What happened to the early 2010’s British psych revival? Not a great deal, it seems, and for some time Toy seemed on a treadmill towards the same lacklustre shoegaze fate of many of their other new psych contemporaries. That was, however, until this year’s Happy in the Hollow, which out of nowhere saw a band revitalized and with something original and interesting to say – a menacing pop sensibility returned to their output. This album is Toy at their most leftfield and inventive, taking in trippy English pastoralism, lo-fi bedroomtronica and no shortage of goth.
Now, Toy return to Band on the Wall to perform Happy in the Hollow and celebrate the release of their forthcoming covers album Songs of Consumption. The covers album, the band explained recently, “is as much about the way those artists dealt with their ideas, and how they put themselves in uncomfortable situations in order to make something that in the end is simple”.
A night of strange sighting and unhabitual ritual
Even detractors would concede that even your most reductive psych band probably has an excellent record collection, and Toy have thrown choices both popular and obscure into the pot for Songs of Consumption. ‘Sixty Forty’, a relative Nico obscurity, becomes a seven-minute opiate odyssey, whilst ‘Down on the Street’ by the Stooges throbs as four-to-the-floor electronica, the best way to reinvent that most visceral of groups. And though their version of ‘Always On My Mind’ deviates so little from the Pet Shop Boys’ definitive version as to be almost karaoke, it still lands an emotional punch.
With support slots from the Spanish/Mancunian industrial performance art of Mutabase, alongside the Italo, cosmic and disco sounds of DJ Sofie K, TOY promise a carefully curated ‘night of strange sighting and unhabitual ritual’, not to be missed.