Toyah Is One Vampy Lady

Punk singer Toyah Willcox loves playing the Devil Queen in stage show Vampires Rock, which is about to tour Scotland.

Dressing up in outrageous costumes to belt out classic rock tunes every night is a dream come true for the 50-year-old singer.

She said: "It is a lovely show to do and really good fun. The audience just love it, too. They all come dressed up as their favourite vampire or really gothic, they participate in everything and they love the music.

"Each song is a fantastic rock track and the audience know every word. It's great and it is the one show I've done that goes in a blink of an eye."

Show creator Steve Steinman reckons that Toyah is the perfect choice to play the Devil Queen in the unique production.

He said: "I really wouldn't call Vampires Rock a musical, it is a concert with a little bit more.

"It is very visual and Toyah just fits in so well. She is a legend and she has absolutely done the business and looks like she is really enjoying it."

Toyah is so involved in the show that she even designs the costumes.

She said: "I have created these looks over the last year as part of Toyah TV that I started on My Space.

"I have a team that creates my looks for me and I do have a lot of say in how I want them to be. It is something that I have done for many years."

Toyah has her fingers in many pies. As well as Vampires Rock, she has recently released two albums, In The Court Of The Crimson Queen and Good Morning Universe - The Very Best of Toyah. She has also been performing solo gigs in front of as many as 30,000 people. She said: "I've had a very busy year, but that's the way I like it. I love my work because it is great fun and it is so varied.

"No day is the same as the last and I don't look forward to booking a holiday the way other people do because it just doesn't fit into my life. But that's probably because my life feels rewarding and I don't feel any need to escape from that.

"I am very choosy about the work that I do and I would never pick jobs which would make me feel like that.

"I look for things that have originality, which push boundaries. I'm not interested in what I'd call safe, I like things that are quite unusual and new in their approach.

"Like with Vampire Rocks, there is something very clever about it. It is an incredibly simple idea, but the audience just get it. There is very little script, Steve just lets the songs carry the story. You just have to see how the audiences react to see how it simply works."

Toyah, who is originally from Birmingham, has been in show business for more than 30 years, first coming to the public's attention when she appeared in Derek Jarman's 1977 film Jubilee and Quadrophenia.

Her singing career then blossomed in the early 1980s with hits It's A Mystery and I Want To Be Free and in 1982 she was named Best Female Singer at the British Rock and Pop Awards, now the Brits.

Over the years, she has also appeared in a huge range of TV programmes ranging from Songs Of Praise to the The Good Sex Guide. More recently, she has been in Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, the third series of which she is booked to appear in next year.

She said: "I am fully booked for all of next year.

"I am doing more Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, Vampires Rock again, I am starring in a film called Power Of Three and I am playing Paul McGann's sister in a new series called Mason And Son.

"So I am pretty busy and that's just the way I like it."

Daily Record
October 2008