Brighton, Concorde 2
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d made a wrong turn into the UFO club circa ’68 this evening as London’s hottest new hypesters TOY grace the Concorde 2′s stage. Dressed accordingly in paisley shirts and roll necks, matching shoulder-length hair dos swing side to side as eyes are fixed firmly on pedal boards. Frontman Tom Dougall looks straight out, fixing the audience with a deathly stare. A seamless blend of motorik beats complimented with new wave synthesizers and psychedelic guitar swirls, TOY hone in the best bits of krautrock, komische and post-punk into a sleek package.
Sad as it is to see TOY depart, the audience is brimming with anticipation before The Horrors take to the stage. With their cartoon garage-goth now well in the past, Faris Badwan and co. have garnered themselves a shed load of acclaim and legions of sceptics-turned-fans on the back of their third studio effort ‘Skying’. But any remaining scepticism is quickly diminished as the opening snare crack of ‘Changing The Rain’ fills the room with a sudden rush of fire and adrenaline. Bassist Rhys Webb bobs up and down obliviously whilst keyboards man Tom Furse adorns himself with a harrowing stare. Guitarist Josh does that thing that he does, ensuring his guitar sounds as monstrous and intimidating as ever, and frontman Faris rocks back and forth on the microphone stand, speaking very little to intertwine the songs.
The set heavily features material from the aforementioned ‘Skying’ and selections from 2008′s ‘Primary Colours’, but not a single track from debut ‘Strange House’. The new-wave-esque ‘Who Can Say’ cuts the air, fizzing with electric energy, and new single ‘I Can See Through You’ is executed with nonchalant confidence. It’s often hard not to fall in love with a band who continually develop and grow, and The Horrors have managed to fulfil the criteria in every aspect, not just in their image and sound, but their whole live presence, which exudes excitement inexplicably. ‘Monica Gems’ takes on a new life, moments even recalling an early Suede, whilst set closer ’Sea Within A Sea’ is its usual brain-frying psychedelic maelstrom of sonic manipulation. An encore of the hypnotic ‘Moving Further Away’ leaves the audience dazed in awe, with nobody prepared to stop their cheers and applause, leaving The Horrors to wallow in the glory of their seemingly self-perpetuating success.