Tyla has always stood out as a one of a kind artist. Dog Tales shows he really lives the role too. I saw the Dogs D’amour at the Minchery Tavern, Oxford in the early 90s and I saw Tyla at the White Horse in High Wycombe in the later half of the 90s. Both of these gigs I remember with huge fondness. I got to the High Wycombe one late because we’d accidentally gone to a pub of the same name but in West Wycombe. We strolled in, resplendent in our make up, bandannas, PVC (and that was just the blokes) and we were met with flat capped locals and a very horse-brassy bar. “Is Tyla playing here tonight?” we asked. We got a reply very much in the negative and directions to High Wycombe. We used the pubs’ loo, thanked the surly barman and ran away, lest the beige clothing and beige minds infected us. Onstage in High Wycombe Tyla told jokes between songs including one with the punchline “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off”. For reasons mostly of memory and partly of decency I’ll let you invent your own set up to this punchline.
Onstage he’s a great storyteller and on paper he’s no different. I loved reading Tyla’s tales in his own words and the illustrations before the tales were perfect. He sounds like he’d be hard work to go on tour with. He’s always getting drunk and into scrapes and scraps. His Mum said he should have tucked his shirt in when he was on Top Of The Pops and one of the pranks he played on a friend sounded cruel, one where he made a heterosexual man think he’d had sex with another man. Most of the time however he’s totally gentlemanly and charming. His spelling and grammar occasionally needs work but I don’t think that’s ever been or is ever likely to be his priority and I’d rather it wasn’t, he’s got music to make, wine to drink, pictures to paint, and songs to write. It’s a book that is written how he speaks. I’m jealous of anyone who has got to hear these tales first hand in a bar.
I’ll leave you with this quote:
“I would often wander from place to place in search of adventure, not realising I was the adventure walking around waiting to happen”.