Toyah's return to Wolverhampton (well Bilston if we are being accurate) with her Changeling Resurrection tour was always going to be a special date for her strong army of Midlands admirers. Looking around the room and the amount of Toyah T-shirts in attendence was proof enough that the faithful were in town, and I have to say as a forty-something even I was feeling quite youthful looking around at some of the audience !!!

Andi Fraggs proved great as Toyah's official tour support emerging as one of the 'Sisterhood Of Khan' (classic Doctor Who fans will get the reference) and proceeding to don a different look for each of the songs he performed. A promising talent indeed.

Another three bands followed (two excellent, one dreadful) before it was time for The Changeling to emerge... As ever with Toyah she gave 110% to the night from the opening 'Good Morning Universe' to the closing riot of 'IEYA' (what else ?). But of course it was in celebration of The Changeling album and it's live sister Warrior Rock, that we had come to hail. I have to confess, and will probably be pelted with stones by Toyah-holics everywhere, by saying The Changeling is far from my favourite Toyah LP - oh blimey, that dates me - and yet it's dark tales of psychological terror and pacts with the devil were played to death in 1982 to such an extent that every word of each song recreated came back to me instantly. I was lucky enough to see the Warrior Rock tour back then as well, so nostalgia washed over me with every song. I never thought 'Creepy Room' would work in a concert setting, but I was proved totally wrong. It's powerful imagery acted out by Miss Willcox made it a real treat.

The sheer theatre of 'The Packt' sent shivers up my spine, hadn't listened to it for so long and had forgotten just what an amazing rock tour de force it is. Chris Wong's guitar of course ringing out through the night in a series of impressive solos. The 'Brave New World' had everybody singing along, clearly revelling in both the plaintive song and the unforgettable imagery of perhaps Toyah's finest pop video. Not only did we get a good portion of The Changeling, but also 50% of Anthem for our money. 'Demolition Men' and 'We Are' being particularly effective.

Naturally 'Thunder', 'Mystery' and 'Free' brought roars of approval and the usual community singing. But as ever for me certainly, 'Neon Womb' and 'Bird In Flight' were perhaps two of the most enjoyable songs of the evening demonstrating the Bogen / Willcox song writing at it's most fresh and vibrant.

Toyah is in much better voice than she was in the early eighties, strong still in both head and chest areas with notes reached easily in a large range, and the band is certainly worthy of mention, even if the sound mix moved towards distortion on some songs. So with the rest of the year taken up with more Changeling Resurrection, what next ?

Fans are already looking at next year to continue the popular concert series. It's no secret that the 1983 album is by far my favourite - and Andi Fraggs too as it turns out - and the songs have rarely been performed since then. I can only imagine the same faithful followers would be as happy hearing 'Broken Diamonds' and 'Martian Cowboy' as they have 'Dawn Chorus' and 'Castaways' on the current tour.

Message to Miss Willcox: 2013 - Love Is Still The Law !


Thanks to Rob Cope | Visit Toyah.Net's 'The Changeling Resurrection' gallery | All photos on this page PAC Photography

 

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