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Posts Tagged ‘Toyah40’

Happy Birthday: Sheep Farming in Barnet/At The Rainbow

February 22nd, 2019

It’s a double-whammy anniversary/birthday celebration today for two of Toyah’s legendary career landmarks! Sheep Farming in Barnet (the album rather than the AP) was released on this day in 1980, and Toyah played At The Rainbow on The College Tour this very evening in 1981…

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Toyah Music 40: Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! (1980)

February 17th, 2019

toyah40aneToyah’s debut live release was the Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! album issued on Safari Records in November 1980.

Recorded at a concert on 17th June 1980 – on the Ieya UK Tour – at the Lafayette Club in Wolverhampton, the concert was also filmed by ATV as part of the documentary TOYAH, which aired in the UK in December of that year.

A single was also released from the album, Danced (Live), backed with Neon Womb (Live). This was Toyah’s sole live single release.

Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! was released on CD in 1990 by the Great Expectations label (along with coloured vinyl and cassette) and a new remastered reissue Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! (Special Edition) CD was released in October 2006 on Cherry Red Records.

• See further info on Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! at Toyah’s Official Instagram and the album’s Wikipedia page.

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Visit Scotland: Toyah at Ivory Blacks, Glasgow

February 14th, 2019

tith19cThe multi-coloured coiffured actress/songstress.

Punk icon Toyah Willcox has just as much attitude now as she did when she burst on to the music scene in the 1980s with the hit singles ‘It’s A Mystery’, ‘I Wanna Be Free’, ‘IEYA’ and ‘Thunder In The Mountains’.She had previously appeared in the films Quadrophenia and Jubilee.

From punk princess to high priestess of TV, Toyah Willcox is a uniquely gifted performer. Charismatic, outspoken and impossible to categorise, she is one of Britain’s iconic household names – an award-winning rock legend as well as a much-loved actress and music composer.

This is a unique chance to experience Toyah with a full live band performing a set of her hit singles and classic songs.

• Continue reading at Visit Scotland. Tickets for all four of Toyah’s Scottish concert tour dates, Thunder In The Highlands, are available here.

Site Info: 1981 Gallery

February 12th, 2019

gallad19eIt’s the 1981 Gallery! It’s Anthem, it’s I Want To Be Free, it’s Thunder In The Mountains, it’s At The Rainbow, it’s Good Morning Universe, it’s the College Tour, it’s The Old Grey Whistle Test, and yes… It’s A Mystery!

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Toyah Music 40: Ieya Tour (1980)

February 8th, 2019

toyah40aneFollowing The Resurrection Tour (1979), Sheep Farming In Barnet Tour (1979) and Bird In Flight Tour (1980) Toyah again hit the road, for the fourth time in just 18 months, for the Ieya Tour in the Spring and early Summer of 1980. The tour promoted the new album The Blue Meaning.

The band line-up was Toyah (Vocals), Joel Bogen (Guitar), Charlie Francis (Bass Guitar), Steve Bray (Drums), Pete Bush (Keyboards).

The Ieya Tour began at Tiffany’s, Glasgow on 25th May and culminated at Wolverhampton’s Lafayette Club on 17th June. A gig that was filmed and recorded for inclusion in the ATV documentary TOYAH, and the related live album Toyah! Toyah! Toyah!

The tour was an eventful one, with tales of water-pistol fights, Toyah injuring her ankle at Ruffles, Aberdeen, and even fans helping build the stage for the date at Bristol’s Factory. The largest gig of the month-long tour was at The Lyceum, London.

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Site Info: 1980 Gallery

February 6th, 2019

gallad19bBird in Flight, Ieya, The Blue Meaning, Sugar & Spice, The Old Grey Whistle Test, The Ieya Tour, Toyah! Toyah! Toyah!, ATV documentary… 1980 was a great Toyah year! Visit the 1980 Gallery by clicking below.

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Toyah Music 40: The Blue Meaning (1980)

February 4th, 2019

toyah40aneToyah’s debut studio album, The Blue Meaning, was released in June 1980. There has always been a degree of confusion regarding this as Sheep Farming In Barnet was, obviously, released first but that album is a compilation. Not that these details matter as both albums are incredible, accomplished collections of recordings.

The Blue Meaning was recorded during April 1980 at Parkgate Studios in Battle, East Sussex and mixed at Marquee Studios, London: The band line-up was Toyah Willcox – Verbals & Unusual Sounds, Joel Bogen – Guitar, Pete Bush – Keyboards, Trumpet, Charlie Francis – Bass Guitar, Steve Bray – Drums. All songs were written by the Toyah band, and the album was produced by Steve James and Toyah. James also engineered and mixed the album with Perry Morgan as Assistant Engineer.

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The album was released while the band travelled the UK on the Ieya Tour. Promotion for The Blue Meaning was “multi-media”, an idea that was a fairly new concept in 1980 but something Toyah was interested in and had mentioned previously in interviews.

Aside from the month-long UK tour there were television appearances by Toyah and the band – mostly regional – including Granada Reports in the North West, and Straight Talk in the Midlands. Press ads ran in most of the major music press and Toyah was interviewed by NME, Sounds, Zig Zag, Record Mirror, Time Out, Fab and Smash Hits. Some of these also reviewed the album.

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An innovative and interesting aspect of the promotion for The Blue Meaning was a series of in-store appearances at various Woolworth stores, with Toyah meeting fans and signing the album and single(s).

The Blue Meaning was first released on CD in 1990 by the Great Expectations label, along with a cassette and coloured vinyl. There was also a 2CD set in 2002 by Safari Records (with bonus songs and new sleeve notes) which saw the album coupled with Sheep Farming In Barnet.

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The Blue Meaning peaked at number 40 on the UK Album chart upon its release and in retrospect is viewed as a crucial part of Toyah’s mighty 40-year discography. A pop-punk-gothy mix of mayhem, magic and magnificent music. A classic!

• See further info on The Blue Meaning at Toyah’s Official Instagram and the album’s Wikipedia page.

Site Info: 1984/85 Gallery

February 4th, 2019

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Somewhere In The Distance: Classic Toyah Interviews

February 4th, 2019

Toyah has always been a great interviewee – Click below for a page of classic Toyah interviews!

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Toyah Music 40: Ieya (1980/82)

February 3rd, 2019

toyah40aneIeya, Toyah’s fourth single, was released in June 1980. The song has become one of the cornerstones of Toyah’s music career. Ieya began its extraordinary life as a soundcheck jam:

A lot of my band were Jewish, and we all found it particularly offensive that the NF would recruit at concerts – they’d go around the audience intimidating the youngest, the smallest, the scrawniest boys into joining the NF By the end of this concert in Bath, the NF were chanting ‘Sieg heil’ at the back. Charlie Francis, our bass-player, found this intolerable, and Joel kept taking his guitar off to go and beat them up, which we all had to stop him from doing. Instead we just shouted back ‘Nazi scum’ and got the audience to chant ‘Nazi scum’. For the fourth encore, all we could think of doing was something that had started as a jam in the sound-check that day, which was ‘IEYA’. It was a sequence of chords that grew, so every verse had more chords added to it, and it had a fantastically simple chorus, a chant, ‘IEYA’. ‘IEYA, I am solar, IEYA I’m the beast.’

Ieya was re-recorded and re-released as a single in 1982. The song is almost always played during a Toyah gig, often during the encore. Ieya was written by Willcox/Bogen/Bush. Browse the full history of the song at Wikipedia.

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Toyah Music 40: The Resurrection ’79 Tour

January 27th, 2019

toyah40aneToyah made her first live appearance on New Year’s Eve 1977, fronting Ninth Illusion in Swiss Cottage, London. There were only two gigs under this name.

Rechristened TOYAH, their first gig was at Finchley Christ College Disco in April 1978, followed by a string of dates through the rest of that year.

The debut TOYAH tour was The Resurrection ’79 Tour, starting on 27th March 1979, at London Dingwalls, playing 12 dates throughout the UK in March and April.

The Resurrection ’79 Tour played a number of legendary live venues: Factory, Manchester, Eric’s in Liverpool, Tiffany’s in Edinburgh and Music Machine, Camden. The line up was: Toyah (Vocals), Joel Bogen (Guitar), Mark Henry (Bass), Steve Bray (Drums), Pete Bush (Keyboards).

Official Toyah: First Front Cover/Look! Hear!

January 24th, 2019

Look! Hear! and Toyah’s 1979 Record Mirror cover – 40th music – anniversary updates this week at the Official Toyah Instagram and Twitter…

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Toyah Music 40: Sheep Farming In Barnet (EP/AP)

January 24th, 2019

toyah40aneToyah’s second single, the Sheep Farming In Barnet (EP/AP), was released in July 1979. The traditional EP contained four songs, Safari Records wanted to differentiate from that format and decided to release SIX songs on one single (a mini album really). This was the first, and last, AP release. Tracks were: A. Neon Womb, Indecision, Waiting; B. Our Movie, Danced, Last Goodbye.

The band members were Pete Bush: Keyboards, Mark Henry: Bass, Joel Bogen: Guitar, Steve Bray: Drums, Toyah Willcox: Verbals. As with the debut single, this was a huge hit on the UK indie chart, and also increased the band’s, already growing, popularity in other parts of Europe. The, now iconic, cover shot for the single was taken at the RAF Fylingdales radar station near Whitby in Yorkshire. Unfortunately, the “golf balls” were demolished in the mid 1980′s.

Toyah Music 40: Victims Of The Riddle

January 18th, 2019

toyah40aneToyah’s debut single Victims Of The Riddle was released in April 1979. A brave choice as the first release as it was hardly a commercial sounding, radio friendly, song. The single reached number one on the Indie Chart in the UK and spent many months of 1979 there.

The sleeve featured an intentionally disturbing image. At the time of release few knew the gruesome story behind the photo and assumed it was a doll. Victims Of The Riddle was also released later in Spain, with the far more appealing Sheep Farming In Barnet artwork. The beginning of an amazing music career and a brave choice to get started with.

Toyah Music 40: Toyah Sign To Safari Records

January 18th, 2019

toyah40aneSafari Records’ late 70s/early 80s timeline of Toyah dates the band signing to the label as January 1979, though their “Our History” implies it may have been late 1978:

In 1978 a Melody Maker postage stamp picture of Toyah together with a small but glowing review of one of the very few gigs that her band had ever played led us to a leaky rehearsal space under Waterloo Bridge, where we saw the band and they signed with Safari who then were pleasantly surprised to learn of Toyah Willcox, actress, her performances in The Corn is Green (starring Katherine Hepburn), Jubilee, Quadrophenia and her current casting as Miranda in Derek Jarman’s forthcoming The Tempest.