Michael Algar

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Michael Algar
Michael Algar (left) fronting The Toy Dolls at Croatia, Summer Revolution Fest 2006
Michael Algar (left) fronting The Toy Dolls at Croatia, Summer Revolution Fest 2006
Background information
Also known as Olga
Born (1962-09-21) 21 September 1962 (age 52)
South Shields, England
Genres Punk rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass
Years active 1979–present
Labels Secret Records Limited, Captain Oi!
Associated acts The Toy Dolls, The Dickies

Michael "Olga" Algar (born 21 September 1962, Marsden, South Shields, England)[1][2][3][4] is an English guitarist, singer and songwriter who fronts the band The Toy Dolls. Essentially a lead/rhythm guitarist, Olga is also a songwriter and record producer. Algar lived in the City of Sunderland during most of his life before moving to Tokyo, Japan, in 2000.[5] He then moved to central London in 2002 where he has lived since.[6]

Musical career[edit]

Michael Algar, 'Olga', began playing music "around the age of 11 after seeing Mud, Sweet, Slade and Suzi Quatro on Top of the Pops, a UK pop TV show".[1] He had started songwriting/composing by the age of 17.[7] He played in various local bands including Straw Dogs and The Showbiz Kids before forming The Toy Dolls in October 1979.[8] Over their 35-year existence The Toy Dolls have toured the world extensively and released numerous albums and singles.[9][10] Olga has written all the bands albums which include such titles as Absurd-Ditties, Fat Bob's Feet, Idle Gossip and Anniversary Anthems.[11] Following the debut album Dig That Groove Baby, the band had a top 10 single in the UK in 1984, "Nellie the Elephant", reaching number 4 in the UK charts.[12] This was followed by the album A Far Out Disc reaching number 71 in the UK Album charts.[12]

Production[edit]

Olga has produced most of The Toy Dolls albums[13] and also recordings for other artists too, including the double A side single "Take A Walk/Round, Round, Round" by Gem Archer of Beady Eye and Oasis[14] and the albums Toy Doll and Tori Ningen by Japanese punk band Lolita No.18.[15] In 2010 he was executive engineer on the album Crash & Burn by North East UK punk band Crashed Out.[16]

The latest production from Olga is The album after the last one by The Toy Dolls, released in March 2012.

TV and film soundtracks[edit]

Olga has written the music for various TV Commercials, including Ready Brek (UK),[17] Badoit mineral water (France)[18][19] and Crazy Grape Pepsi Cola (Russia).[20]

His music has also been used on the soundtracks of Hollywood movies, including Haggard: The Movie,[21] Free Jimmy[22] and video games such as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4.[23]

Olga also wrote the theme and incidental music for the TV Rock/Pop show Razzamatazz[24][25][26] and the theme music for Comedian Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure DVD.[27]

Guitar playing[edit]

Prior to playing guitar, Olga first learned Bass guitar and also plays Kazoo.[1]

Olga plays a yellow Fender Telecaster with a Seymour Duncan bridge pick up.[28] The All Music Guide describes Olga as being "capable of jaw-droppingly fast guitar picking".[29]

Besides playing guitar with The Toy Dolls, Olga has toured Europe, Japan and the USA as bass player with The Dickies, and features on their Live DVD An Evening with the Dickies recorded at The Wedgwood Rooms in Portsmouth UK July 2002.[30] He also played bass on various US shows with The Adicts.[31]

He made a guest appearance at the birthday show of Ginger from the Wildhearts at the Garage, London 17 December 2009.[31]

He has been a guest guitarist on a number of artists recordings including the tracks "Can't Drink You Pretty" from the Yoni by Ginger from Wildhearts,[32] "Aint Just Talkin bout Love" from The G7 album by German band Gigantor,[33] "Keepin on Keepin on" from the album Uppers and Downers by The Yo-Yos,[34] Japanese band Seventh Tarz Armstrong's album entitled The Tokyo City Big Nights,[35] the track "Walk of Shame" from the album Poets on Payday by Norfolk Punk band Vanilla Pod,[36] Japan based punk band Duncans Divas' album Up and at 'em,[37] and on Peter and the Test Tube Babies album A Foot Full of Bullets on lead vocals on the song "Smiling Through The Tears".[38]

Olga also appeared on lead vocals alongside Brian Johnson from (AC/DC) and John Miles, on the Geordie Aid single "Try Giving Everything" in 1985, for charity relating to Ethiopia.[39] Another charity record that Olga appeared on was the album Guitarists 4 the Kids[40] released in 2006.

Musical influences[edit]

Olga finds inspiration from "everyday life, girlfriends, next door neighbours and things, rather than music", for his songwriting. His early musical influences include "Dr. Feelgood, Chuck Berry, Sweet, Slade, Mud, SLF, Sham 69, The Jam, The Skids", among punk rock music in general.[1]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Michael "Olga" Elgar Interview". Guitarhoo!. Guitarhoo.com. 22 February 2006. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Page17, From Fulwell to Fukuoka, written by Ronan Fitzsimons, Ardra Press ISBN 0-9548678-0-7
  3. ^ "Google Translate". Translate.googleusercontent.com. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Page 204, From Fulwell to Fukuoka, written by Ronan Fitzsimons, Ardra Press ISBN 0-9548678-0-7
  6. ^ Numerous references to Olga living in Sunderland and London throughout the book, From Fulwell to Fukuoka, written by Ronan Fitzsimons, Ardra Press ISBN 0-9548678-0-7
  7. ^ Page19, From Fulwell to Fukuoka, written by Ronan Fitzsimons, Ardra Press ISBN 0-9548678-0-7
  8. ^ Page19/20, From Fulwell to Fukuoka, written by Ronan Fitzsimons, Ardra Press ISBN 0-9548678-0-7
  9. ^ Page10, From Fulwell to Fukuoka, written by Ronan Fitzsimons, Ardra Press ISBN 0-9548678-0-7
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ "Michael Algar Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Page536, British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.) Roberts, David (2006). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5
  13. ^ [3][dead link]
  14. ^ "Blogger". Theoasisfanguide.blogspot.com. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  15. ^ Page 47, From Fulwell to Fukuoka, written by Ronan Fitzsimons, Ardra Press ISBN 0-9548678-0-7
  16. ^ "Street Rock 'N' Roll – Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom". Crashed Out. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  17. ^ OMD, Radio Prague. "Ready Brek". Wn.com. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "Badoit rouge Snoopy". YouTube. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  19. ^ [4][dead link]
  20. ^ "Toy Dolls – Nowa Ja Mirinda :)". YouTube. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Soundtrack list for Haggard the Movie". IMDb.com. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Soundtrack list for Free Jimmy". IMDb.com. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  23. ^ "Credits for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4". IMDb.com. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  24. ^ Page76/77, From Fulwell to Fukuoka, written by Ronan Fitzsimons, Ardra Press ISBN 0-9548678-0-7
  25. ^ "iNTERACTIVE (Beta5-U312010)". TV ARK. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  26. ^ [5][dead link]
  27. ^ [6][dead link]
  28. ^ Page 40, From Fulwell to Fukuoka, written by Ronan Fitzsimons, Ardra Press ISBN 0-9548678-0-7
  29. ^ Eduardo Rivadavia. "Dig That Groove Baby – Toy Dolls | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  30. ^ "An Evening with the Dickies ! – deATh bÜRgeR : powered by Doodlekit". Deathburger.doodlekit.com. 16 July 2002. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  31. ^ a b [7][dead link]
  32. ^ Page 254, From Fulwell to Fukuoka, written by Ronan Fitzsimons, Ardra Press ISBN 0-9548678-0-7
  33. ^ "The Leading Golf Record Site on the Net". GolfRecords.co.uk. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  34. ^ [8][dead link]
  35. ^ "seventh Resources and Information. This website is for sale!". seventh.jp. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  36. ^ [9][dead link]
  37. ^ "Duncan's Divas – Free listening, videos, concerts, stats and pictures at". Last.fm. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  38. ^ "Peter". Testtubebabies.co.uk. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  39. ^ [10][dead link]
  40. ^ "Artists For Charity – Guitarists 4 the Kids". Slang Productions. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 

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