This is the first time I've seen Toxic Federation and I'm sure it won't be the last. They are a band with a head of fantastic hair, a pocket sized bassist, over-sized racks of guitar equipment and most importantly, honest rock writing talent.
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A few days before this gig I was confused to find an ad for a new singer. I assumed the current one was planning to leave. In fact, the singer had left at a time that appears to have been chosen for maximum disruption. So what did we get in his place? The fantastic personality and voice of Steve Braund.
I was initially impressed by his t-Shirt that simply read 'Singer' but from the first note he showed why he was chosen for a stand in. With just ten days notice he did an admirable job of learning Toxic Federation's songs.
The band did fill their set with a number of covers that Steve apparently knew from his work in other bands. All I can say is that while he shone for Toxic Federation, he merely twinkled for the classic AC/DC and Iron Maiden tracks.
My favourite moments belong to Steve. The first his plee; "Buy the new single or your a real fuck-knuckle", and later introducing the drum solo, "he's gonna pound away like a tramp on your mum".
While the memorable sparkles were down to Steve's character, no one could fault the playing. The songs came across well and are very well written. The band have clearly studied their art and are capitalising on it by producing well balanced rock that cuts through live.
A real rocking gig that given the controversy over the singer can't be faulted in any way.