London rockers Toy have an interesting backstory, they're good friends with the Horrors, and they can claim one of the best debut albums of 2012, a self-titled, blissed-out kaleidoscope of melodic, Krautrock-infused psychedelia.
Not unlike Yuck, which developed after the dissolution of Cajun Dance Party, Toy came together after the collapse of the much-touted Joe Lean and The Jing Jang Jong. Following the death of one band, a far better one emerged and Toy's motorik-fueled core powers the quintet through such dense, gorgeous tracks like "Lose My Way," "Motoring" and "Dead & Gone" (below).
Toy hasn't toured the States yet, but they're touring the UK and Europe until December 7 and play London's Heaven tonight, October 24. Their album is out now via Heavenly.
The Alternate Side asked the band — Tom Dougall, Dominic O'Dair, Alejandra Diez, Maxim "Panda" Barron and Charlie Salvidge — if they could keep a tour diary of a week in their busy schedule and they chose a handful of days in September that found them bouncing between two cool UK festivals: Bestival on the Isle of Wight and the inaugural Festival No. 6 in Portmeirion, Wales:
Bestival, Sunday, September 9:
After a choppy ferry ride from Portsmouth, we arrived at the Bestival site which, to my eyes, had a post-apocalyptic feel to it owing to legions of music fans trudging through the mud in varying degrees of inebriation, their once proud fancy-dress wear reduced to discoloured rags. With an ominous storm cloud overhead we decamped to the Bestival radio building, where myself and Panda played records for an hour before our set. Later on as we took to the stage to play, I realised that Stevie Wonder, the weekend's top draw, was to be performing at the exact same time as us, thankfully however there were still a sufficient number of people around to watch our set, which was nice! – Charlie
Charlie celebrating our album being Rough Trade Album of the Month!
In Store at Rough Trade and Album Release. Monday September 10:
It was the official day of our album release and the fact that we were playing a gig made the whole thing more real. Our album was advertised in shelves and there was a massive sign outside the store; it was actually happening! We had spent the whole summer doing festivals and hadn't played in London for a long time, so we weren't sure how it'd turn out. But the place was full, we sold all the copies in the store and all our friends were there too, all the ingredients for the celebration that followed! — Alejandra
Polaroid of Panda (Maxim) at "The Hub."
Lauren Laverne show, Wednesday, September 12:
We arrived at BBC Radio 6 Music in Central London to play a live session for Lauren Laverne. It's much more nerve racking to play a live radio session than play a gig, so luckily for us we had a while to play through some songs before we were on air. We chose "Lose My Way," our current single, and "Kopter," which is one of our main live songs. It was great to be able to play a long, noisy song live on the radio. We were also asked if we liked the Velvet Underground, and if we would like to record a song by them to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the release of their first album. Answering yes to both, we chose "What Goes On," which is going to be played on 6 Music. — Dom
Playing at Festival No. 6
Festival No. 6, Sunday, September 16:
We played Festival No. 6, situated in the unique village of Portmeirion [in Wales]. Set on it's own private peninsula on the southern shores of Snowdonia the views and the architecture really blew us away. It was wet, but we brought some friends with us and met up with Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs, a fantastic band. Our stage was situated by the beach, adding a great atmosphere to the show. We'd been looking forward to this particular festival because of the location and the great line up. The village was used as the island in the 60's tv show "The Prisoner" Although we felt no desire to escape, we had to leave and missed New Order who headlined the day we played. — Maxim