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Leicester Mercury: Toyah Interview – ‘My Voice is Fantastic’

November 17th, 2019

Toyah was interviewed in the print edition of Friday’s Leicester Mercury. Here’s the full article:

Let’s Rock: The Winter Retro Tour is heading to Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham and among the line-up are 80s headliners Toyah and Dr and the Medics. Helen Barnes caught up with both of them

With a career spanning more than 40 years, 61-year-old Toyah Willcox is making the most of her voice being in “fantastic” form.

What’s so great about Let’s Rock? It’s one of those fantastic events where it’s a real party atmosphere – because every song you get, everyone knows. The audience can dance and sing along – it’s about them and their memories too. I think 80s music has a real narrative to it, a story to it, and people identify their lives with it. I think all of that brings an audience together – and let’s not forget it’s Christmas!

Will you be singing any Christmas songs yourself? Absolutely! We are all doing our hits and then doing Christmas songs, so the finale will be a big Christmas finale where we will all be on stage together. It’s really very exciting, as the line-up is stunning – which is why I love doing them. You’re always working with people you admire and have followed for 40 years.

Who are your favourite 80s artists then? Well, I love Talk Talk and Depeche Mode too – I absolutely adore their music still and find it very uplifting. It has transcended the decade. I’ve also just been travelling around the world with Marc Almond and he is so much fun. Every song in his set is groundbreaking because at the time his music came out, the world was changing but hadn’t yet changed. Marc is one of the people that changed the world and music is just fabulous – I always stay behind to watch his sets when we are working together!

What’s the best thing you’ve discovered since turning 60? I think there’s an independence that comes with your 60s. I’m starting to just clear my life of of everything that’s niggly and doesn’t work – and that’s usually to do with bureaucracy. I am clearing my desk of the unnecessary, without any form of guilt and just looking for things that are fulfilling. I think when you hit your 60s and realise that you’ve done your best, that’s all that matters.

Which has been your favourite hair colour over the years? The only colour available back then was a vegetable dye called Crazy Colour – today the colours are much more sophisticated. I think I just loved the orange and cerise pink together; It was so vibrant that no matter how you felt, as soon as you looked in the mirror, it was like a cup of coffee!

Have you had any hair disasters? Early on, in the punk days, my hair was crimson red, and I remember standing at a bus stop; There was a deluge and I was without an umbrella. People were just staring at me with concern on their faces. It really didn’t look good – it looked like I’d been attacked.

You’ve done tons of TV presenting, what are you more confortable doing these days – presenting, acting or singing? At the moment my voice is fantastic, so I’m honouring that and this year I’ve done a hell of a lot of concerts and next year is fully booked, but I will only do that whilst I feel I can be 100 percent. I feel grateful that here I am at 61 and I can do it. Work for me is 99 percent of who I am. I’ve never felt like a home bird or a family orientated person, so it’s all incredibly important to me.

What have you got planned for next year? Well, eight re-releases of my album – I have a very good relationship with my record company, and I have a box set coming out. I’m touring with Hazel O’Connor and then doing all the Let’s Rocks, so it’s a very busy year.

As a mummy of young children, I heard you daily on Teletubbies! How did that come about? I am friends with the creator and she just asked me to come in and read the start and end, ast the narrator. It literally took me about 30 seconds to do, but “Over the hills and far away, Teletubbies some out to play” and “The sun is setting in the sky, the Teletubbies say goodbye” are probably the most famous two lines I have ever said, in the history of entertainment!

My eldest shares the same birthday as you, May 18th. On that day, this year he was blowing out eight candles and eating a football themed cake. What were you doing? Well, I have a home in France, and I was there with my husband. We’re right by the sea so we were probably eating sea bass, caught that morning, with some wonderful French vegetables. I’m a bit of a sensible eater. To completely contradict what I’ve just said, we would have gone and had ice cream after – and lots of it!

Your name is unusual – I have never come across another Toyah. Did you come across any others when growing up? No, not at all. I think you will find that the Toyahs that exist are all younger than me, so named after me. It has now become quite popular.

You’ve spoken before about your childhood and being bullied. Were you ever tempted to get back in touch with them once you became famous? A lot have been in touch with me. I did have one quite serious connection from someone who abused me at school and wrote to me – she was so distressed by what she did to me that she had been in therapy all her life. She asked if I could forgive her and I said I never even think about it. It may have formed who I am, but I don’t give it any thought. I live in the present. I’m a pretty tough cookie and even though I hated every minute of school, I’m a survivor.

Brighton & Hove News: Crimson Queen Tour Review

November 6th, 2019

We danced in the hurricane at Toyah’s Brighton concert.

TOYAH + THE LAST CRY – CHALK, BRIGHTON 02.11.19

There certainly was ‘Thunder in the Mountains’ in Brighton on this wet and windy Saturday night. The wind was strong on the seafront and almost blew the bristles clean off my head. Even Toyah said onstage, that upon arriving in her chariot (car) she got blown off her feet. However, the weather wasn’t going to keep her fans from watching her perform tonight at new Brighton venue ‘Chalk‘, that’s for sure.

Anyone that was around in the 80’s will need no Toyah introduction as she was permanently on our TV screens and fully ingrained in our pop culture. She’s enjoyed a career that spans over forty years and she’s still going strong. She’s been nominated for four Brit awards, been involved in over twenty albums, written books, acted in stage-plays and appeared in TV shows and films, including of course, the legendary ‘Quadrophenia’. For the younger readers benefit, she has also provided voices for Teletubbies characters. You could say that she’s been busy.

• Continue reading at Brighton and Hove News.

Crimson Queen Tour: Nigel Glockler at Brighton Gig!

November 3rd, 2019

Nigel Glockler – drummer on Anthem, College Tour/At The Rainbow, Four From Toyah, Anthem Tour, I Want To Be Free, Sphinx/For You, Thunder In The Mountains (yeah, like I needed to detail that but he is a legend!) – was in attendance at Toyah’s final 2019 Crimson Queen Tour date at Brighton Chalk last night. (Photo © Toyah Willcox)

Toyah Live 2019: Crimson Queen Tour @ Brighton

November 2nd, 2019

Toyah plays the final band gig of the year tonight. It’s also a Crimson Queen Tour date. There are two further tour dates in January. Toyah said: “What a brilliant year. Thank u everyone xxx“.

Quadrophenia 40: Toyah at Skamouth – Q&A + PA

October 29th, 2019

The Quadrophenia celebrations continue! Toyah will take part in the Skamouth Weekender Event on Saturday 23rd November doing a Q&A and a few songs (playback). On stage at 10am. Tickets are available by clicking below. See the official tweet about this here.

Crimson Queen Tour: Photos: Southampton & Bristol

October 27th, 2019

Toyah played two further dates of the Crimson Queen Tour this weekend, in Manchester on Friday and Nottingham last night. There’s just one more Crimson Queen gig this year, in Brighton on Saturday 2nd November, with two final dates in January.

Here’s a selection of shots from last weekend’s Southampton and Bristol gigs. The set list includes songs from Sheep Farming in Barnet, in celebration of it’s 40th Anniversary this year. Click below to view more photos at Dreamscape’s Toyah Gallery. (Photos © Ian Davis)

Toyah Live 2019: Crimson Queen Tour – We Are

October 23rd, 2019

Toyah performing, the awesome, We Are – from Anthem – on the Crimson Queen Tour at The Fleece in Bristol on Saturday night. Thanks to John.

Toyah Live 2019: Crimson Queen Tour

October 18th, 2019

Toyah’s Crimson Queen Tour officially premieres this weekend, with two dates. The first is at The Brook, Southampton tomorrow night and the second at The Fleece, Bristol on Sunday. The tour continues next weekend, with dates at Night People, Manchester on Friday 25th and Rescue Rooms, Nottingham on Saturday 26th October.

Toyah Live 2019: Acoustic @ Helmsley Arts Centre

October 11th, 2019

Tonight Toyah plays, a penultimate of 2019, Acoustic, Up Close & Personal date at Helmsley Arts Centre – The gig is Sold Out. The final Acoustic… date of the year is in Birmingham on 23rd November. Info and ticket link available on that here, and the first Acoustic… date of 2020 is in Havant, Hampshire on 17th January. Details here.

Live 2019: Tours & Gigs Still To Come!

October 11th, 2019

Toyah has two tours and a selection of other gigs and dates to play before 2020 arrives! There’s the Crimson Queen Tour, Let’s Rock Winter arena tour, two Acoustic Up Close & Personal dates, an 80s Christmas Party and more… Click below to check out details on all of these, plus numerous confirmed gigs for next year, including the Electric Ladies UK Tour with Toyah and Hazel O’Connor.

Toyah Live 2019/20: Crimson Queen Tour

October 6th, 2019

Toyah’s Crimson Queen Tour officially premieres in Southampton later this month. Alongside material from the 2019 re-imagining of Crimson Queen, classic singles and album cuts, Toyah has today revealed there will be inclusions in the set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Sheep Farming In Barnet.

Here is the flyer for the tour with all the confirmed dates. Click below for links to buy tickets.

Toyah Talks Sheep Farming in Barnet/Pete Bush

October 6th, 2019

I can’t wait for the AUTUMN TOUR. We have some surprises for fans from way back in the late 70s! After all it’s the 40th anniversary of SHEEP FARMING IN BARNET. This album continues to surprise me every time I revisit it. The synth sounds are a joy, the songs are highly original and fresh today.

LAST GOODBYE is going into the set plus a few songs that haven’t been performed since 1980. Pete Bush, one of the co-writers on Sheep Farming came to St. Alban Arena last week and we dedicated Neon Womb and Danced to him.

Express & Star: A Chance To Dance

September 23rd, 2019

A chance to dance as Party In The Park returns to Himley Hall – in pictures

It was a double Party in the Park at Himley Hall over the weekend with the clock turned back to the 1970s and 80s.

Saturday’s event saw the likes of Toyah Willcox and Neville Staple take to the stage as hundreds of people donned their best retro gear and danced the day and night away.

Then yesterday it was the turn of the mods with a Quadrophenia-themed party, attended by Toyah and other stars of the 1979 cult classic including Phil Daniels and Leslie Ash, who are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the movie.

There were hundreds of tents and camper-vans set-up at the historic South Staffordshire estate, that sits on the border of Dudley and Wolverhampton, as people gathered for a jam-packed weekend of fun organised by the Dubs Collective.

• Continue reading at the Express & Star. (Photo © Express & Star)

Live 2019: Party In The Park @ Himley Hall

September 23rd, 2019

Great shot of Toyah, Neville Staples, Gary Shail and a loadsa band members at Saturday’s Party In The Park at Himley Hall in Staffordshire. Thanks to Paul. (Photo © Gary Shail)

The Crimson Queen Tour – Premieres Tonight!

September 20th, 2019

The opening date of The Crimson Queen Tour, at The Exchange in Sturminster Newton, Dorset, is just a few hours away. Tickets are close to being sold out. Grab yours, and prepare to Dance In The Hurricane, by clicking below. See Toyah’s tweet about tonight’s tour opener gig here. Check out our In The Court Of The Crimson Queen archive here.

Crimson Queen Tour: Update

September 19th, 2019

Update today from Official Toyah: Due to logistical reasons, the Birmingham and London dates of the Crimson Queen Tour have been re-scheduled to Jan 2020. All tickets remain valid for change of date. The Birmingham date has been re-located to Slade Rooms Wolverhampton. Apologies for any inconvenience.

The SAS Band 25 Riff Tour: Toyah & Justin Hawkins

September 15th, 2019

Toyah & Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) with Spike Edney’s The SAS Band performing Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns n Roses cover) live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London on 14th September 2019. (Thanks to KrisLW)

The SAS Band 25 Riff Tour: The Guild Hall, Portsmouth

September 13th, 2019

Sensational photo of Toyah, Madeline Bell, Patti Russo and The Fabbagirls, from last night’s 25 Riff Tour date by The SAS Band at The Guild Hall in Portsmouth. Toyah, and a host of others including a surprise guest are also playing another date tomorrow night at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London. (Photo © Susie Webb of The Fabbagirls)

Derbyshire Times: Toyah & Fuzzbox at Whitwell Festival

September 6th, 2019

Toyah and Fuzzbox among the stars at this weekend’s Whitwell Festival of Music

Whitwell Festival of Music is a not-for-profit, volunteer- run event that is now in its 11th year.

Well- respected on the festival circuit, this year will see British music icon Toyah as the headline act on Saturday. Friday night’s headliner is Tony Wright of Terrorvision fame.

• Continue reading at the Derbyshire Times. A limited number (50) of tickets will be available on the gate on Saturday from 1pm – get there early!

Live 2019: SAS Band – The 25 Riff Tour

September 6th, 2019

Toyah – as part of The SAS Band All Star line-up – appears with Midge Ure and Tony Hadley on the 25 Riff Tour, at the Guild Hall, Portsmouth, the first of two the anniversary gigs, on Thursday 12th September.

The second gig takes place a couple of days later, at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London on Saturday 14th September.

Numerous other guests have also been previously announced for the SAS Band 25th Anniversary tour dates, taking place between September and December this year.

The SAS Band tweeted: Coming up Thur 12 Sept. Toyah appears live alongside @midgeure1 @TheTonyHadley & more with @SpikesSASBand on The 25 Riff Tour at #Portsmouth @PortsmouthGhall.

• Further info on the tour and ticket links are available at sasband.com.

Toyah Live 2019: Crimson Queen Tour

September 4th, 2019

The first date of the Crimson Queen Tour 2019 is just weeks away.

Toyah’s autumn concerts tour will see her celebrate and perform material from her re-imagined double album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen, released by Edsel Records on 12 April 2019. The album, written and arranged by Toyah Willcox and Simon Darlow, presents a collection of finely honed songcraft, killer hooks and brings together two lifetimes of performing, writing and producing music.

This concert will see Toyah present songs from the album including lead single Sensational and the epic album opener Dance In The Hurricane alongside instantly recognisable classics from her revered catalogue of hit singles, live favourites and renowned album tracks. Simon Darlow will also join Toyah on stage at some of the tour dates.

• Further info and Crimson Queen Tour ticket links available at toyahwillcox.com. Check out our In The Court Of The Crimson Queen news archive here.