Concert Review: TOY, Spires, January 14, Horseshoe Tavern

Photo by Frank Yang

Brighton band TOY have been making a bit of a name for themselves lately on the strength of their shoegazey, psychedelic sound. Having released their self-titled debut back in 2012, the band, led by singer/guitarist Tom Dougall, just dropped their sophomore effort, Join The Dots, late last year and were playing Toronto for the first time in support of it at The Horseshoe.

Opening for them were New York City’s Spires, a band who were not British, but definitely seemed very Brit-inspired, right down to the peacoat that the singer wore throughout the entirety of the band’s set.  Who wears a peacoat indoors under hot stagelights? That guy. They definitely looked the part, appearing as if they came directly from central casting to play the role of a young Brit-loving indie band from NYC … fronted by a young Jimmy Fallon.  They sounded the part too, with a sound full of catchy melodies that seemed to take inspiration from all those late ’80s/early ’90s Brit bands who in turn took inspiration from the ’60s.

And then TOY took to the stage and impressed with their blissed out, Krautrock inspired grooves. They set the bar high pretty early on in their set with “Kopter.” As the bass and drums locked into a groove, it felt like I could have listened to them play that for about half an hour, though I don’t think that the drummer could have kept that pace up for that long. Truth be told, I was kind of disappointed that all of the songs didn’t go on for longer. They could have done so quite easily and I guarantee that no one would have minded much.  There wasn’t a lot of stage banter on the part of Dougall or his bandmates, but no matter.  With memorable, driving songs such as set closer “Join The Dots,” the music speaks for itself.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts