After an all too short but solid set from The Bombergs, and a few songs into the set of second opening act Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs, I realise that the yelps of their lead singer (presumably Charlie Boyer) sound startlingly alike those of Tom Verlaine. These vocals paired with loud keyboards gives them the sound of Television jamming with The Modern Lovers. The song they introduced as “Be Nice” was like a proto punk take on “Johnny B. Goode”, with its aggressive and sugary chorus. Their instant hook is their lead guitar, sounding as if someone built a band around the guitar line from The Velvet Underground’s “What Goes On”. They play an excellent set, and make as big an impression as an opening act as TOY did with The Horrors.

Headliners TOY build a wall of sound on stage that does not rise and fall in volume but expands and shifts in shape and texture. The volume is unrelenting even during the most subtle moments. An early set appearance of their first single “Left Myself Behind” kicks them into overdrive, with an extended outro that unbelievably continues to build and build in overwhelming intensity. The stage remains shrouded in shadow throughout their dark instrumental sections, the band appearing as abstract shapes until Tom Dougall shouts in his imperfect baritone to keep volume amongst the crashing of “Dead and Gone”

Album lead single “Lose My Way” brings with it a brief melodic reprieve. The song is the closest thing to a ballad the band has, but the mostly shoegazing audience opt out of the potential sing along. TOY craft the set and album closer “Kopter” into a break-drum-stick pace epic, with soaring synth and chugging guitar. As they tear through it everything that was idle now seems to be in motion, hurtling through a storm of warped melody. TOY as a live band sound frenzied and gigantic, and after the feedback cuts out even the ringing in your ears sounds supersonic.

4/5

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