TOY + The Proper Ornaments + The Grafham Water Sailing Club, The Rainbow, Birmingham 21/02/14
TOY Coventry outfit The Grafham Water Sailing Club kick off this weekend beginning gig with echoes of most that is good about alternative music.
The Grafham Water Sailing Club Bouncy beats and guitar solos interweave in a performance which saw them at arguably their best – you can really see the experience they’ve gained from their February tour with The Twang. It’s just a shame the gig had to start so early as many will have missed them.
The Proper Ornaments As the crowd numbers increase The Proper Ornaments set the mood and clearly have potential to move up any gig billing. The triple vocal delivering four-piece bring delicately crafted songs. Their songs bring to mind The Byrds, The Velvet Underground, Stereolab, Galaxie 500 and mid-era Husker Du. This, clearly, is a very good thing. Nodding to soft yet rich music from the 60’s all the way through to the 90’s they add their own sound and gradually win over the increasing numbers at the venue.
The Proper Ornaments The set ending ‘Recalling’ underlines and expands the relentless driving beats and harmonic delicate waves of sonic held off assault which threatens to go into overdrive and leaves the audience wanting more. Some staggered and staggering guitar runs that weep from fret boards. A band to check out with real further potential.
TOY TOY take the stage at 9pm and they do so to a very full room at The Rainbow. One song is all it takes for the vibe in the room to change – ‘Conductor’ from its opening keyboards is brought to throbbing glory via a bass that sends waves through the room. In a word – stellar. Just more overdrive please. It is with the fourth song ‘Dead & Gone’ that TOY show their real hand and touch upon why they could go much further. Pulsing and hypnotic, the song may remind listeners of The Horrors but this is no tribute and much more of a threat to the skinny-jeaned outfit. ‘Dead & Gone’ builds with distance and delivers what previous songs do not. It pauses then lets rip; tangible waves go through the crowd.
TOY This bar is almost continued until the final song of thirteen. ‘Join The Dots’ from the album of the same name is racked up more so than the album version and serves to cap of a very decent set. TOY have a lot of potential, some of that is already realised and with a venue almost in their hands they really should let rip more and get nodding heads breaking out into mayhem. C’mon TOY stop playing with us. Photographs by Paul Reynolds.