Mr Toad looking splendid in The Song By Toad logo. Credited to Matthew Young.
From 2008 to 2010 I reviewed a couple of EPs sent to my university radio station. One of these was from a record label called Song By Toad, with two tracks on it by a band called Meursault. Back in the dorms, on it went, and this was the one that might have made my flatmates wish I’d put Gojira back on and stop playing the same thing over and over. It was great; it was a bit folk and a bit, well, je ne sais quoi. From there I went on to discover the Song By Toad record label and podcast.
And what a podcast it was. Folk. Low–fi indie. Swearing. The Scottish music scene. Old stuff like Billy Bragg and The Bonzo Dog Doo–Dah Band (look them up, you won’t regret it). The host getting progressively drunker on gin throughout podcasts. Weird music. More swearing. Listening to it on headphones in the uni library and trying not to laugh out loud.
In all honesty I only liked some of the music Mr Toad played, and some of the music that the record label released, but what I did like about it was that it was always interesting music which, otherwise, I would have never heard. Song By Toad was doing what the fuck it liked and releasing what the fuck it liked, which, it was apparent, would only ever be music Mr Toad (it took me years to realise his real name was actually readily available), did actually really, really, like, regardless of how little extrinsic reward it seemed to generate at times. (He wasn’t shy about his frustrations with the music industry).
Mr Toad called time on ten years of Song By Toad this September, so in celebration of Meursault, folk music, swearing, Mr Toad and trying not to look like a lunatic in the quiet section, have a look around and buy something you like here, listen to some of the old podcasts (iTunes is your best bet) and give this a listen:
Bury me face down
bury me so that I might see the ground
when heaven calls me home
let me see the hellfire down below.