TOYAH 
Marquee/London

I went anticipating some god awful actress type to come on twittering unconvincingly about life and death whilst generally making a right fool of herself

I soon saw the light; several of them actually and they were flickering. It was amongst these, and some taped effex that they trundled into vision. The usual story of the girl-led band is that on first acquaintance you take little-note of the band and concentrate solely on the-ball of energy they call Tonka Toyah (small hard and irresistible) and whilst her cohorts behind slip into an excellent pop style Gloria Mundi soundtrack la Willcox begins her cavortings.

She didn't stop throwing herself around alt-night despite the disgusting heat; forever bounding prancing and generally hurtling about. We get tantalising glimpses of her manufactured madness as the band provides the pulsating sanity because it’s not real horror, only a game - but one of the best all the same.

Comparisons are apparent, not particularly with the music as that is freshly compelling, both lump and odour free, but Toyah when dancing combines the essence of Siouxsie with the kamikaze dash of Adam Ant. Her feverish twirling stops, then a quick transfixing glare and a dart away and bounce, bounce, bounce into the darkness.

Her and the boys are a unique blend that never fall short of their aim - to hold your attention. Toyah also sings as bewitchingly as she gyrates, with all the power of an insomniac tiger on the fast ones and in occasional slowies tends to huskify a little. When not tearing left or right she danced near the crowd, teasing and taunting all the while; avoiding copulation by a whisker, plummeting to the floor whilst trying to wrench the guitarist in half with her darting tongue. After the ‘Sheep Farming’ encore where she discarded her blouse in the finest sexist tradition there wasn’t a dry mouth in the house.

To suggest she doesn't play up, to her massive sex appeal would be laughable. She's as energetic and outgoing as they come. The dervish dancing did nothing to detract from her needle-sharp singing and with this accomplished collective behind her there can't be much preventing her stardom. I was hoping she’d kick me in the face but that’s quite enough of that.

She tricked me into adoration. You’re next.

Mick Mercer
Record Mirror 
January 1980