirrel Bait, David Grubbs now plays grungy post-rock as a solo concern.

Saturday 24th January

James Yuill, The Macbeth, London


Think Jose Gonzalez without the advert but with plenty of electronic sounds to accompany the quiet and introspective acoustic numbers.

Of Montreal, Digital, Brighton

Much loved indie pop, spreading a little happiness whilst supporting Franz Ferdinand on their latest tour.

Sunday 25th January

Le Corps Mince de Francoise, Library, Lancaster


Daft Finnish pop in the same vein as CSS, Chicks on Speed and others of that ilk. Crazy make up and fun party girls = a great end to the weekend.

Categories ,Barfly, ,David Grubbs, ,Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, ,James Yuill, ,Kasms, ,La Roux, ,Le Corps Mince de Francoise, ,Listings, ,Little Joy, ,Musician, ,Of Montreal, ,Sky Larkin, ,Still Flyin’, ,Stricken City, ,We Have Band, ,Wire

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