Toy Love lasted just twenty months. They failed in the most public terms to make an impression in Australia and they left behind one album which they disowned. Not usually the stuff of legends; but live - and particularly in New Zealand - they were peerless at a time when local music was still struggling to imprint itself on the national consciousness. They invoked the ghost of punk, the spirit of Iggy and the melody and creativity of 60s and 70s pop - and married it to a world of b-grade horror movies. Gigs were electrifying and unmissable, and no-one knew what Chris Knox was going to do next.
After Toy Love disbanded, Knox and Alec Bathgate stayed together and started the Tall Dwarfs.
In related news, this note just landed in my inbox:
Captured Tracks and Flying Nun have partnered up to manufacture and distribute the prestigious New Zealand label’s back-catalog.
Flying Nun began in 1981 in Christchurch, NZ and quickly established a roster of artists and DiY ethic that would go on to influence indie rock musicians and labels to the present day. Featuring such vanguard artists as The Chills, The Clean, Tall Dwarfs, The Verlaines, The Bats and countless others, the label made a huge impression on US and European underground music despite its geographically isolated locale.
Original founder Roger Shepherd bought back the rights to the label from WB in late 2009 which has ultimately led to Brooklyn label Captured Tracks’ involvement. The partnership plans on releasing a large quantity of currently out of print titles from the labels most prominent and most obscure releases, from their earliest releases through the catalog. Starting with the 2xLP Toy Love (pre-Tall Dwarfs/Bats) compilation that was recently issued in NZ, future projects include boxed sets, expanded reissues of 12” EP’s, 7”s, LP’s on all formats as well as posters, shirts and various other items from Flying Nun’s deep archives.