Talking Heads, Southampton


As we eagerly await Toy in a “smaller” venue, what of the supports?

The Plastic Beats Band take to the stage and entertain from the outset. Visually they look like part Faces, part Black Rebel Motorcycle Club! The music however is heavily influenced by the 60’s. It’s a wonderful mish-mash of 60’s R&B with Garage a plenty. “Heart of Stone” is an early highlight from this nattily dressed quartet. TPBB create a big wall of sound in places, not least with the drums and equally squally guitars. On their penultimate song they make no effort to disguise the obvious Black Rebel riff “theft” and run with it! They end as they started full of confidence to good applause.

The Plastic Beats Band
The Plastic Beats Band 12

The Proper Ornaments are up next and they barely utter a word throughout. By contrast theirs is a more shoegazey Indie sound with more than a nod towards “Nowhere” era Ride and the softer elements of Jesus and Mary Chain. There appear to be a few tuning issues but that doesn’t detract from what is a great set of original material. It’s soft gentle Indie with some great guitar parts and some strong drums. While I did enjoy their set no set list was apparent and with their lack of interaction with the crowd, no song titles were forthcoming!

The Proper Ornaments
The Proper Ornaments 123

And so to the main event. Toy take to the stage in a cloud of smoke. The term shoegaze could not be more apparent as they open with “Conductor”. It’s a wall of sound that sets the scene for most of their set. As a fan of this genre I had high hopes this was going to be a classic gig, but I left disappointed. All the component parts are there for sure, I just wasn’t blown away in quite the way I expected. The guitars are prominent throughout and the keys only add to the overall sound.

Toy 123

But it’s not until they play “Endlessly” and the quite excellent “Kopter” that they really come alive. It’s at this point where this Talking Heads crowd start to move a little and I feel that the gig might explode into action. Their Psychedelic/Shoegaze hearts are worn firmly on their sleeves for the remainder of the set but once again I’m left disappointed until they play “My Heart Skips a Beat” which is a set highlight. ‘Motoring’ soon follows before they end with the LP title track “Join The Dots”. They leave to great applause but for this reviewer I can’t help thinking that bands like The Cooper Temple Clause do it so much better. I hope to be proved wrong though.

Colours Running Out
Too Far Gone To Know
Dead & Gone
As We Turn
Left Myself Behind
It’s Been So Long
Fall Out of Love
My Heart Skips a Beat
Join the Dots


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Words By Ross A Ferrone
Videos & Pictures by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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