Gig Review

Shiny Toy Guns
Plus Viva Machine, Plastic Toys, We Are The Physics
Southampton, Joiners
13th March 2007

Shiny Toy Guns             Viva Machine            Plastic Toys            We Are The Physics

Back at the Joiners, I'd barely finished my interview with The Plastic Toys, that the noise named "We Are The Physics" burst through the door from the other room. I meandered through the people milling around, and stood at the back of the small room, which was already filling. A rare sight for an early band, especially as tonight we were treated to three supports. We Are The Physics, from Scotland, describe themselves as alternative/new wave/indie, however hearing them for the first time live, I was getting a much more punky feel, with fast drumming, frantic strumming of indistinguishable chords, and vocals that weren't singing, or shouting, or half way in between really but I suppose I'll say they are for fear of completely confusing myself. The thing that saved them from being "just another band playing fast music," was their performance. The charisma of the front-man was incredible, looking really comfortable, and filling his breaks from playing guitar with pointing at each members as they made some interesting noise. It's hard to explain once again, but their movements were quirky and fun to watch. In one song, they all froze at their microphones in silence, until one by one they started saying their own thing that eventually knitted together like a brilliant spawn of "Hounds Of Love" by The Futureheads. The music you could put up with, and at times it even broke into "pretty good," but it's the performance that did it. I like that a lot.

The second band on, were Plastic Toys, Southampton locals, with a loyal following, who were probably best part of the people filling the room now. I'd be interested to see how these guys fair against a crowd who don't know them, because both times I've seen them (previously reviewed in the McQueen review 21/1/07) they've had all their fans there, going nuts, singing along, cheering like mad after every song, climbing on each others backs and generally enjoying themselves. If an unknown band could do that, they'd be instantly labelled as Gods and would appear on NME for six months running, but the fact that it's their loyal fans who argue over who's been to more Plastic Toys gigs, makes it somewhat less impressive. And they play to their fans of course, which, for someone who has no idea who they are, might be confusing, annoying, I don't know. But do you know what I mean? Still, their set was good, and had they not played as if it was all for their established fan base (who would probably cheer if Jon just played the triangle and sang hits from the sixties,) the rating may have been back up at number five, like my previous review.

Band three, the surprise of the evening, Viva Machine. Previously played Bournemouth (my Uni town,) with The Automatic, and although I wasn't at the gig, I'd heard reports of "average" with regards to their performance. Average? Are you mad? They were fucking brilliant. Far better live than their recordings, that's for sure. Upbeat, fun, catchy, guitar bass and synth combinations, not to mention the use of three vocals all working together to make a wall of voices chanting their memorable lyrics, to equally memorable melodies. I don't really know what else to say really, they appeared to be enjoying themselves, and I know I was. Another thing that impressed me, is that their influences include Minus The Bear, who, I know for a fact, I have bigged up on this website as much as possible. Happy days.

And now for the main spectacle, the real deal, the bees knees, etc, you get the idea; Shiny Toy Guns. The first band I've seen at the Joiners to bring their own lights, and good Lord it makes a difference. Powerful back lights that can blind a crowd, and when switched on and off, they're bright enough to make the "off" stages, appear like the room is pitch black. Put in rhythm to their synthy god-like indie-rave songs, it's almost heavenly. The first song was "Starts With One." Makes sense really, doesn't it. And the first thing you notice, as the vocal line kicks in, is "holy shit, this sounds just like the CD, only better." Yes, that's talent boys and girls. Vocalist and guitarist Chad has one awesome voice, and so does second vocalist Carah. With Mikey on the drums going awol, (and an apparent obsession with spitting at Chad,) and Jeremy rocking out on bass or synth, the whole room was captivated by the talent, by the light-show, by everything. Predictable favourites were "Le Disko" and "Don't Cry Out," which were expertly executed, much like the rest of the set, which consisted of (I'm pretty sure,) the entire album "We Are Pilots" and a cover song as well. A cover of what, I have no idea, but Carah said it was a cover, and given as she was singing it, I'll take her word for it. "Chemistry Of A Car Crash" got a surprisingly good reaction also; I mean it's good and everything but it didn't strike me as a stand out track on the album. Finishing with "Rainy Monday," the Shiny Toy Guns had put on a brilliant show. Simply fantastic. As I said, the lights, the sound, everything was spot on. I need to work on more synonyms because I hate repeating myself; but they're just fucking ridiculously good. Go and see them. Even if you're deaf. Go on.

Review By Thom

 Shiny Toy Guns

jeremy dawson (synths, bass guitar)
chad petree (vocals, guitar)
carah faye (vocals, bass guitar)
mikey martin (drums)
 Viva Machine

Chris (Vocals, Keys)
Gar (guitar, vocals)
Tom (bass, vocals)
DP (drums)
 Plastic Toys

Jon Plastic (Vox, Guitars, Synths)
Si Jackson (Guitars, Vocals, Synths)
Kitty Brooks (Bass)
Ben Coley (Drums)
 We Are The Physics

Michael (bass/vocals)
Michael (guitar/vocals)
Michael (drums/vocals)
Chris (guitar/vocals)
 Band Related Links
Shiny Toy Guns Myspace
Viva Machine Myspace
Plastic Toys Myspace
We Are The Physics Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?