There’s a moment towards the end of Run Toto Run's show at The Providence in Brighton where Little Red Riding Hood steps daintily forward, and with a gentle puff blows sparkling gold dust into the air. It sums the band up perfectly; Run Toto Run are the stuff of electronic fairytales. Evil spells, sorcery and demonic sprites will have been banished around the corner, even if this is a pre-halloween party where pumpkins, cobwebs and hanging skeletons adorn the room.
It is lead singer Rachael who is dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, and her magical Manchester based band are very pleased to finally be playing their first gig in Brighton. The last time the group were in the south coast city, a hastily arranged show was cancelled due to an issue with the PA system at the venue. The problem? No speakers. That really is some problem.
Tonight there are no such issues. In fact, despite the location resembling an office building converted into a Weatherspoons pub, the PA system is very good - loud and demanding of attention, but still clear. It is certainly better than many supposed ‘proper’ gig venues.
When we first featured Run Toto Run back in January here we related that the groups whimsical playground folk stylings were likely to see an increased use of electronica. This appears to have been almost an understatement. With the exception of their You Tube viral sensation cover of Passion Pit’s Sleepyhead where acoustic guitars and incredibly accomplished violins are whipped out, Run Toto Run are now manipulating their sweet melodies into delicious electro pop where bright drum machine patterns mix with keyboard pings to produce quirky sugary sounding tunes. There are some comparisons with The Postal Service, but other than this Run Toto Run are pretty much out their on their own. Where most electro bands delve into heavy beats, bombing bass and dance rhythms to murder on the dancefloor, Run Toto Run are more likely to skip gently up to you, kiss you with glitter and then fly Peter Pan like into the stars. Lovely.
There’s a healthy warmth in the groups twinkling computer sound, even when it’s fidgeting and stuttering during Catch My Breath or when Plastic Gold brings an electronic apple bobbing, clapping and operatic “Oh-oh-oh,” xylophone groove to the night. Run Toto Run are a hidden treasure yet to be found; exquisitely charming, full of smiles and loveliness. Whisper it to your friends. They are our current favourite unsigned band.