Music Machine, London

Toyah/Boys/The Teenbeats

Arriving late enough to miss The Teenbeats, my initial joy went sour when I realised that the Boys were back in town, but only just. I caught only 'First Time', 'In The City' and 'Cast Of Thousands', all of them were great. There were also plenty of references to equipment problems, without which no gig would be complete. Only marginally less boring than DJ Gary Holton's demented antics. 

Toyah ambled onstage and the evening took on a change for the better, although this performance was far from their best. Miss Willcox, as always, looked remarkable, sporting her new bronze age Annie Oakley look, with only Charlie attempting eye catching moves in the background. His peculiar trotting across the stage amused many an onlooker.

These individuals tampering with instruments, and tonight the man called Bogen in particular, develop more forceful characteristics as the gigs go by. And it would seem the actual atmospheres are becoming increasingly more tolerant. The festive spirit speedily festered as fists flew in a sickening outbreak, but after that (in the very first song) the only "heavy scenes" I saw were clashes between bouncers and strange folk trying to break into the Muse after the gig had finished! 

As it was so long since Toyah last graced our fiery metropolis, it was purely for accuracy's sake (you understand) that I forced my way past open mouthed shock victims so selfishly blocking my view, and on arriving in the "perfect" spot I received the glare of a stage light directed into my eyes, a trick which Toyah greatly enjoys. Her stage manner is generally that of a highly proficient dervish, much prone to self simulation and only falters when she trips over one of Joel's foot pedals, disrupting her frosty stare into laughter...a welcome relief.

The band play a type of music exclusive to them and this combined with the aformentioned warbling and dancing makes squeezing into a Toyah gig one of the more enjoyable aspects of nightlife. 

Retiring, somewhat crushed, to the bar for the last couple of numbers, which happened amid silly rockets and dry ice, I surveyed the crowd below and found them in a curiously muted state! Was it the shock of getting in free or was it her legs that so stunned them into silence? I know not, I care not. 

Mick Mercer.
December 1979

This gig was the last date on the 'Sheep Farming In Barnet' Tour in 1979. It took place at the Music Machine in Camden, London on 29th November. This was the 'legendary' Safari Records Xmas Party