21 March 2019 (gig)
23 March 2019
Tout: to solict or hawk; spy on racehorses and to sell such information (Collins dict). In Northern Ireland it has a more sinsister definition. It's a street term for somone who sells information on illicit or illegal activities or practices to the police or army. These people very often come to a sticky end.
So for a band to adopt such a moniker already marks them out from the crowd and positions them as a band that has say – and something to sell. They succeed in both and only a happy ending is envisaged.
A predominantly young crowd had gathered from all over the province to see these sons of Derry. Indeed not since some spotty teenagers in a bedroom formed a band called the Undertones has so much hype surrounded songwriters from 'stroke' city.
If that sets the bar high then this three piece, on the evidence of this performance, are clearly capable of matching it and more.
But while the Undertones deliberately ignored the 'Troubles' that was going on all around them, songs like Political People and Bombscare (their first single) show TOUTS unafraid of this confrontation.
And what great tunes they are; full of teenage anger that sees searing and chopping guitars battling to be heard above rattling drums all anchored by bass playing of no little expertise.
These guys turned up packing attitude right from the opening bars of their opener Overworked.
The energy, humour and enthusiasm sparking from the stage soon has the dancefloor a mess of moshing bodies which saw the band tear through their set in the manner of a modern day Jam or Dr Feelgood... yes, they are that good.
Highlights included Grapes, This Time and the superb Saturday Night Scumbag.
In looks and knowing lyrics lead singer and guitarist Matthew Crossan evokes a young Weller and if his songwriting can maintain the same trajectory it is just possible he can take TOUTS on a similarly successful musical journey.
The future is tout there. Just don't say who told you.
Check live dates below.