Punk Icon Toyah is 51 And Feisty As Ever
icon Toyah was edgy, vibrant and outspoken in the
eighties and youll be pleased to know, she
is still as feisty as ever.
multi-talented singer, actor, television
presenter and author, now 51, was a pleasure to
she cant wait to come up and perform in
Whitehaven as part of the star-studded Here and
Now concert on August 15.
will be new territory for me, I have performed in
Ambleside and Carlisle before, said Toyah.
and Now is incredibly successful around the
world. It is hit after hit of pure nostalgia.
the audiences are getting younger and younger
because eighties music is so popular, the
audience is always smiling from beginning to end.
what makes it appealing to a younger audience?
think that teenagers have discovered eighties
music for themselves. People have knocked the
eighties and thats done nothing but make
them want to know more about it. It was written
for teenagers, by teenagers.
was a decade of image and the songs were very
strong, as was the fashion for men and
do think that the songs were made for stadiums
and because of that the open-air arenas work very
well with this music its very
anthemic and very personal.
eighties career was phenomenally successful,
resulting in hit records including Its A
Mystery and I Want To Be Free. In fact, she has
had a total of 15 Top 40 singles and four gold
and platinum albums.
was a fabulous time, she says. When
you are young and have that kind of fame, it is
everything that you want. It is extraordinary
because you could not go anywhere without being
werent many women doing what we did then.
We were on a crest of a wave, we were making
women strong and opinionated.
was brought up in a middle class family and was
was told to get married and have children and
that was the most terrifying message, she
someone like me did for women was to say go your
own route and seek out your ambition.
remembers Toyah as the petite powerhouse with a
distinctive voice, flame-coloured hair and
me, a way of being remembered was to have very
distinctive hair colour and I used that to
effect. I lived it, it was totally me, I did it
24 hours a day, it was a statement of
who is married to international guitarist Robert
Fripp, has always come across as open and honest
and she rarely shies away from talking about a
asked Toyah whether her having a facelift was
down to the pressure of keeping young in a world
is very personal. People constantly tell you that
you are the wrong height, you have the wrong hair
colour, but I dont hear it.
do something for yourself, you are the holder of
the purse strings. I dont believe in this
I know is so strong-minded that you cannot tell
them how to look.
said that, I think that it is utterly wrong that
the fashion industry only uses a certain size of
talked openly about plastic surgery in her book
Diary of a Facelift.
are dishonest. People who are astonishingly rich
have plastic surgery as a statement, to hold
themselves apart from the rest of the world and
then refuse to admit that they have had it.
think that this is stupid because all it allows
is bad plastic surgery to be carried out.
thought, well lets talk about it, I was one
of the first people to be honest about it.
do believe in honesty. I do a lot of speeches and
I could not stand up there in front of women and
lie. Women are lied to so much, they need to know
we are equal.
cannot see people turned into an underdog and I
hate people to be undermined men and
in cult classic film Quadrophenia, Toyah has been
in more than 10 feature films and appeared in
more than 30 stage plays.
also stars in ITV drama Secret Diary of a Call
Girl, in which she plays Billie Pipers
mother, and she is about to tour this year with
hit stage show Vampires Rock.
a nutshell, she has never stopped working and
doesnt intend to.
like working, she said. The bottom
line for me is that I have something to do the
next day. I cannot bear having nothing to do. If
there is not enough acting going on, I make sure
I am writing music.
see myself as a cottage industry, I am an
acquired taste which gives me a comfortable kind
like being creative. In the nineties, I was
almost exclusively presenting TV. Im much
happier when Im writing music, creating
I am acting, that is very satisfying. I keep
thinking I have to earn a living. I love acting
and it suits who I am today.
latest music project is The Humans which she
describes as slightly avant-garde.
like film noir of music dark and
secretive. Its a pure spiritual project, it
is not a Toyah project.
has teamed up with Bill Rieflin of REM and they
recently played in Estonia at the request of the
president and first lady.
and I went out there and wrote on the spot. When
we went out we hadnt sold a ticket, but
then within four hours they were all sold.
everything Toyah has achieved over the years,
there is still much more to be done.
have no intention of retiring, I am in a job
where I cannot wait for the next project. I havent
achieved what I want to achieve.
I achieved for music in the eighties I achieved
then. Now, as a woman in her fifties, I see so
many doors of opportunity that are not being
want to act 24/7 around the world, there are
countries I want to go and perform in, I am still
very driven, I like having new adventures and all
my successes have come from having that attitude,
energy is infectious. Shes still quirky,
she is a champion of people and is thoroughly
thing is for certain, we can expect to see plenty
more of her and I am sure we wont be