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* Reviews: Soft Toy Heroes
Posted Sep 30, 2002 - 04:00 PM
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Music This story is the first (of many, we hope) submitted by a guest contributor. Owing to TiGeR's incompetence, it's taken far too long to post but the band are still gigging around Cornwall.........

The dissolute types spread around the industrial grandeur of the Pirate tonight have chanced upon a most curious discovery. Namely UK pop music's latest bon viveur and all round nutter, Soft Toy Heroes frontman, Rupert Bennett. Not for him, mumbled song titles, static movement, keening rock 'n'roll arrogance or dance steps that look like he's walking across hot coals. Instead we get eccentricity, in-jokes and dance steps that look like a cross between Harry Worth and that Kenny Everett character who drew things with the invisible pen.

Humour and fun are top of the agenda, indeed the band may well have been having more fun than anyone else there tonight. Thus a cover of The Buzzcocks "Ever Fallen In Love" is dedicated to guitarist Daniel Gorman who has "started a relationship with a PE teacher old enough to be his mother's mother." Comedy groups only become tiresome if the songs don't match the banter and while on tracks like "21st Century Racer" or "She Hates Me", attention easily wanders, there are moments which ram the punchlines home with a vengeance. Be it an incendiary "Deborah" or the excellent "DIY". Songs like "Leg of Margarine" show that there could be a place for humour in the increasingly po-faced and melancholic world of guitar music. Not that STH turn away from melancholia themselves, "Eyes Too Close Together" being one of the evening's highlights.

An encore cover of Blink 182's "All The Small Things" shows where the heart of this band lies though. And as Rupert bids goodnight with another joke and a showbiz shimmy we leave feeling that if they play to their strengths these Soft Toy Heroes could be less Teddy Ruxspin and more Tazmanian Devil..

David Pascoe 30.9.02

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