North East punk legends The Toy Dolls have released details of a very special trio of dates to celebrate their 40th anniversary.
The band, formed in Sunderland in 1979, have just released their 13th studio album, Episode XIII, on Secret Records.
They have announced three UK dates in 2020, including their first in frontman Olga’s South Shields birthplace in 38 years, and others in Manchester and London.
Eschewing the angry music and lyrics of the time, the Toy Dolls became cult favourites by taking the punk approach to songwriting and adding huge dollops of humour.
Many of their songs were about celebrities (Yul Brynner Was A Skinhead, James Bond Lives Down Our Street)or local landmarks (She Goes To Finos, Fisticuffs In Frederick Street), though their sole UK hit was a punk cover of children’s favourite Nellie The Elephant.
After quickly building up a strong local following they were offered a support slot on two UK tours with the Angelic Upstarts, which won the band highly favourable press reviews and garnered them a national following.
Their own UK tours were followed by jaunts around Europe and the rest of the world, and unlike most other bands of their vintage they have never split up, though frontman Olga is the only original member. The current line-up, which is completed by Tommy Goober on bass and The Amazing Mr. Duncan on drums, has been in place since 2006.
Live dates in the UK are few and far between – their most recent North East date, at North Shore in Sunderland in 2013, was their first in the city in 29 years.
That’s why tickets for this small run of 2020 dates, which go on general sale at 10am on Friday, 20 September, are likely to sell like the proverbial hot cakes.
A spokesman for the band said: “This hasn’t been an easy one for our management to plan, and there will always be people complaining about not playing their town!
“As for Scotland, the venue we got offered was a venue where the security were abusive to you lot at the end of the show. We were not prepared to take that chance again, hopefully something will come up at some point later.
“Olga wanted to finally get back to his birth place of South Shields, and to find the right place has not been easy!
“We are aware that the Manchester and South Shields venues are not so huge, that’s why the London show is bigger than usual, and London is the most accessible city from the rest of the country, and for anyone travelling from overseas, and also for anyone who doesn’t manage to get tickets for South Shields or Manchester when they go on sale.”
The Toy Dolls 40th Anniversary UK Tour Dates
Thursday 16 April 2020: Hedworth Hall, South Shields
With special guests Crashed Out
Tickets on sale at 10am on 20 September HERE.
Friday 17 April 2020, Manchester Club Academy
With special guests Vomit
Tickets on sale at 10am on 20 September HERE
Saturday 18 April 2020, Kentish Town Forum, London
With special guests Angelic Upstarts
Pre-sale (London only) open now. General sale from 10am on 20 September HERE.