Shoes And Socks Off at Swn 2011
Shoes and Socks Off is the solo project of Toby Hayes, the former Meet Me in St. Louis front man, and Shield Your Eyes bassist and what a shame that Clwb Ifor Bach is so empty for his set as it's a cracker. Hayes' vocals are a little Thom Yorke-ish, full of raw emotion but warm, and his tunes are weighty, oozing with melancholic longing.
Hayes may be an unassuming figure off-stage, sitting quietly at the merch table in skinny black jeans and hoody, but once he starts playing those moody tunes and rocking back and forth on his stool he owns the venue. He doesn't seem nervous at all and regardless of the size of the crowd his songs make the space feel intimate, he says "All my songs are pretty down so if you just imagine some good drum beats..." but we don't need to, as he has us all spellbound and the crowd may be silent during each track but show their appreciation at every opportunity; even his great cover of Nirvana's 'Lounge Act' goes down well. You can listen to some of his tunes, including the excellent 'Here's My Head On A Plate' (which does have a good drum beat) at tumblr.
To view all photos taken during this set click here. There are 3 available.