By Toutatis
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By Toutatis

Saltburn-by-the-Sea, England, United Kingdom

Saltburn-by-the-Sea, England, United Kingdom
Band Folk Avant-garde

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By Toutatis are a new band on the local scene, and I took note the last time they were at the Westgarth for their debut gig supporting Dry The River. Tonight they were equally as impressive, with their almost medieval sound both unique and intriguing. Their melodies are catchy, but maintain a melancholic feel throughout. It will be very interesting to see how this band moves forward over the coming months. - Backs to the Wall


I’ve been listening to it a lot over the last couple of days; my new flat has no broadband for the moment so I’ve been stocking up on sentences, as it were. They remind me a lot of Stornoway or Villagers (I don’t want to sound like some tabloid pop hack and say they sound just like Mumford & Sons because they have acoustic guitars, but they really do sound alike, in a good way). So they fit the ‘new folk’ mould pretty snuggly.

Sailor’s Church and High Gallows Tree are both brilliant folk tracks, and the confluence of electric instruments and string ones is really very fine. I found out about them via their Southern compatriots Tiny Birds, though the only time I’d group them is on the delicate final track The Good Lies. - Dauphin magazine


I’ll admit I’m rather stretching the definition of ‘local’ with this next band – but well, at least one of them lives in York, and that’s good enough for me. By Toutatis are a quartet of self-described ‘post-folk racketeers’, formed from the ashes of Middlesbrough-based history-rock sextet Idiot Savant – the band comprises of ex-Savants Daniel Cochran (Vocals/Wind Organ/Guitar), Robbie Major (Violin/Synth) and Francois B. Muriel (Drums/Organ/Vocals), along with Ben Hopkinson (Guitar/Piano/Vocals). The band have already released an EP entitled Three More Nights Of The Rough Musick via their Bandcamp page, and you can listen to (and download it) it via the player below:

http://bytoutatis.bandcamp.com/

If you needed any confirmation that the historical leanings of Idiot Savant are still very much alive and well, you only need listen to ‘High Gallows Tree’, a suitably sombre, slow-burning arrangement of a traditional hangman’s song. The band’s original material is equally engaging – ‘Sailors’ Church’ contrasts its upbeat drums with sweeping, mournful violins and melancholy vocals, while ‘Old Songs’ has the feel of a funereal sea shanty. Closing out the EP is ‘The Good Lies’, a beautifully dynamic piece which swells from its understated beginning into a crescendo of military drumming, driving piano chords and haunting backing vocals – as well as providing a showcase for Cochran’s arresting baritone.

Unfortunately, the band haven’t got any shows planned in York at the moment – but they’re playing in Halifax, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool before the end of the year, so check out their Facebook page for the dates. Hopefully they’ll get round to visiting soon – wilfully different and with talent to spare, By Toutatis are the kind of distinctive band that needs to be celebrated more often.

Find By Toutatis on Facebook here, and on Tumblr here.
- Let's Get Cynical


Discography

Three More Nights of the Rough Musick E.P.
released August 24, 2011

Photos

Bio


By Toutatis are baroque history-rock racketeers who are based in various towns, cities and villages along the Northeast coast but generally gravitating around Saltburn-by-the Sea.

Comprising singer Daniel Cochran; violinist Robbie Major; guitarist/pianist Ben Hopkinson and drummer Francois B. Muriel, the group formed in mid-2010 and recently released their debut EP “Three More Nights of the Rough Musick”.

Their music sounds somewhat like a folkier version of Tindersticks or The National and as well as being influenced by Francois’ beloved Northumbrian folk.