Girls Against Boys & Joy as a Toy @ Atelier 210, Brussels – 5 December 2013

photos: John Gallardo  –

Courtesy to: Keys and Chords magazine

Joy as a Toy

joy as a toy

Joy as a Toy opened the evening of 5 December at Atelier 210. I didn’t know this Belgian trio before, but any band who dare to compare themselves to Stereolab and Mr. Bungle deserves at least one good chance. I couldn’t find the mentioned resemblances but I have to say I couldn’t leave the concert either. They kept together a nice show and they have a lot to offer, sometimes perhaps trying to do too much. Personally, I couldn’t understand if they are playing progressive or indie. Promising musicians with well-executed technical passages but they may lack some chemistry among them or particular intensity when they construct moments of dark ambiance or noise. It can also be the fault of the sound in the venue, it didn’t help to properly receive the performance.

joy as a toy
joy as a toy joy as a toy

Joy as a Toy

Joy as a Toy

Joy as a Toy

Joy as a Toy

Girls Against Boys

girls against boysScott McCloud set the tone of the ambiance in one phrase, when he recalled the time of the 90s and their concerts in similar theaters venues in New York with an intimate and devoted public. He has that rock respect attitude towards the audience, talking to it, showing gratitude for their participation and even asking the permission of singing one more song from their self-released new album, The Ghost List. No need for such thing as Diamond Life, 60 Is Greater Then 15 or Let’s Get Killed are quite good songs. They fit perfectly in a setlist with jewelries like Bulletproof Cupid and Kill The Sexplayer.I like Girls Against Boys despite their reputation of being boring and repetitive, which honestly I don’t know how they’ve managed to acquire. Maybe because they were contemporary with an era when grunge was giving everything possible, maybe the references to Fugazzi and Sonic Youth created forged expectations. Or maybe because of their down-key tonality of singing punk. The truth is that once they start the beat, the crowd starts to move. And there is no wonder when you have 2 bass players in the band, Johnny Temple and Eli Janney, who also fulfills the keyboard duties, a drummer like Alexis Fleisig and an irresistible vocalist.

girls against boysgirls against boysgirls against boys

There was still a big inconvenience for the concert but it has nothing to do with the band. I don’t recall ever sitting so close to an amplifier. I have started the concert by the scene, second raw, but I had to move as I couldn’t hear anything there. It was slightly better in the back, but there was definitely a need for fixing the problem, everybody was looking back to the sound mixer and a group of fans kept shouting almost after each song: “louder!”

Atelier 210 is an interesting venue with multiple activities on the agenda. I’ve never been there before for a concert, only for theatre. I had the intention to attend their sessions for album listening, but now I would have to think twice about that, with this sound in the hall.


I believe that bands like Girls Against Boys or Joy as a Toy deserved better conditions for their performances.

The setlist for Girls Against Boys:

In Like Flynn



Bulletproof Cupid

Go Be Delighted

Cash Machine

60 Is Greater Than 15

Let’s Get Killed

Learned It

Diamond Life

(I) Don’t Got a Place

Kill the Sexplayer

Let Me Come Back


Rockets Are Red

Autumn Falls disappointments

Girls Against Boys & Joy As a Toy concert was part of the AutumnFalls festival. I was supposed to cover also another very interesting event. But only one day before the concert of Wooden Shjips and The Cosmic Dead, we were announced that our previously confirmed Press Passes for the event were cancelled. Why? As the concert was sold-out, the organizers decided to cut down the accreditation list to make a few extra bucks. And I was so looking forward to seeing The Cosmic Dead …

Somebody should tell the organizers that journalists are also fans. Who wouldn’t get angry with not being able now to see a favorite band when the possibility to buy a ticket is completely ruined? On the facebook event page it’s proudly announced: „prepare yourself for a PACKED show.” With a terrible bad taste photo. Seriously?! This is just another way of saying that they have sold more tickets than they should have.


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