Posted by Danielle Millea.
Reviewed on 16th September 2007.
Live at Cockpit on Thursday, 13th September 2007
The Adverts ex-front man TV Smith is supporting tonight. Armed only with an acoustic guitar he pounds out tracks that are real ear-openers at first, like 'Bring The Bull Down' and the slower 'The Lion And The Lamb'. The powerful 'Not in My Name' about war could do with the help of a plugged-in backing band.
Three sets of bright coloured rectangular sunglasses and matching attire; and here are The Toy Dolls. Looking a lot younger than I imagined (they have been going in one formation or another for twenty eight years), it is a very pleasant surprise that none other than Duncan Redmonds (Snuff, Billy No Mates) is performing the drumming and extra vocal duties.
Not a punk band in the normal sense of things; there are no rants of any kind here, political or, in fact, meaningful. All the songs have a comedy theme to them, based on singer Olga's experiences, mainly from his hometown of Sunderland. Titles like 'My Girlfriend's Dad's A Vicar' and one of the many alliterated names like 'Peter Practices Practice Place' make you aware that this is not a serious band.
Chants of "You Fat Bastard" can be heard from the back when bassist Tom Goober removes the Toy Dolls uniform of sleeveless black shirt and tiny tie. Not many join in though, as many people here are in the same boat look-wise. That fact that Goober can ripple his beer belly only adds to the laughs.
'Stay Mellow' is a bit of a boring track, but songs like 'Alec's Gone' and the controversial 'I've Got Asthma' (Olga actually has) even it out. Dressing up briefly in devil's horns with a sparkler on a pitchfork for the start of 'Fiery Jack', there's a sense of fun in the Cockpit for once; much needed after the drabs of indie crap that grace many venues nowadays.
You can not imagine how hard I am laughing as twenty-odd larger than life punks swirl around in a pit, some taking it quite seriously, to 'Nellie The Elephant'. That has made my month;that has. Olga's high pitched voice is best heard when singing tunes like 'Olga... I Cannot!'
Bits of silver confetti are still being found in my drink thirty minutes after Olga has popped the cork of an oversized inflatable bottle of champagne, flying about with the help of the large fan on the stage. This fan is also responsible for Olga's tiny red tie pointing horizontally a lot of the time.
I had a lot of fun at this show, and that fact that Redmonds from Snuff is on the drums makes it all the more memorable. I don't believe them when they say that this is their last tour, as they call it that every time, judging by the crowd's reaction!