Good day to You Lot!
Well, its been a while since I updated this “Olga Talkin’ section, so I thought it was about time I did so!
Cheers to everyone for attending the live Q & A sessions on Facebook! Tis always a blast!
So, first up, lots of people are asking about my mental health, I will not bore you with it too much…
Earlier in the year I developed a muscle tightening hell in my throat, called Globus, this was induced by stress, then the Globus caused panic attacks, which made the muscle tighten even more, which caused more panic attacks…blah blah… anyways, after regular psychotherapy, Yoga, essential oils in the bath, relaxation exercises etc etc, I am finally starting to feel better, got a long way to go yet, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel finally!
And so to the new acoustic album... by the time you read this all the guitars should have been recorded, and hopefully some of the singin’!
There's only ONE guitar, NO harmonies, NO overdubs, just my ONE voice, so when there is a guitar solo, theres no rhythm guitar playing, just me singing the rhythm bit!
Sometimes I have actually sang the guitar solo and played the rhythm bit on the guitar!
As soon as all the singing is done we can start looking at release dates finally!
There are 14 songs. Here’s the list (in no particular order):
Barry The Roofer
Deirdre's A Slag
She’ll Be Back With Keith Someday
My Wife's A Psychopath
Dig That Groove Baby
Bitten By A Bed Bug
Alfie From The Bronx
You Won't Be Merry On A North Sea Ferry
Olga I Cannot
Some of the songs are played in different styles, jazz etc... They are not all just unplugged versions of the originals, though some are! I hope you like them in this naked format!
Talk soon about release dates, and future Toy Dolls plans!
Meantime, THANK YOU as always, You Lot are the best, heres to 2015 and onwards!
Ah love You Lot Me!
Well first off, THANK YOU to everyone who came to the UK shows, we had one fantastic time, a bit exhausted now but highly enjoyable!
We all met up in London, the crew and Tommy and Duncan and Me, and loaded all the stuff from our small van from Germany to our splitter bus. Then off we headed up to Manchester, in the rain of course!
We stayed that night on the motorway just south of the city, it had been a long day, especially for the crew driving from Germany and Belgium, so we all slept soundly!
The nerves are back!
Still rainin’ when drove to Manchester Academy 3, bright n’ early, so early that there was no one there to open the doors so we had some much needed hot pumpkin soup in University café next to the venue, and it wasn't bad either!
3pm arrived and the gear was loaded in, nice venue, good lights n’ sound, and a nice friendly local crew. Nice dressing rooms n’ all!
By 6pm the sound check was done and our old mate TV Smith had arrived, so we we ran through Gary Gilmores Eyes for the first time altogether, then TV did his acoustic soundcheck.
We had sandwiches 'n’ stuff in the dressing room, and a few bottles o’ isotonic drinks as we knew it was gonna be a hot one, but not half as hot as we could have imagined! Wow, what a sweat box! We had a wicked time though, good stage, not too big for the first show!
A packed house and great crowd, and although it was a killer with the heat we enjoyed every minute. The Lambrusco Bottle refused to explode, or should I say I was so hot me hands just couldn't operate it, I was drenched! But apart from that, a great night, and everything went smoothly! Cheers Manchester!
We drove to a hotel on the motorway straight after the Manchester gig, near Oldham, so we could get an early start for Sunderland. SUNDERLAND, arghh! Even more nerves today, this is where it all began!
Many friends and family where there, as well as loadsa old faces! 'Twas so lovely to see you all!
The stage was a death trap! The middle section built up outta boxes and stones, and the surface was an ice rink!
But, after a nice soundcheck, we retired to the dressing room, where a number of guests where appearing, including our management team from London, OMG the nerves!
As the crowd got bigger, so did the heat! Our backdrop even fell off during TV Smiths set because of the condensation.
By the time we went on to another packed room, everywhere on stage was soaked with condensation, another crazy hot one!
Even our merchandise guy said the tshirts where all damp! Bah!
Condensation also made me amp act a bit peculiar also, apart from the deadly stage and intense heat, and mad nerves, and the backdrop dying, we had a lovely time, absolutely dripping again after the gig, but generally everything went smoothly! So great to see You Lot again, of course tonight was a special night for me. Thank you Sunderland!
The lads on stage in Sunderland, first time in 30 years!
The Cat House is up 1000 flights of stairs, but once ya finally reach it, it's a rockin’ little venue. Nervous again, but a lot more relaxed than in Sunderland, which resulted in us playing better than we had done the two previous nights.
A packed house, and a totally great evening! TV Smith set was extra rockin’ tonight also.
THANK YOU GLASGOW!
Dod, our photographer. Not sure who the other bloke is!
Bah, still rainin!
Never mind, we were off to Birmingham, yeah!
Unfortunately it's a different Academy to the last one we played in 2007, a bit cold and clinical, but you lot soon warmed the place up! A nice local crew again too.
We enjoyed Birmingham a lot, a fairly smooth night, and again, You lot rocked, THANK YOU Birmingham!
A Day off! And we needed it!
Though it was a day off, we still had to drive to Brighton from Birmingham, then spend another 2 hours tryin’ to find a parkin’ space when we got there!
Finally, arriving at the sea front hotel at 6pm, a quick wash of the stage clothes in the sink, and hung up to dry.
Then out for a quick Thai meal and back in bed by 8.30pm totally wrecked!
After a long sleep, it was off down the seafront for some fish 'n’ chips, and a look at the stormy sea! Bliss!
A great little gig is the Haunt, good sound system too, and again a nice local crew,
Great to see Peter Test Tube and the UK Subs in audience.
For me, personally, I think we played better here and Glasgow, than anywhere else on the UK tour, a great night, the place was packed, even though there was a hurricane outside!
THANK YOU BRIGHTON!
So, an early start, and off up to Bristol today, a lovely city.
We arrived at The Fleece around 3pm, though a nice venue for the audience, the stage is a nightmare, no drum riser, pillars everywhere, and kinda hexagonal shape, and TINY! The smallest stage of the tour, we had to tread carefully, knocking in to cymbal and mic stands and almost falling off the edges, having said that, we had a lovely time, You Lot were great, a trifle hot, but a rockin’ night!
THANK YOU BRISTOL!
Will it ever stop raining!?
We stayed at hotel on the motorway after Bristol, so we could get an early start for London.
A small entrance for the Electric Ballroom in Camden leads to a nice size, easy for everyone to see, room! Great venue, again a great local crew, very helpful.
Only problem with this show is that its soooo early! 6.30pm doors! We were on stage at 8pm!
We had a few problems, someone spilt a pint into the mixer, which sent a few things haywire, as well as stopping our outro music playing! A bit nervous tonight too, what with members of Argy Bargy and Rancid etc out there!
We did enjoy it a lot though, and a lovely venue!
THANK YOU LONDON!
Keith, our instrument tech, at the Electric Ballroom
Hey, the rain has stopped!
We drove straight up to Nottingham after the London gig, so we could get an early start.
I knew the Rock City Basement was gonna be small, but not quite this small! Nice local crew again, though our sound man had to practically rebuild the sound system after a number of faults were found!
We had a rockin time nonetheless, a compact stadium! Packed out and sweaty, just as we love it!
Great to finally have a beer in the pub round the corner after the gig!
THANK YOU NOTTINGHAM!
The face logo comes to life!
Thank you to all the local crews and our road crew Keith, Merten, Koen and Johan and TV Smith, for making this such an enjoyable tour!
AND A HUGE THANK YOU TO YOU LOT!
Nov 10th, saw us driving back to London, where equipment was loaded back to our small van, 3 of the crew then headed off for the ferry from Dover, back to Germany and Belgium.
Keith, our backline technician, dropped me off at home then headed off up to north east UK.
A great time, sadly the end.
Well then, here we are at the end of 2012! Where did it all go!?
I can tell ya that as well as the Spanish tour we had a wicked time at the festivals, great to meet you lot after the shows too.
Hey, great to meet the guys from the Slackers, and an honour to meet Lars from Rancid too. All really lovely guys.
Yeah, yeah, I can hear say, what about 2013... When are you gonna play in my country blah blah blah!
But... before we move on to that, here's the process of me new hair colour treatment.
Cut and ready...
Green for GO!
So, anyway, I can tell you that we always wanna play as many countries as possible! Havin’ Tommy Goober and The Amazing Mr Duncan now firmly on board makes me even more eager to get to as many places as we can! And havin’ the fantastic crew that we have certainly helps!
There’s ALWAYS gonna be countries that are disappointed coz we can’t get there for one reason or another but trying to find the right local promoters who will promote the gig properly and provide the specified equipment etc is not always an easy task!
Portugal, for example, is one place we really wanna get back to, we had an absolute wicked time there last time, but the promoters we used have disappeared off the face of the earth! We have had offers from various people wanting to put shows on, but the promoters need to be professional. We could never take the chance of a show being cancelled at the last minute, totally unfair for all involved.
Another country we have been desperately trying to return to is Poland! And finally we have been offered the chance to play Gdynia! Of course we jumped at the chance, its been 18 years since we were there! There are constant talks of many different countries, but until we do get confirmed shows they won’t be announced.
OK, I can still sense your anxiousness to know more of 2013!
Countries actually being discussed for 2013 tours, and I say DISCUSSED, not arranged yet, include France, Switzerland, South America and Russia. And we have not forgot about Scandinavia, Austria, Czezh Republic etc etc either... the list is too long to mention!
A couple of countries in more deep discussion for 2013 at the moment are the UK and the USA.
First up, USA.
We haven’t been to the USA for about 15 years and we are positively itching to get back! It's very expensive to get out there, with the long haul international flights, hotels, equipment and van hire etc, and we have to take our whole crew to do things professionally. The high cost of working visas doesn't help, and we would never take the chance of coming without visas! I know bands do this, but to turn up and be refused entry would be catastrophic, not just for us and everyone involved, but most of all you lot!
We can’t afford to make a loss in USA, and we have no big major record company support or anything! Though just be able to break even and see you lot would be fine, providing we can cover the costs and be able to eat! Anyways, our management are working on it as I am writing this, if they can make it work, they will! I really hope to have more news very soon, it seems like a life time since we saw you lot, cheers so much for your patience and loyalty.
The UK is where we come from, so obviously it’s where we wanna be at our best! Friends and family turn up too, aargh! Makes me sooo nervous to think of it! Ha! The last tour we done in the UK was 2007, and we had a great time indeed. The gigs being looked at will be smallish sized venues, cheers loads to you lot on Facebook for the ideas! We have taken note! We wanna keep the tour in clubs, rather than festivals. There’s always gonna be towns and cities which are not included, but our management are actively looking at possibilities now.
The same goes for you lot in the UK, a HUGE thank you for your patience and continued loyalty.
All a bit vague I know, but if this does happen then the USA would probably be the first half of 2013 with the UK in the 2nd half!
If for whatever reason it doesn't happen, then hopefully it will still happen at a later date. I can say that at the moment we are hopeful!
I dare not go into more detail otherwise our management would kill me! I will keep you posted!
Will be back here soon, hopefully with more definite news for ya!
Well, hello you lot!
New Album review!
The new album “The Album after The Last One” has been out a couple of weeks or so now, I had a listen to it the other day... brought back fond memories of the recording!
Anyway straight to the review:
Overall score 3.7 out of 5
Decent intro, good sound, too hectic though, overall, not bad!.
I do like the way it links to CCChristmas very much! One of the best links on a Toy Dolls album.
I like the sound on this one, and all the twists and turns and key changes, in my humble opinion The best song on the album by far, a really good one! And nice lyrics.
Why the hell did I keep that terrible guitar intro?? It should have went straight into the song, it's a nice song I reckon, good drum beat nice bits, nice solo, a decent song, apart from the guitar start, again nice lyrics too.
I like some bits of this song, I really thought I had sciatica when I wrote it, but to be honest it drives me crazy listening to it after a while! About a minute.
For me, sadly, one of the weakest tracks on the album.
Really difficult to judge a song when its not my own!
Anyways, it's a good old Rock n’ Roll tune! What more can I say! With honest Tommy Goober lyrics! Some nice guitar bits too.
I am really surprised, though its early days, why not so many people have mentioned this song yet!
I am proud of it, I like the solo too, great verses and good lyrically too! Inspired.
Yeah, well above average indeed.
A song by The Amazing Mr. Duncan, a canny song this and sung very nicely, I like it, and it makes a pleasant change from listening to the squeaky lead singer!
Nice one, and of course I am a sucker for key changes!
Again good lyrics, a decent song but spoilt by the hectic speed its played at, had it been a few BPM (beats per minute) less, it would have been a lot more pleasant.
Not the worst song though, and a great intro/outro voice over!
This was based on 2 Doreens by the way!
An odd one this, the lyrics mean so much to me, and I spent a lot of time trying to create a guitar solo with heart felt emotions in, I think its worked, in the solo anyway, the song itself is average I reckon.
I can safely say this is the worst song on the album, it's a drag from start to finish, nice guitar solo though, but an uninspired song, bah. Nice classical harp!
Now we are talking! I am very happy with this one, good lyrics, good verse, bridge, chorus, harmonies etc, yeah, I am proud, in the top 3 for sure.
This one could have been taken from Absurd Ditties with C C Christmas, a winner!
I am very happy with this song too, maybe I should have done the verses a bit different, but I wrote it all around the bass riff, in fact I wrote the bass riff first!
Then I left it and wrote the chorus, then went back to writing the verse again, which was kinda dictated by the bass already written!
Its an odd verse, but with such a nice chorus I think it works, probably the 2nd best song on the album, nice!
Too fast, other than that it's a good one!
I am very happy with these, they were done in just about 1 take, and I like the rawness, I may do more of them!
The album is no Absurd Ditties, Anniversary Anthems or Dig that groove baby, but it does come next in line, if it just had 3 or 4 more better tracks, then it would have been right up there.
Christmas, Decca & Gordon prove it can be done! The production is nice, and lyrically very good, so all I need next time are less Martys Mams and more Christmas’s, keep the same sound and I will be happy!
Lets see what happens!
I am interested in hearing your opinions!
Yo! So, here we are in March already!
Started the first full rehearsals a couple of weeks back, what a killer! Even after the daily training I do I was still like a zombie after the first practice! The 2nd rehearsal was a bit easier, kinda braced meself for it! Took Ibuprofen and taped me fingers up n’ stuff. I will be happy once we have the set learnt and we are just perfecting it.
Anyway, before The Toy Doll shows in May, Tommy is doing dates in Germany with his band Goober Patrol, and The Amazing Mr. Duncan is off on a UK tour with his band Snuff!
We were hoping for a couple of gigs on 20/21st April in Poland, unfortunately the promoter there pulled out... the same happened in Portugal, bah! So, the years shows will start in Barcelona on 4th May.
I really can’t believe it’s all about to start again!
I remember when I was 3 years old in South Shields watching me older brother, Ernie, leave for gigs in the band's van! Never thought I would be doing it all these years later! Thanks to him for showing me how to tune up and me first few chords and for teaching me Apache by The Shadows! Ha!
Just for you lot, (I am sure he will kill me for putting this up!) here is his band, I'll let you guess which one's me older bro! :0)
Before it does all start again, I will say a huge thank you to YOU LOT for making it all possible yet again!
Cheers! And let me know what you think of the new album, even if you think its crap! No worries!
Inside the CD will be a booklet with some nice pics and all the lyrics to the album songs.
New year resolution, to make all new songs that I write, at least as nice as Credit Crunch Christmas.
Its not the best album to be honest, but songs like Credit Crunch Christmas, Gordon Brown Gets Me Down, and Decca’s Drinkin’ Dilemma are gonna be the kind of standard I am always gonna aim for from now on. I am gonna write some songs without guitar solos too! I am a bit guitared out after recording this latest one! The 3 acoustic bonus tracks really show the songs in their naked format! Enjoy!
So, what’s happening now?
Well, our management are busy planning the years shows, there are mentions of lots of places, but until they get confirmed I am keeping schtum!
We start rehearsals this month, I am looking forward to getting stuck into them!
I am practicing at home everyday too, and training, which isn’t much fun! But I am feeling the benefit now for sure!
My daily breakfast from Monday – Friday is a pint of water and 2 pints of smoothie yoghurts with grapes, strawberries, bananas, nuts, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, would kill for a beer now though!
The first shows confirmed are in Spain, but its highly likely there will be a couple of gigs before that, on 20th and 21st April.
Hey, I bought a lovely nice new Lambrusco stage bottle! About 25% bigger than the other one! I have got 2 in fact - one is a spare!!!
Between The Toy Dolls rehearsals Tommy will be doing German dates with his band ‘GOOBER PATROL’, and Duncan is heading off on a UK tour with his band ‘SNUFF’, so they should both be fit & well ready for the Toy Dolls shows!
Catch me on Facebook for more up to the minute news n’ stuff!
See ya at the gigs! Yipeee!