Shiny Toy Guns – Leeds Packhorse

By paul

Shiny Toy Guns, Club NME Tour (supported by The Sounds and Union of Knives)
Leeds Faversham

Glaswegian band Union of Knives confidently kicked off the night in style. Co-ordinated from head to toe in black, they broke into slick indie/electro beats with beautiful and impressive, harmonised male vocals. Despite the thick beats and hypnotic indie/dance sounds, towards the end of the set some of the songs sounded disappointingly repetitive, and so failed to maintain everyone?s interest. The main highlight of their performance was undeniably the massively catchy, ?Evil Has Never?, due to be released on the 5th March. For fans of Muse, Radiohead and Soulwax. (7)

The Sounds opened with vocalist Maja Ivarsson, dressed in tiny, high-waisted, black shorts, announcing that they?d ?travelled all the way from Sweden to be with you mother fuckers tonight!? as the band energetically unleashed song ?Death of Me? to a tightly packed, eager crowd. The audience were enthusiastically encouraged to join in by clapping and singing along, ?I wanna see some fucking hands!? shouted guitarist Felix Rodriguez to the intro of ?Hit Me?. Ivarsson?s provocative dancing beckoned everyone?s attention as she gyrated on the floor and straddled her microphone stand throughout the set. Song ?Ego? was the grand finale, complete with crowd-pleasing drum-off. The Sounds gave a hypnotic performance of punk/disco that undoubtedly exceeded numerous expectations. They are a quirky band that not only love to rock out, with smiles and passion, but also know how to perform thrillingly on stage, even on one as modest as the Faversham?s. (8)

Los Angeles headliners Shiny Toy Guns gave a melodic, gradual intro with ?Promise You Walls?, luring the audience into a false sense of calm before crashing into the glorious ?Starts With One?, with lights flashing wildly and Chad Petree?s bold, immaculate vocals
resounding powerfully through the venue. The vocal range from both Petree and Carah Faye is nothing short of impressive, from beautiful melodies to high-pitched screams that emphasise a definite rock element to the band, as do the heavy bass lines, thrashing drums, dramatic make-up, tattoos and skinny jeans. They?re blurring the dividing lines between rock, electro and dance and it?s good. Very good. The only anti-climax of the show was the much-anticipated track ?Le Disco?, which appears somewhat bolder and more dominating on the record than live tonight. Single ?You Are the One? stole the show with an astonishing 10/10 performance that was loved by the crowd even more than the band that played it, with such energy that they had the whole crowd clapping along and chants for encores. Shiny Toy Guns closed the set with ?Don?t Cry Out?. The lights were turned off; someone came up on stage and started cable clearing. Minutes passed, no one moved. The crowd chanted for an encore- more specifically for ?You Are the One?. Then one by one, the band made their way back on stage to perform an impressive three more songs, which included new material and a cover song. Chances of them playing a venue this size again are slim, especially since they are due to support Fall Out Boy on tour in April, meaning that their talent and fresh, innovative sound will be showcased to tens of thousands of people. Fingers crossed that they?re old and wise enough to appreciate more than just pop/punk. (8)