Dreamscape: A Toyah Willcox Fansite [www.toyah.net] : somewhere in the distance : archived Toyah news for the month of Sep 2004


September 25, 2004: 'It Shouldn't Happen To A Pop Star'
Look out for Toyah on TV tonight (if you are in the UK, or can receive ITV1 overseas). She will be guesting on the one hour long, It Shouldn't Happen To A Pop Star.(Let's hope she isn't in the "fans who attack" section :oo)

It Shouldn't Happen To A Pop Star : ITV1 - Saturday 25th September : 8.05pm

Rory McGrath presents a selection of mishaps from exploding drum kits and fans who attack to spectacular stunts and monstrous egos unleashed, all of which have afflicted pop singers past and present.

Thanks to Paul Cable @ the Dreamscape Forum.

[Please check back over the next few days, I'm hoping to add a few screen captures from the show]

September 25, 2004: Toyah newsy bits & pieces!
• Apparently Toyah is featured this week in one of the many UK celebrity magazines (so it could be OK!, Heat, Hello!, Hot Stars, Star, New!, Closer... ) in one of those "what do they look like now?" articles. Toyah is pictured in 1981 and 2004. If I manage to get hold of this I'll scan it and add it here.

• Still no sign of the issue of 'Celebrity Homes' magazine that is to include a large photo feature on Toyah at home. 

• Don't forget that Toyah will be on BBC2 this Monday morning, spooking around Glasgow (and Paisley) in the guise of Barmy Aunt Boomerang.

Uninteresting Boomerang Fact 1: Parts of this series were filmed in a huge bungalow situated directly across from the supermarket I used to buy my groceries in.

Uninteresting Boomerang Fact 2: Yep! Headmasters in Glasgow schools really ARE as weird as the one in BAB!

September 22, 2004: 'BBC Cumbria ' 80's Mania - Don't miss this...
[ BBC Cumbria ]There are currently a few online competitions offering the chance to win tickets for a number of the dates for next month's 'Best Of the 80's' UK tour, including this from 'BBC Cumbria':

Here's your chance to see 80's pop idols, Toyah, Curiosity Killed the Cat, Nick Heyward and Altered Images at The Sands Centre on the 15 October - FAB!

Remember when men strutted their stuff in pastel pink cardies, lurvely white shoes and make-up (??) and women wore fluorescent socks, Ra-Ra skirts and bat-wing jumpers - what was all that about?


It seems our eyes were disconnected from our brains when we checked out our togs in the mirror that decade... 

Thankfully, the same can't be said for our ears. Some of our best pop artists were born of the eighties - obviously, we're not talking about the St Winifred's School Choir here, hehe. 

Anyway, we all love bopping the night away to good old eighties cheese, so here's your chance to relive the eighties LIVE, as for one night and one night only, Toyah, Nick Heyward, Curiosity Killed the Cat and Altered Images will perform their best known hits, including, It's A Mystery, Fantastic Day, Down To Earth, Happy Birthday and many more … you can also see if they've all aged better than you. (That Nick Heyward - he's lost half his hair - not giving such a boyish grin now is he? etc etc)

For your chance to win a pair of tickets for The Best of the 80's at The Sands Centre, then why not enter our competition...

You can do so by clicking on the picture.

September 22, 2004: www.toyah.net
Apologies that DREAMSCAPE is currently unavailable through the domain www.toyah.net. I'm working on sorting this, and hope it will be in the very near future.

The website is still very much online but only accessible through the www.littletears.co.uk domain at the moment.

September 22, 2004: Toyah on TV
[ Barmy Aunt Boomerang ]Strewth!! Barmy Aunt Boomerang is about to hit our TV screens again, as the BBC rerun selected episodes of the hit children's series starring Toyah as the crazy ghost of an Australian soap star.

Barmy Aunt Boomerang : BBC2 - Monday 27th September : 6.50am
Barmy Aunt Boomerang : BBC2 - Wednesday 29th September : 6.50am
Barmy Aunt Boomerang : BBC2 - Friday 1st Oct : 6.50am

Children's comedy drama series about an unconventional aunt who causes chaos when she suddenly descends on her unsuspecting family. Sebastian is challenged to spend the night in an allegedly haunted house. Starring: Toyah Willcox, Richard Madden, Kern Falconer, Laura McKenzie, Susy Kane, and Blaine Slater.

Thanks to Wardrobe @ the Dreamscape Forum.

September 22, 2004: Sky One 'Top 10 Sci-Fi Moments'
Toyah popped up on Sky One last Friday night. She was commenting on the Top 10 Sci-Fi Moments show on the channel.

Thanks to Merx @ the Dreamscape Forum.

September 22, 2004: Toyah in the online media
Toyah has also been namechecked in a couple of online news stories over the past couple of weeks.

eMediaWire - Boston area alternative rockers, Karmic Brick, set to release their first full-length album, The Unnatural World, on October 1, 2004. 
Friday 17th September 2004

The Unnatural World is set for worldwide release on October 1, 2004. It will be available through CD Baby, Amazon.com, Target.com, Tower Records, and Barnes and Noble among others. Additionally, Karmic Brick has accepted invitations to appear on Alt-Rock compilation albums from Kid Antrim Music and Oasis CD Manufacturing, as well as the “Indiethon For The Cure” compilation to benefit Juvenile Diabetes and HIV.

Fans have described the band’s sound as "fresh and artistic" with “tight arrangements” and "great vocals and harmonies," and industry insiders agree:

Pain Equals Pleasure - 'Pain' starts off with a descending punky riff and then launches into a gritty little rocker. This is on the right side of 80s rock. Think of a harder version of Blondie or Toyah and you're getting close. 

The Stage Online - LWT’s Woods to become talent agent
Tuesday 7th September 2004

Former LWT deputy director of broadcasting Geraldine Woods has made an unusual defection from television production to become a talent agent with one of the UK’s leading representatives of TV presenters.

Woods is joining the Roseman Organisation, the roster of which includes household names such as Fern Britton, Toyah Willcox, Nicky Campbell and Natasha Kaplinsky. She will take the newly created role of senior agent and will become the sixth member of staff at the company which represents 23 clients in total.

September 22, 2004: Toyah in the press
Toyah has been namechecked in a couple of press news stories over the past few days. 

Birmingham Evening Mail - Blow to city theatre
Saturday 18th September 2004

Hundreds of theatre-goers left Birmingham Rep disappointed after a performance of an acclaimed play was cancelled at the last minute when the leading actor was taken ill.

The performance of Celestina was called off last night because Kathryn Hunter, due to play the title role, felt unwell shortly before the production was due to start.

A near capacity audience, including actress and singer Toyah Willcox, Selly Oak MP Lynne Jones and former city council leaders Sir Richard Knowles and Theresa Stewart, were told the bad news 40 minutes after the play was due to start.

Earlier they had been offered free drinks while the backstage crew decided whether the performance could go ahead.

A theatre spokeswoman said last night that it was unknown whether Ms Hunter would be well enough to appear tonight.

Last night's audience members were asked to contact the box office today to arrange refunds or alternative tickets.

Celestina is the latest production by the Spanish director Calixto Bieito, whose operatic and theatrical works have provoked controversy because of their shocking scenes.

Based on a Spanish text from 1499, it tells of an unscrupulous brothel keeper hiredbyawealthy fool to help snare a woman with whom he is besotted.

The production earned rave reviews when it ran at this summer's Edinburgh Festival.

Bieito said in an interview with the Evening Mail that Kathryn Hunter's powerful performance in the title role was a crucial part of its success.

Her acclaimed stage roles included a 1991 Olivier Award for Best Actress for her performance in the National Theatre's production of The Visit.

Screen roles include an appearance in British director Mike Leigh's All Or Nothing.

Celestina's run at the Rep is due to end on September 25.

Birmingham Sunday Mercury - Gym bans ex-cop for sex slur 
Sunday 19th September 2004

An ex-cop has been banned from a gym after claims that he made sleazy comments about a pretty aerobics instructor... She has built up a reputation as one of the city's top aerobics instructors.

In July she was one of a six-strong team of fitness fanatics who represented Birmingham and won the first round of the Simply The Best contest on ITV1.

The group, led by singer-turned TV presenter Toyah Willcox and former boy band member Ritchie Neville, battled against other cities for the fitness title.

September 11, 2004: Toyah @ Elmbridge Museum
[ Toyah @ Elmbridge Museum ]This is a follow-up to a story from August 2003:

Toyah Willcox supports Harvard in opening the Elmbridge Museum to the partially sighted

Elmbridge Museum Weybridge was successful in a recent Heritage Lottery Fund bid to help develop a kiosk and web site that will enable the museum to be accessible to the partially sighted. Harvard was commissioned to develop both services and we clearly faced a number of challenges in their construction.

Working with advice and guidance from the Royal National Institute for the Blind we developed both the website and kiosk using our own unique tool Minerva. With a history of success from previous customers Minerva is unique, allowing the construction and development of pages remarkably quickly and to a very high standard. Over time these pages can be updated by non-technical staff to provide a service that is completely sustainable. The kiosk surround was designed by a student from Sussex University, shocked with the lack of thought in design of existing kiosks the Harvard design is built for maximum accessibility and has proved to be popular with the young, old and those in wheelchairs.

As a further aid to the visually impaired the Museum was very keen to have an audio celebrity guide and Toyah Willcox proved to be a firm favourite. Harvard approached Toyah's agent and were delighted when she agreed to take part. Toyah has considerable experience in this type of film-work and a strong interest in the culture sector and when she heard that it was to help partially-sighted people, Toyah very generously made some time in her busy schedule. In all Toyah shot over two hours of footage that is to be included in the cutting-edge kiosk, the footage includes an introduction to the kiosk, video segments introducing each area of the museum and a series of "did you know"- style fascinating facts. Toyah was a real pleasure to work with in conditions that were far from ideal; she was always very patient, enthusiastic and went way beyond what was expected of her.

Toyah herself was also pleased to have been involved, 

"It's a great project", she said, "The museum is fascinating and this kiosk has really brought it to life; its fantastic that this project will be helping everyone and particularly those people with visual impairments, to enjoy the history of the area". 

September 11, 2004: Best Of The 80's
[ Marilyn Monroe ]Toyah is currently putting the finishing touches to the set-list for the BEST OF THE 80's UK tour.

The set-list is likely to be similar to those from the Toyah PA's earlier this year. Songs may include 'Echo Beach', 'River Deep, Mountain High', 'Sweet Child O Mine', 'Hanging On The Telephone' and some familiar Toyah hits.

Toyah mentions in her latest Webletter, at www.toyahwillcox.com, that the dress she will wear on the tour has been inspired by Marilyn Monroe.

Roll on October!

September 11, 2004: 'I'm A Celebrity...' / 'The Bill'
[ I'm A Celebrity... ]• The fourth series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! is scheduled to begin in November on ITV1.

The latest rumour about the show is that participants from the three previous series' may be taking part, either as jungle mates again or just appearing unannounced in the Bush to surprise the latest junglists. Doubtful if Toyah will head Down Under to take part as she is pretty busy towards the end of 2004, but you never know!!

Click on the picture to visit Dreamscape's comprehensive IACGMOOH! section.

• Toyah mentions in her September Webletter that she may be offered a role in the long running ITV1 drama series The Bill. The same situation happened with Emmerdale a few years ago so don't hold your breath, it may be some time before we see TW in a police uniform!

September 6, 2004: Toyah @ KREMLIN - More pics
[ Kremlin - 7th Aug 04 ]Check out the Gallery over at the KREMLIN club website for a great collection of Toyah photos, from her appearance at the Belfast venue last month.

There ARE 15 pictures of Toyah in total to browse through, and it has to be said she looks fantastic in them.

This was Toyah's third PA of 2004, on Saturday 7th August, and she went down a storm as she headlined the ZULU BALL on the closing night of the city's Pride celebrations.

Click on the picture to visit the KREMLIN Toyah gallery.

Please note that in Dreamscape's LIVE 2004 section there are pictures, and info, from this PA, and a plethora of bits and pieces from the previous two at Nightingales in Birmingham and The Club in Stoke. You can also download selected video clips from the Birmingham PA, and the full Stoke performance too.

Many thanks to Andi Westhorpe.

September 6, 2004: 'Best Of The 80's' - More press ads
[ Best Of The 80's ads ]More press ads for the forthcoming BEST OF THE 80'S UK tour.

It's now less than a month until Toyah, Nick Heyward, Altered Images, and Curiosity Killed The Cat begin a month long trek around the UK, playing at 20 different venues along the way.

These ads are taken from this month's 'Q' magazine and yesterday's 'Sunday Mirror'.

September 6, 2004: Two recent Toyah reviews
[ Toyah reviews ]Two new Toyah album reviews have recently been published.

The first is in the August 2004 issue of DISCOVERIES, an American music paper. unfortunately that is all the info I have at present on this.

The second is from the progressive rock E-zine 'Dutch Progressive Rock Page'. This review begins quite negatively but I think the critic is actually won over by what he hears, scoring the album a respectable 7/10. There is also brief coments about 'Prostitute' and 'Velvet Lined Shell'...

Toyah - Ophelia's Shadow
Tracklist: Ophelia's Shadow (5:54), The Shamen Says (5:23), Brilliant Day (2:39), Prospect (3:13), Turning Tide (5:40), Take What You Will (5:42), Ghost Light (4:28), The Women Who Had An Affair With Herself (4:17), Homeward (5:16), Lords Of The Never Known (4:32) 

We recently received three CD's from the Voiceprint Label, two re-releases and one new album, which span Toyah Willcox's (more serious musical) career. To say I struggled with these albums would be an understatement, but sadly not for the right reasons. Pre-conceptions and bias clouded the issue rather than any appraisal of the music. How could Toyah feature in a serious progressive rock Ezine? How might our readers view the inclusion of her material? Will I ever be taken seriously again? So when I say that each time one of these CD's found their way into my CD player, I was less than enamoured with the prospect of repeated listenings or even committing my time to evaluating the music. However mindful that the general view of progressive rock is surrounded by ignorance, bias and narrow-mindedness I delved into the music with (hopefully) a more open mind. 

Eventually and after much listening, I reached the conclusion that only one of the three albums contained enough "progressive elements" to be of possible interest to our readers - Ophelia's Shadow. I was mindful that it may be viewed that I had selected this album because much of it had been co-written with Robert Fripp, or that it featured fellow King Crimson bass man Trey Gunn and although I cannot discount this as a major factor, it was in fact the material that eventually made my decision - and yes it does sound very much like a King Crimson album albeit with female vocals. 

Robert Fripp's engaging and uniquely fluid guitar style, off beat rhythms are nicely counterbalanced by Toyah's voice. The arrangements although instantly recognisable are less aggressive than those employed in KC and again more suited to the Toyah's vocal tones. Toyah's voice works extremely well in the main, my only criticism is when it drifts back to those more commercial 80's phrasings as in Brilliant Day, Prospect and Lords Of The Never Known. Contrasting this would be the more fluid performance in Ophelia's Shadow, or the more theatrical vocals of The Women Who Had An Affair With Herself. Worth noting here that at the time of Ophelia's Shadow life was somewhat more settled and happier time for Ms Willcox, and this is reflected within the lyrics - gone is the anger of Prostitute, but drawing from her acting and literary skills the words still remain observant and thoughtful. 

As with any album that features the writing of Robert Fripp there is no way in which his influence can be disguised and it was therefore difficult to view this as a merely a Toyah solo release - and it does make you wonder whether this album was the pre-cursor to an ongoing 'live' and recording venture. If we add Trey Gunn and Paul Beavis into the melting pot this could well have been an extremely interesting project. 

The tracks that appealed least (mentioned above) were those which echoed back to the more commercial 80's vocal performances, with the possible exception of Homeward, with its more unique combination of styles - a funky Camel-like rhythm bordering on a 70's disco groove and with touches of KC's eccentricity. The strongest songs for me were the percussive Turning Tide, The Shamen Says and the title track Ophelia's Shadow. 

Briefly before concluding this review, mention of the other two CD's which arrived. The re-released Prostitute (1998) was a landmark album for Toyah full of pent up emotions and lyrically a savage backlash at those who were manipulating not only her career but also intruding upon her private life. Musically I found it to be very indicative of the 80's albeit without the usual crass commercial production and although two tracks were co-written with Robert Fripp I deemed it of little interest to our readers. The Velvet Lined Shell [EP] her latest offering brings us up to date and sees a maturity of writing style, commercial but with a distinct edge. Instantly recognisable as Toyah but a far cry from the singer I remember. Again the straightforward song structures and overall writing style suggested that this would be of minimal interest to DPRP readers. 

Ophelia's Shadow has not been available for quite some time, its re-release marks the return of a pair of albums to Toyah and as part of the "settlement between Robert Fripp and Virgin after a lengthy legal battle between Robert and his former label and management company - the label and Management company shared by Toyah". 

In conclusion, it could be all to easy to say that Ophelia's Shadow would mainly be of interest to King Crimson completists, but there is more to this album than just this. Granted a liking for the music of KC would be almost essential if you were to consider purchasing this CD, however, it is an album well worth investigating further. 

Conclusion: 7 out of 10 
Bob Mulvey 

Thanks to Mategra @ the Dreamscape Forum.