Well, I guess It’s best to start at the beginning... Several months ago, I was reading Dreamscape’s great interview with (my all time favourite musician) Toyah. She was asked what she thought of new artists like Marina and The Diamonds, Florence and the Machine and Andi Fraggs citing her as an influence (I had recently mentioned Toyah in several radio interviews as I like to promote my favourite artists alongside promotion for my own material). It gives me so much joy when people get in touch to say that they also like the same artists as I do, or when people say that through me they have discovered great performers like Toyah. Anyway, I had been in contact with Toyah’s management and ended up discussing the possibility of me supporting Toyah on tour. I was thrilled at the prospect, then several months went by with nothing confirmed. One day, I woke up and Toyah was on TV, then I turned on the radio and a Toyah song was playing. I went into London and passed a shop, there was Toyah’s autobigraphy staring down at me from the window. I went into HMV and the first cd I saw was Toyah’s greatest hits. On my way home, I opened a magazine, to find Toyah’s picture was the first thing I saw. I have noticed, when important things happen in my life they occur at double digits - so I will get calls at say 14:14, or 20:20. That day, every train I got on was at a double digit. When I arrived home, I received a call at 16:16 to confirm that I would be supporting Toyah on her Autumn UK tour. It will remain one of the happiest moments of my life.

As the weeks went by, Toyah appeared on my friend Phil Marriott’s show on Gaydar Radio. She was asked what she thought about me joining her on tour. ‘Perfect - all his costumes, so theatrical - just perfect’, she said. Toyah also mentioned how welcome her audience would make me feel on the tour and she was right - I have never experienced such a great audience, full of enthusiasm and so many supportive people. Soon after, I met Toyah at a photography exhibition in London and, amongst other things, we both said how much we were looking forward to the tour.

I was also excited to be confirmed (at 17:17) as supporting Toyah’s amazing band ‘The Humans’. When I arrived at Bush Hall on October 6th, the first person I spoke to was Toyah. She was exactly as I had imagined, welcoming and kind. She said that, as my dressing room was small, I was welcome to use ‘The Human’s’ dressing room. Straight away, she made me feel comfortable and that evening was a dream come true in so many ways. I remarked that her artwork ‘Penis Flower’ was ‘Lovely’, which she later tweeted as she said it sounded so funny in my accent. I’m sure ‘lovely’ wasn’t exactly what most people would say - but that is exactly the kind of thing I would say. Toyah came to watch my performance that night, as I noticed during one of my songs. It was a very touching moment for me. The ‘Sugar Rush’ album has also turned out to be my favourite album of the year, so it was great to support it in London, for that reason as well.

The ‘From Sheep Farming To Anthem’ tour support dates started in Glasgow on October 26th. I arrived in Glasgow at 17:17 the evening before the first show. I arrived at the venue the following day at 14:14 and found that I was scheduled to appear onstage at 20:20. I won’t bore you with it any further, but this trend continued for the entire tour and I had several conversations with Toyah about it. I wonder if it’s something other people have or will notice more now that I’ve mentioned it. I personally see it as a sign that I am in the right place at the right time. When I came onstage, the audience were cheering and it was so exciting for me to be opening the show for Toyah on that first night. It remained just as much of a thrill each time and at all the dates. The experience was made even more special for me as my friend Kate had accompanied me on the tour and she sold mine and Toyah’s merchandise each night. She has been a huge help to me in every way possible.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the energy Toyah has. If you saw the tour, you will know what I mean. Every night I had my batteries recharged just watching Toyah onstage! As well as my own adrenaline rush, I also danced during the whole Toyah show - I lost the weight to prove it! I walked out with Toyah on several of the nights to do her meet and great. As we walked across the dancefloor in Leamington Spa, Blondie’s ‘Dreaming‘ was playing. As I held Toyah’s hand, I joked with her ‘ This is like an 80’s dream’. At times the fan in me came out, but I also managed to disconnect from ‘Toyah‘ the legendary musician and Toyah, the person I had grown to know and connect with in a different way. It was so great seeing the many happy faces each night. People even crying out of excitement and several people who had waited years to meet Toyah.

At every date of the tour, I also had people come along to see my performance and quite a lot of them had never seen Toyah before. I can honestly say, they all want to see her next tour after watching this one! The ‘Toyah’ band were incredible on each and every night, which is no surprise considering the amount of hard work that goes into each performance. They really are world class musicians and it’s been great to see them all on stage together, performing some of my favorite songs

It was wonderful traveling the UK with Toyah, someone who I truly respect as an artist. She was there for me in moments of insecurity during the tour, at times when promoters were trying to push me around - the things that no one else gets to see. She was the first person to say don’t take any shit - which is something you get a lot of at any stage of your career it seems. In Manchester, I faced a situation just as I was walking onstage. A promoter was shouting at me literally as my music started. As they had overbooked the evening, I would have to cut my set down. My blood was boiling and I was shaking with anger, as people had travelled from all over to see me. I came offstage to find Toyah waiting, she had been watching my performance. ‘That was excellent!!’ she exclaimed. I was so pleased and immediately, it made everything seem better.

On the final night at the O2 Academy in London, I was thrilled to walk onstage to a huge applause, with so many people there who have supported my music alongside Toyah’s. Everything fitted into place that evening, the sound and imagery all came into one. When I watched Toyah, it was honestly the best performance I have ever seen from any performer and it was the perfect way to end the tour. Nothing before the tour, or since, has matched the intense excitement and happiness I felt. At this point, I must thank Davie from Dreamscape for the support he has shown me and my music over the past year and also to Craig Astley for arranging so much of what has happened.

From Glasgow To London was the best two weeks of my life so far! Thank you to everyone who made it so special - all the people who came along and complimented me on my support set and a big thank you to Toyah and the band!

Lots of love to all Toyah fans!

Andi Fraggs x

Thanks to Andi | His Official Website | More on the From Sheep Farming... Tour | All photos Andi Fraggs/Sharon Dickson

 

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