logo The Toy Dolls

Biography : The Toy Dolls

Toy Dolls is an English punk rock band. They formed in 1979, playing their first concert at Millview Social Club, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, on 20 October 1979.

While much punk rock is political or angry, the Toy Dolls worked within the esthetics of punk to express a sense of irreverent adolescent fun with irreverent lyrics and song titles such as \"Yul Brynner Was A Skinhead\", \"My Girlfriend\'s Dad\'s A Vicar\" and \"James Bond Lives Down Our Street.\" There is often alliteration in their song titles (e.g. \"Peter Practice\'s Practice Place\", \"Fisticuffs in Frederick Street\", \"Neville is a Nerd\").Their albums usually include a cover version of a well-known hit song, usually sped up to the usual punk rock tempo. Covers have included \"Toccata in Dm\", \"Sabre Dance\", \"Livin\' La Vida Loca\", \"Lazy Sunday Afternoon\", \"I\'m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and \"The Final Countdown.\" They have also recorded parodies of popular songs, such as \"The Kids in Tyne and Wear (Kids in America)\" and \"The Devil Went Down to Scunthorpe (The Devil Went Down to Georgia)\". Their albums often start with a short intro with a catchy guitar riff, and end with an outro, which is usually a slightly longer variation of the intro riff. Their lyrics are usually based on Olga\'s experiences.

Most of the band members have nicknames and are rarely seen without their cartoonish rectangular sunglasses. Although they appeared bare-eyed on the One More Megabyte album cover, they have usually appeared in sunglasses ever since the group formed.

The group formed as a quartet featuring vocalist Pete \"Zulu\" Robson, guitarist Michael \"Olga\" Algar, drummer Colin \"Mr. Scott\" Scott and bassist Phillip \"Flip\" Dugdale. After a couple of concerts, Pete Zulu left to form his own band. Vocalist Paul \"Hud\" Hudson replaced Zulu for one concert, leaving The Toy Dolls as a trio, with guitarist Olga to assume permanent vocal duties. Scott left the band in 1980 and was replaced by Dean James for four months over the summer of 1980. James later returned to the band from 1985 to 1988 as a bassist. Flip left in 1983, marking the beginning of a revolving door of drummers and bassists that would characterise the Toy Dolls line-up over the years (with Olga as the mainstay and only original member). In 1984, Zulu returned to the line-up as a bassist/vocalist, but departed again less than a year later.

They quickly built up a local fan base and were initially grouped with the Oi! scene that was emerging at the time. However, despite having the singalong choruses that are typical of Oi!, they can also be classified as pop punk or punk pathetique. One reason they are associated with Oi! is that they were championed by Garry Bushell, who was very involved with Oi! bands such as Angelic Upstarts (whom The Toy Dolls later supported on their first national tour). In 1980, a local businessman financed Toy Dolls\' debut single, \"Tommy Kowey\'s Car\" with \"She Goes To Finos\" on the B-side. The single quickly sold out its initial pressing of 500 copies, but the band could not afford to press any more, making the single a collectors\' item. when the band signed to volume they moved to newton hall, durham which lead to the song \"livin\' on NEWTON HALL\".

For Christmas 1982, they released their punk rendition of \"Nellie the Elephant\", a classic children\'s song, which hit #16 in the UK Indie Singles Chart. In 1983, they released their debut album Dig That Groove Baby. By this time, with Bushell\'s help, they were beginning to attract national press attention. In 1984, their re-issue of \"Nellie the Elephant\" reached #4 in the UK Singles Chart and stayed in the Top 100 for 14 weeks. Their follow-up single \"She Goes to Fino\'s\" reached #93 during April 1985. The Toy Dolls have continued with ever-changing record labels and line-ups. They have established fan bases in Europe, North America and Asia.

As of 2007, the band has had 14 different drummers and 11 different bassists since their formation in 1979. Former drummer Marty Yule owns a shop in Sunderland called \"Hotrats\". After Olga, Yule was with the band longer than any other member (1987-1999). He was the longest running drummer in the band\'s history. Former drummer Dave \"the Nut\" Nuttall owns Jalapeno Drums (a custom drum company based in Lancaster, Lancashire). Olga has played bass on some tours by the US punk band The Dickies.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toy_Dolls