Toiling Midgets (Postpunk/Experimental, San Francisco) + Siwomat (Postpunk/Noiserock, Berlin)
In 2018 Craig Gray of the Toiling Midgets was working with some old outtake vocals by Ricky Williams to which Gray and Paul Hood wrote new music. More new music was recorded with singer/bass player Simon Bell. This was all put together for the new release “Sea of Tranquility”, a record informed by the past but created looking to the future. The song “Arachnid” from the LP will be released on June 28th. The LP will be out in September of 2019.
A short European tour is planned for the July/Aug 2019. The band will be Paul Hood guitar /vocals, Simon Bell bass/vocals, Craig Gray guitar and Daniel Benjamin from “Sea and Air” on drums.
An EP and tour of Europe with this lineup are planned for the spring of 2020.
The Toiling Midgets formed in San Francisco in 1980 as an instrumental trio made up of Craig Gray(Negative Trend) guitar Tim Mooney (Sleepers, American Music Club) drums and Nosmo King (Negative Trend, 5th Column) bass. They played one gig this way then added guitar player Paul Hood (Meyce,Enemy) who was in attendance at the first show.
This lineup recorded a demo that year with producer and future drummer Tom Mallon (American Music Club). In 1981 they added singer Ricky Williams (Sleepers) and recorded more demos with Tom Mallon. After hearing them Rough Trade San Francisco decided to put out the LP “Sea of Unrest” on the Instant label. After a brief Northwest tour in the summer of 82 guitarist Annie Unger (VS, Gun Club)was added on 3rd guitar and Aaron Gregory (Maggots) replaced Nosmo King on bass. New instrumental material was recorded and released on the Thermidor label in 1983 by which time the band had broken up.
In 1989 Gray, Hood and Mooney reformed the band with Lisa Davis (American Music Club) on bass. After recording new demos with Mallon singer Mark Eitzel (American Music Club)was added. The LP SON was recorded with this lineup with Mallon producing and released on the Matador label. Lisa Davis quit and was replaced by Joe Goldring (Wade, Enablers) on bass. This version of the band toured the US in 1991.
Goldring and Mooney left the band in 91. Tom Mallon was added on drums and Erich Werner (Telepats, Blackouts) was asked to play bass. In 1992 Williams returned to play some live shows but passed not long after. Mark Sullivan (Lucky, Steakhouse) was added on keys in 1994. This version of the band played through 1996 when they broke up again.
A benefit for the San Francisco promoter Dirk Dirksen brought them back together in 2008 and they played shows sporadically, recording an unreleased LP in 2011. In 2012 Mallon was diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed in 2014. Gray spent the next 3 years working on archival material which was released by Ektro Records in Finland.