Shoes And Socks Off is dead, long live Shoes And Socks Off.
The end of the line is approaching for the acclaimed solo project of ex-Meet Me in St. Louis front man, and former Shield Your Eyes bassist, Toby Hayes…but the Big Scary Monsters mainstay is offering a parting shot with the free ‘As We Get Closer The Room Gets Smaller’ EP and a selection of UK dates for his retirement tour.
The saddening announcement of SASO’s plans to call it a day closely followed the release of his fifth LP, ‘Miles Of Mad Water,’ a Shoes And Socks Off album unlike any other. It showed him moving away from stubbed-toe blues and acoustic melancholia that his fans had come to expect, drawing more upon experimental electronic influences and beat-driven, avant-garde melodies. It ended cryptically with the line “you’ll never hear from me again, I’m out of here…” and soon came this announcement:
“Ever since the first show, Shoes and Socks Off has been a bit of a pain in the arse. Bloody thing. The restrictions I place on it, and the fact that pretty much all the songs are about one very personal subject, make its functioning depend too heavily on me maintaining a certain level of ‘mope’, and in all honesty I don’t have the stones to maintain said mope any longer.
I’m not sure if it was at all cathartic or even much good, but it was certainly necessary, so I’m grateful to those who backed me up over the last 4 years.”
And indeed, this free four-track EP, Hayes’ final offering under the SASO name appears to do away with the ‘mope’ and exorcise the last of his demons, offering the vindication he needed…Hayes’ goes out with neither a whimper or a roar, just a matter-of-fact mumble that “now I’ll never write another song about how much I miss you…” – and that’s that.
And so we invite you to say goodbye to one of the true artists in modern British music with one final EP and a BSM all-star farewell tour. The final date of which (September 24th -London, Old Blue Last) falls on the fabled Meet Me In St. Louis Day, which celebrates the 5th anniversary since the release of the bands one and only album.
September Dates – FINAL TOUR:
15 – Southsea Festival
Mega Front-Man Tour with Someone Died (someonedied.tumblr.com) (Alan Welsh/Tangled
16 – The Lamb – Devizes
17 – The Pav-Tav – Brighton
18 – The Grey Horse – Kingston
19 – Nation of Shopkeepers – Leeds
20 – The Bell – Manchester
21 – Mello Mello – Liverpool
22 – The Chameleon Arts Café – Nottingham
24 – The Old Blue Last – London (with Ross Secondsmile)
‘As We Get Closer The Room Gets Smaller’ can be picked up for free from the SASO Bandcamp page – http://shoesandsocksoff.bandcamp.com