The Toretz

Vibraphonic Festival 2007 reviews

published: Tue 13th Mar 2007

Friday 2nd to Sunday 18th March 2007
various venues across Exeter, Devon, EX4 3LS, England MAP
Various - free and from around £8 - £20
last updated: Fri 5th Jan 2007

The seven piece are a punk/ska outfit who get the crowd warmed up with their cheeky upbeat numbers. A dozen or so songs bounce from the stage, underpinned by a powerful bass and drum combination. Which has even this rather restrained audience tapping their feet and grinning at some of the witty lyrics.

The band are exuberant with quips being thrown between sunglass wearing lead singer, the skanking Tor Rubble, and bass player Kye raise a laugh. The songs are well put together and the pulsing beat from the Dame Edna spectacled drummer combine with the flowing keyboards to get the rather orthodox crowds’ knees bending.

The Toretz

Guitarist Dave is illuminated in blue light for the start of ‘Pub’ singing Blue Moon and the girl duo on sax and clarinet punctuate the song as it morphs into a song to celebrate that great British institution, the boozer. Another institution Chas and Dave are also celebrated, before The Toretz up their game.

The audience is primarily middle of the road and middle aged plus and clearly mostly here to see the main act. The band’s new song ‘Fascist Hippies’ has the audience won over and smiling. Ahhh clearly this is an audience who thinks for themselves. ‘Pink Panther’ with its strong political message about limiting freedom has the crowd even more won over. And this is just the lyrical content, the music’s really starting to flow now too and it’s tight ska in a Madness stylee. That’s the new Madness with it’s Drum and Bass influence.

A few more comic punk songs about ‘Dole Cheques’ and ‘Bollotics’ before a hard hitting song, called ‘Your Cleanliness Disgusts Me’ and I’m wondering how the clean audience will take it. Turns out it’s a message about cleaning products destroying the world. I needn’t have worried and blimey the drumming is tight!

The Toretz

Then, clearly seeing the audience’s surprise at the cleanliness thing, there’s a moment of brilliance as forty something pluses are told to put their hands in the air, then Tor suggests some essential ideas to use them positively, with the one love anthem, “Spank the Monkey.” It was quite brilliant to watch the bemused audience at this point. Embarrassment reigned for a few minutes before The Toretz return to more familiar knee lifting musical territory, and the relief (ha!) is almost palpable.

Terrific stuff, entertaining knees up and songs with a message, guaranteed to put a smile on your face! The Toretz are a band who can clearly thrive in such a mainstream environment, I imagine they’d go down a storm, when the “Oi, Oi!”’ cries from the stage are more loudly replied.

Set List:
Clacton By The Sea
Albert
Alone
Pub
Chas N Dave
Fascist Hippies
Pink Panther
Dole Cheque
Bollotics
Your Cleanliness Disgusts Me
Spank You Monkey
Cossack
review by: Scott Williams

photos by: Karen Williams

Friday 2nd to Sunday 18th March 2007
various venues across Exeter, Devon, EX4 3LS, England MAP
Various - free and from around £8 - £20
last updated: Fri 5th Jan 2007


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