Toyah Can't Wait To Be Diva For The Day

In the early 80s, Toyah reigned supreme as the British queen of punk and new wave.

Roll on 30 years and she's about to add a new string to her bow - that of dance princess!

Yesterday saw the release of her first ever dance single, Fallen, and it's predicted to make the top ten.

No one is more surprised than Toyah herself.

She says she was contacted by DJ Paul Masterson, aka Yomanda, who said he had a backing track and asked if she would be interested in writing a vocal to it.

'It was very casual with no plans,' she adds.

'About six weeks later he set up a studio with The Prodigy's engineer. We went in and did the vocal in one take. Within two hours we had done it all. Within a week he got back to me and said he'd played it to big industry people who had just gone, "Yes, we'll take it".

'It has grown in a really organic way. The chemistry was there and everything just worked. This is a song going to an audience who have no idea who I am and they are liking the song and I think that is incredibly important, that the music is speaking above everything else, and I think it gives it a lease of life.

'It's so exciting and it's lovely that this is happening, especially around this time. It's very special.

'I know nothing about dance. I'm a rock singer and I write classical rock lyrics. I'm very good at the weird and wonderful and anthemic bravado.'

Now 53, Toyah is as busy as she was in her 80s heyday. In fact, it is 30 years since the release of her greatest success, the album Anthem, which spawned the hits It's A Mystery and I Want To Be Free. She's hitting the road in celebration of that milestone with a succession of gigs around the country, and she will be wearing the original costumes.

There are no northern dates at present but the likelihood is some could be added in the new year.

She will, though, be in the North on October 1, headlining at Cumbria Pride.

'I've got a really great gay following.' she tells me, 'You are playing to an audience who have experienced sometimes being outside of society and having to fight for their rights.

'I wouldn't say they are hugely political, but they are people who want to be together and share something together. There is a huge feeling of camaraderie and they tend to love their divas, as it were.

'I don't really think I'm a diva! But you are embraced totally on the day. I'll be doing Fallen and all the hits.

Toyah will appear on the main stage at about 9pm, then will perform at Outrageous in English Street, Carlisle at about 12.30am.

You can check out Toyah's tour dates at

(Interview by Gordon Barr)

Metro, 19th September 2011