Shiny Toy Guns - Manchester Roadhouse - 18.7.06

With temperatures erring on the ridiculous, it was really no wonder there were only maybe 50 people in the Roadhouse to sample Los Angelesí latest hot offerings, Shiny Toy Guns. Taking to the stage in war paint already running from the heat, the band took up their instruments, and after a brief build up, tore into one of the most explosive and dynamic sets the stages of Manchester have seen in a very long time. From the synth-attack of You Are The One, through the Soulwax-esque dancefloor filler Le Disko, to the straight up new wave rocker Rainy Monday, Shiny Toy Guns tick the box of almost every major movement in alternative music since the 80ís.

Often bands utilizing a predominantly electronica sound can appear cold and almost clinical onstage, but the band inject such intense passion into their live set, it really is a sight to behold. Any fears of a repetitive drum-machine underpinning all the songs were quickly shattered with drummer Mikey Martin abusing the skins like nothing I have ever seen before.

The dual, boy/girl vocals of Carah Faye and Gregori Chad sit perfectly well together, yet shine on their solo parts. All of this accompanied by Chadís relentless attack of his guitar and Jeremy Dawsonís synth parts, bordering on illegally filthy, the end package is a set that is incredibly hard to find fault with. Every track on offer here could be a bonafide mega hit. It would come as no surprise to me if this band were topping the charts in 6 months time.

Finishing with the lovely Sky Fell Over Me segueing  into the monster Donít Cry Out, the band momentarily leave the stage, only to be dragged back by impassioned pleas from the audience for more, and we are treated to a haunting rendition of album closer, Stripped.

Although there were only 50 or so people here tonight, expect that number to rise with hindsight. With the 80ís new wave sound that seems to guarantee a platinum record these days, and the dirty electronica grooves to see them become the new darlings of the indie scene, Shiny Toy Guns have it made. Get your stories straight everybody. Get ready to swear you were there.

Alex Davis

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