The Toy Dolls 1981
Now and then I come across a ticket in my collection, and I can’t remember the gig at all. This is one such ticket. Now I think I might have read somewhere that this gig didn’t take place, which might explain why I don’t remember it 🙂
The Toy Dolls, of course, emerged from the Sunderland punk and pub/club rock scene in 1979, and quickly built up a reputation as one of the best live bands around. The Toy Dolls were, and are, led by crazy lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter Olga and produced great tongue in cheek ditties which told stories of local people, clubs and events like “Tommy Kowey’s Car”, “She Goes To Finos”, “James Bond Lives Down Our Street”, “Fisticuffs in Frederick Street” and “Geordie’s Gone to Jail”. They hit the charts in 1984 with a zany cover version of “Nellie the Elephant”. Toy Dolls’ music is fast; part punk, part new wave, part Oi with catchy melodies, humour, and lots of energy. Gary Bushell termed it “punk pathetique”; a subgenre of British punk rock which involved humour and working class cultural themes. This ticket shows the support acts for this “festival” as being local bands Dance Class, who released a great album in the early 80s, and New Studeau. Although I don’t recall this gig, I do remember seeing The Toy Dolls play in local pubs and clubs including the sadly missed Old 29 and West Cornforth (Doggy) club.
A quote from Olga: “I became involved in music as soon as I saw a picture of Suzi Quatro in a magazine when I was delivering newspapers in Sunderland, about 12 or 13-years-old. Punk came to me about four years later, changed my life and suddenly all the barriers were broken down and it was possible for me to become a singer too, or at least pretend I was. Getting bullied at school was a big factor, wanting to prove I could do something, and then hearing Sweet, Slade, Suzi Quatro etc, I knew exactly what I would do with my life at that point.”
The Toy Dolls continue to play and remain successful in Japan, and Europe.
Archive for the ‘Toy Dolls’ Category
The Toy Dolls 1981
Toy Dolls North Shore Sunderland 2nd Nov 2013
Last night mackem heroes the Toy Dolls made a long awaited return to Sunderland to play a concert in local venue North Shore. Its 30 years since they last graced a stage here, when they played a gig at the much missed Old 29 in 1983. As you might imagine, anticipation was high for last night’s homecoming, with tickets selling out in a day or so. North Shore (previously known as Manor Quay, or Close Encounters, or The Boilermakers Club, depending upon which era you are from) is a club venue which now plays host to the events of Sunderland University Students Union. But last night it was packed to the walls with punks young and old who had come to see the return of Olga and the Toy Dolls. Well Olga and the guys didn’t let us down, and played a blistering, crazy set of their fast punk anthems, which chronicle Olga’s life and tales from mackem legend, including Cloughy Is a Bootboy!; Dougy Giro; Dirty Doreen; Spiders In The Dressing Room; The Ashbrooke Launderette; Olga… I Cannot; Tommy Kowey’s Car; Queen Alexandra Road Is Where She Said She’d Be, but Was She There to Meet Me… No Chance; Harry Cross (A Tribute to Edna); hit single Nellie the Elephant. Fine stuff, great fun. The vibe of the night was friendly good hearted fun, with the crowd singing along to every word, and Olga running back and forth across the stage, chopping away at his Telecaster. Old friendships were renewed, and a good time was well and truly had by all.