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Toby and Knievel are thrilled to announce their ‘Songs From the Emerald City’ tour. Toby and Wayne Connolly (from Knievel) have a long history of making records together. All the way back, in fact, to the heady days of the early 2000s. This tour will be a chance to celebrate that history and their continuing musical and song-writing like-mindedness.

Toby explains some connections: ‘The first time I heard a Knievel song was in Canberra. I was 19. Driving my parents’ car across the lake. They had a pretty melodies AND great, noisy guitars. I thought you weren’t allowed to do both. Knievel helped create a glimmer of realisation that pop songs could have distortion, feedback and weird-sounding tunings. In fact they were better when they did.’

‘Fast forward a few years to Sydney’s Kings Cross. Turtlerock Studios on Kellett St. Moreton Bay Figs and neon and the old man restaurant below the window. Wayne Connolly was producing Youth Group’s first album ‘Urban And Eastern’. I totally fucking loved that time. We were working with a producer who took guitar and drum sounds very seriously. But didn’t take himself, or us, that seriously. As anyone who has worked with Wayne will attest, there are lot of jokes in the studio. And this approach stayed with me: making a record should take time, it should take thought, it should be taken seriously. But it should also be approached with a light touch. Weird tunings and jokes. Wayne always had the best jokes.’

Wayne went on to produce the first three Youth Group records, and there have been many other musical collaborations over the years. But they have never toured together. It’s time to right that oversight Australia!


Sat 20th April  – Southside Tea Room, Brisbane QLD

Sun 21st April  – Powerhouse, Brisbane QLD

Sat 4th May - The Toff in town, Melbourne VIC

Sat 11th May - Brighton Up Bar, Sydney


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Earth Hour 2013

Toby will be playing Newtown Uplugged’s Earth Hour event at Gould’s Bookstore on Saturday 23rd of March. Businesses will be asked to turn their lights off during 8.30pm – 9.30pm in support of Newtown Unplugged’s local initiative by the Green Living Centre to highlight Newtown’s involvement of Earth Hour 2013.

Earth Hour 2013
Saturday 23rd March
Gould’s Book Store, 32 King Street, Newtown NSW
Doors at 8pm

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We’re pleased to announce that Toby will be supporting Australian singer-songwriter Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens) at The Caravan Music Club (VIC) on 28th October and The Vanguard (NSW) on 9th and 10th November. Ticket info here

In other news check out the lyric video for ‘Everything At The Same Time’.

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Toby recently did an interview on Radio National’s ‘Inside Sleeve’ show with Robbie Buck. It covered everything from Chad Morgan to songwriting ‘brown patches’. And he played a few songs too.

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Break out the Passion Pop, ‘Love’s Shadow’ is released today!!!

Toby will be playing shows in Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate (more info here). Get the album on iTunes HERE or head over to JB Hi-Fi and purchase the CD HERE

Toby’s first solo outing provided an opportunity to foreground this aspect of his writing. The songs on LOVE’S SHADOW were written in various rooms in Sydney and New York and are imbued with a sense of place. The Gold Coast, Kings Cross, motel rooms, bedrooms, under Moreton Bay Figs, the view through apartment windows, airports, harbours at night. The characters that inhabit these places are invariably lost and lonely – wounded by love, but, despite their better judgement, romantics.


These intimate stories were given grandeur and dignity through the album’s production and arrangements. LOVE’S SHADOW was co-produced and engineered by Toby’s long-time friend, YOUTH GROUP collaborator and musical genie Tim Kevin, who also did many of the string arrangements that lift the songs. Sparse use of drums, piano, acoustic guitar and double bass flesh out the stories and the result is melancholy, sometimes sinister, sometimes darkly humorous, but never depressing.

“The two of us, Tim Kevin and I, talked a lot before and while making the record,” says Toby. “We got excited by Randy Newman, Scott Walker, Lou Reed’s ‘Transformer’, Bill Callahan, Todd Rungren, John Lennon’s solo albums, Go-Between’s ’16 Lovers Lane’, ‘Gershwin’ chords, the idea of the 1970s, Helen Garner, Lorrie Moore and Frank O’Hara. We talked in paradoxes: Human, yet unsettling. Romantic, yet arch. Funky, in a good way.

“I was keen to make a record unlike Youth Group. While in some ways we couldn’t control the result (and of course there are lots of elements that are similar to Youth Group records) we could control the process and we deliberately set out working in ways that I hadn’t before. Rather than record the songs live-ish with a band, or build them up from rhythm tracks, we recorded acoustic guide versions of the songs and then built parts around them. The skeleton was made invisible once the flesh and skin had grown. (Sometimes it pops out, breaking through the skin.) There were only two short afternoon rehearsals. We wanted to come up with the parts in the studio.”

Drums and percussion were recorded at Jim Moginie’s wood-panelled studio in Sydney’s northern beaches while quieter parts were recorded in two tiny, veneered office cubicles in Marrickville.

“Jim’s studio is a room within a room,” explains Toby. “From the outside it is a tin shed in an industrial estate, but he has made a wooden box inside this tin shed. The box is made of found and scavenged cast-offs from demolished buildings: the walls from a church, the floorboards from a pub, the cornices from a theatre. It is a room which resonates.”

Once the songs had shape, Toby called in some special guests to add colour: Bree Van Reyk (of Holly Throsby’s band and Synergy) on drums, Amanda Brown (of Go-Betweens and Cleopatra Wong) on violin and oboe, Sarah Kelly (of theredsunband) on backing vocals, Matt Steffen (of Decoder Ring) on double bass and Cameron Emerson-Elliott (of Youth Group and Community Radio) on guitar.

The record was mixed in Nashville by Mark Nevers, who has made some of Toby’s favourite records by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and The Silver Jews.

Love’s Shadow track list:

  1. Nylex Nights
  2. Everything At The Same Time
  3. Postcard From Surfers
  4. The Curve Of The Earth
  5. Lead You In
  6. Good Friday
  7. NYC Misses You
  8. Happy Where I Am
  9. End Of The Affair
  10. You’ll Never Be Mine
  11. Persian Eyes
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Following on from Friday’s show, Toby and his band will play The Workers Club in Melbourne the next night, Saturday 28th July with special guests Tall Buildings and Frazer A. Gorman. Tickets are available on the door.

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Toby will play The Vanguard tomorrow, Friday 27th July to celebrate the release of his album out the same day. Special guest Magnetic Heads will be joining Toby. There are still some tickets available HERE

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Toby has been busy signing copies of his album ready to fill those pre-orders! It’s not too late to pre-order your signed copy (with additional special Toby art!) right HERE

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Toby will play two special solo shows in Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate the release of his debut solo album ‘Love’s Shadow’ out July 27. Toby will play The Vanguard in Sydney on Friday July 27, the day the album is released, and follow up the next day with a show at the Workers Club in Melbourne on Saturday July 28.


Fri 27 July The Vanguard, Sydney NSW
Tickets from The Vanguard

Sat 28 July Workers Club, Melbourne VIC
Tickets at the door

The first single from the upcoming album ‘Love’s Shadow’ is ‘Everything At The Same Time’, a beautiful track that also features the vocals of theredsunband’s Sarah Kelly. Have a listen below.

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‘Postcard from Surfers’ is the first release off the upcoming albumLove’s Shadow’ due out July 27. Head over to Mess + Noise for a listen to the track.

Youth Group played their last show in Brooklyn in 2009. Since then Toby has played a handful of solo shows – a residency at Sydney’s Low Bar and New York’s The Living Room and as opener for Seeker Lover Keeper. These gigs have been places to try out these new songs in solo, bare bones style. Love’s Shadow is a result of several years of songwriting, recording and travel. It is a fresh start for Toby, a new place, but also draws on the confidence of several years playing music. Love’s Shadow will be out through Ivy League Records on July 27, with solo dates TBA.

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