Toby Driver has dispelled any possible doubts over whether or not his latest two albums, released under his own name rather than Kayo Dot, are serious efforts by touring in support of them. This is not a brief romp through the US East Coast and other familiar territories for the avant-garde master of all artistic weirdness, either. Driver’s They Are The Shield tour will cover a good chunk of Europe and even parts of the Middle East this month and next.
A Kayo Dot tour would have featured a stripped-down lineup with Toby Driver himself playing three or more instruments as needed. He has opted for less minimalism for this tour. His hand-picked list of accompanists is intriguing. Violins play a significant role in They Are The Shield, so Timba Harris (of Secret Chiefs 3, Duo Probosci, and Estradasphere) will play that instrument on stage for him at these gigs. Driver normally handles keyboard duties in Kayo Dot, but Nick Hudson from The Academy of Sun will be his designated ivory-tickler on this tour. Charlie Schmid of Vaura and Tombs will be his drummer. It is not yet known if Toby Driver will play guitar or bass on this tour and for all we know, such might not even be necessary because the music on The Are The Shield is so out there.
Most of these dates (i.e., all not marked below with an asterisk) will have singer-songwriter Del Judas (with whom Schmid has been associated) opening.
A list of the currently scheduled dates follows:
16-NOV TR Istanbul @ Muaf Kadiköy *
18-NOV ARM Yerevan @ Calumet Ethnical Lounge Bar †
19-NOV GE Tbilisi @ Backstage 76 †
22-NOV IL Tel Aviv @ Levontin 7 †
24-NOV SK Bratislava @ Whoneedlyrics2018? Fest, Kulturák Club
25-NOV SI Bistrica ob Sotli @ Klub Metulj
26-NOV HU Szeged @ Jazz Kocsma
27-NOV SRB Novi Sad @ CK13
28-NOV SRB Belgrade @ Elektropionir
29-NOV BG Sofia @ Mixtape 5
30-NOV RO Timisoara @ Manufactura
01-DEC RO Cluj-Napoca @ Flying Circus
04-DEC DE Hamburg @ MS Stubnitz
05-DEC DE Koblenz @ SK2#
08-DEC IE Dublin @ The Workmans Club
09-DEC IE Cork @ The Roundy
12-DEC NL Haarlem @ Patronaat
14-DEC DE Munich @ Bürgerhaus Glockenbachwerkstatt
16-DEC DK Copenhagen @ Loppen
18-DEC PL Warsaw @ Klub Spatif
19-DEC PL Krakow @ Klub RE
20-DEC PL Wroclaw @ DK Luksus
21-DEC DE Dresden @ Jazzclub Tonne
22-DEC CZ Prague @ TBA
Notes: † duo with Timba Harris; * no opening band scheduled.