I’m not sure I can adequately describe how much I loved watching Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys perform. The music hints at some kind darkly lit industrial folk tale ala the real Brothers Grimm’ The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids where the wolf eats all but one. But their songs are backlit with a perverse joy and it comes out sparkling and LOUD during their live performance. You have band members weaving through the audience playing their instruments. You have funky costumes – some ironic, some wayward – and as a band, they wander the stage like a traveling circus. Through it all, Walter Sickert anchors the performance pounding out strong melodies and baying these fierce, fuming lyrics and damn if it doesn’t come off as revelry.
The songs during the thirty-minute set were taken from SteamShipKillers released in 2010. Although Sea Song was their ode to love and opposition to hatred and bigotry, it was Feathers, (with the gorgeous vocals of Jaggery’s Mali Sastri) that really struck home to me. It was a haunting and visceral performance. They closed the set with a fantastic call and answer Off With Her Head. Half the audience shouts “Off” and the other half shouts “Head” and behind the cacophony, the band plays on. Utterly brilliant. Utterly captivating.
Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys setlist
A Friend in Goddamn
Sea Song/Love and Marriage
Feathers (with Mali Sastri)
Off With Her Head