Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Return of Toasted Heretic

Toasted Heretic are the band one could most credibly claim as The Irish Smiths, except that they never really became that successful and eventually split up to pursue careers in long-term unemployment. They've been riding the whole nostalgia thing recently, re-issuing their first two cassette-only albums on CD, and playing a couple of gigs around the country. I have never been a great man for the nostalgia... on the other hand, TH were the first band I ever left Dublin to see (breaking my glasses in the process), so I eventually drifted along to their Dublin gig in Whelans. Annoyingly, it started way earlier than a Whelans gig normally does. This meant that when I sauntered in the gig was half over (so that the venue could turn into a shite student disco), although they did at least let us in for half price.

And the band were amazing... I was really sorry to have missed the whole set and harboured fantasies about travelling around the country to see them again for weeks afterwards. It was funny how unlike a band who have reformed to milk the nostalgia circuit they were, coming across more like an exciting new band on the way up. i (and indeed the band) were quite struck by how young so many of the crowd were - surely these people were still in primary school when TH were in contention for the big time? This might explain singer Julian's repeated invitations to audience members to come and get to know the band after the gig.

I think I missed most of my favourite songs, so the fact that I loved this so much suggests that it must really have been very good indeed, or maybe I have just been seduced by nostalgia.

Now Toasted Heretic have a website where you can buy the re-released combo of "Songs For Swinging Celibates" & "Charm & Arrogance" and take part in discussion forums and stuff.

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