'I’m trying to be a little more lady like' 
By Rick Bowen 

If you thought the recording career of Toyah Willcox came to an end when the 80s did, you may be surprised to discover that the singer, once famed for her outrageous outfits and equally eye catching on stage antics, has recorded no less than 18 albums. 

Her first release, a post punk offering that came out in 1979, went by the strange title, Sheep Farming In Barnet. 

What sort of Toyah can audiences expect to see when The Hitmakers Tour rolls into Manchester next week? Has she toned down her live persona? 

"I try to be a bit more age appropriate now - I'm 48 and I get concerned that I still go on stage wearing completely outrageous things. On one level, I get away with it because people expect it of me and certainly, on this tour, I will be pushing the boat out as far as I can but I'm trying to be a little bit more lady like with it. I don't think I'm outrageous now for the sake of being outrageous, but the one thing I was born with was a very quirky sense of humour and that's still there," she says. 

The artist, who is married to King Crimson co-founder Robert Fripp, says there has been a massive resurgence of interest in the music of the 80s, which means that her gigs attract fans from the age of 12 upwards. 

Toyah, who has also appeared in numerous stage musicals, has been offered two new recording contracts and she's back in the studio writing songs with her former song writing partner Simon Darlow. If these song writing sessions go well, a 19th album could be on the cards. 

Not that Toyah has been short of work of course - as well as presenting documentaries, she's recently appeared on the BBC programme Masterchef and she's also been offered a part in one of the soaps. But she's sworn to secrecy over the identity of the programme in question. 

* The Hitmakers Tour is at the Opera House on October 12 and Toyah Willcox will be joined by Martin Fry and ABC and Howard Jones. Anyone interested in booking tickets should call 0870 160 2874.  

27th September 2006