How is it that a venue that looks so classy, can turn into such a sweaty, heaving dance den? This is just my newest experience with the The Toff In Town for the sequin covered lust magnets, Sex on Toast.
In typical Toff style, this gig warmed up slowly with The Cactus Channel squeezing on stage for their deliciously brassy soul set with touches of funk. I just fucking love brass hey, literally, your band could be absolute rubbish and if there’s horn, trumpet or trombone involved, then you are golden (pun not intended, but I’m going to own it). Unfortunately for my delicate brain, The Cactus Channel is not only fantastic, but half of their whooping 10 member lineup are wind instrumentalists…can’t even deal!
Despite some poor sound mixing, they had such a high energy and full sound that would have been great accompaniment to a Quentin Tarantino film or a spaghetti western. Hey, they ain’t named after a cactus for nothing.
This all instrumental set had such great dynamics that even the plebbiest of punters weren’t missing vocals. I mean maybe they were just too busy checking out sex-on-legs, aka the bassist, but who’s to know? He ends the set with a speedy “we are selling shit where everyone is selling shit so buy our shit and make us rich.” Well you heard the man, at the very least buy a ticket to their show at the Shadow Electric on July 18. Cactus at the convent, what’s not to love?
Intercourse on Hot Bread, if nothing else know how to do drama. A longer set up time is quickly forgiven as the curtains open to reveal a semi transparent screen through which only their sequins and disco ball are visible.
Onto this, they launch their beautifully tacky music video for “Oh Loretta”, which is introduced by Aussie legend, Molly Meldrum himself. This is a great beginning to the set but I feel this video lacks a bit of novelty due to the fact that it just reminds me too much of “Blinded“ by British India and “Zombie“ by Jaime T. I feel like the disco-zombie thing needs to be retired for a year or two.
When the screen rises, Sex on Toast are posed in all their sequinned, cowboy jacketed glory. Their live set kicks off with “Hold My Love” during which the only thing more impressive than Angus Leslie’s voice is the brass section’s dedication to keeping straight faced throughout the whole set. This is serious funk, people. I also love the deliciously nerdy keyboardist’s vocals which have be modified and remind me of early Daft Punk. “Takin’ Over” goes down a treat with a very warmed up crowd and is a chance to show off the bands synchronised dance moves.
Although it’s lost on a surprisingly young and rowdy crowd, Sex on Toast just nails the combo of tight musical skill with fun sexy time. Solos are prevalent and the boys show a knowledge of jazz standards and traditions in tracks like “How Do You Get There?”. I got mad into this but some of the teens in the crowd seemed not to get it. Particular mention goes to Leslie’s break out into scat mid set and later, his almost Andre 3000-esque rap.
These boys are an absolute treat to watch. The second singer has boundless energy alternating between dancing and gospel style preaching; literally licking the mic…I don’t know, but it worked. These dramatics remind me at times of glam-rock bands like Queen. Other highlights include a dedicated song to Ricky Ponting and when a very serious brass player plucks a flower out of the vase on stage, smells it like in a bad 80’s music video and then throws it off stage and keeps playing. Brilliant.
By the time a second rendition of ‘Oh Loretta’ had finished, the dance fever and tropical humidity of the venue is so high that the walls are wet. Gross, but also kinda hot. What else do you expect from a band named Sex On Toast?
I don’t know if they impressed Loretta or Rebecca but they definitely impressed me. Why don’t you do yourself a favour and check out their Shadow Electric show on July 23rd?
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia.
Latest release: Sex on Toast, March 2014.
Sounds like: Michael Jackson, 80’s proms and you know what.
Say what? Sex on Toast formed in 2003 and has had multiple line-up changes. It took 11 years to get to the first studio album release in 2014.