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Yorkshire Post: Toyah On Her 40-Year Career

April 5th, 2020

Toyah Willcox, the high priestess of punk, on her 40-year career

Toyah Willcox has forged a reputation as a talented actress, singer/songwriter, producer, storyteller, television presenter and author during a career that spans four decades.

Toyah has teamed up with Hazel O’Connor for a new show due in Yorkshire later this year.

Arguably one of the most prolific artists of her generation, her creativity remains undimmed. And now, in homage to post-punk and new wave music, the star has teamed up with Hazel O’Connor for a new show, aptly named Electric Ladies Of the Eighties, due in Yorkshire later this year, all things being well by then.

So where did the idea for the show come from? “This is something Hazel and I have been planning for 40 years. Ironically, we’d both been too busy doing other things so this is the first time we’ve ever actually toured together in this way, so we’re both very excited,” says Willcox.

“Hazel will be performing Breaking Glass and I’ll do Quadrophenia so there’s a lot of material that the audience will be very familiar with. We’ll be inviting everyone to join in and sing along with their favourite songs. It’s going to be one of those shows that is warm, welcoming with lots of great music and a real feel good factor.”

• Continue reading at The Yorkshire Post. See the full Electric Ladies Of The 80s tour dates.

Radio: BBC Northampton – Toyah Interview

March 11th, 2020

Toyah was interviewed on Bernie Keith’s BBC Radio Northampton show yesterday. Talking the Toyah Solo box set, the new colour vinyl albums, Hazel O’Connor, her music collection, the Electric Ladies tour and much more.

• Toyah’s interview begins around 2hr 37m into the show and is available for the next four weeks at BBC Sounds. Read a full transcript of this interview here. (Thanks Min)

Radio: BBC Hereford & Worcester – Toyah Interview

March 8th, 2020

Toyah guested on Tammy Gooding’s show on BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester on Tuesday afternoon.

Chatting about Hazel O’Connor, touring, Electric Ladies, future releases for 2020, making movies (including, soon to released, To Be Someone which has many of the Quadrophenia cast in but is “not Quadrophenia Two“), Kate Bush and more.

“We smuggled Kate Bush in to Pershore!”
Pershore’s punk rock legend Toyah Willcox catches up with our Tammy Gooding, talking the joys of living a secret life in Worcestershire and the moments that made her music what it is.

• Toyah’s interview has been made available as a seperate clip at the BBC website. Listen here.

Site News: Press Archive

March 8th, 2020

In my spare time I’m slowly regenerating this website. The Features section has recently been updated (with more to follow) and currently the Press Archive is having a much needed overhaul. It’s taking a while as there are tons of past Toyah press interviews and articles in there.

Radio: BBC Radio Solent: Alex Dyke’s Wall Of Sound

March 4th, 2020

Toyah guested on Alex Dyke’s Wall of Sound on BBC Radio Solent yesterday, talking about the Electric Ladies Of The 80s Tour, Toyah Solo, career longevity and more. It’s A Mystery and Thunder In The Mountains were also played at either end of the chat.

Toyah Willcox: Alex chats to Toyah about her upcoming show in Wimborne

• Toyah’s interview begins around 39m into the show and is available for the next four weeks at BBC Sounds.

Radio Catch-Up: BBC York Interview @ Sounds

February 14th, 2020

Toyah guested on Adam Tomlinson and Anna Wallace’s BBC Radio York show late last month (22nd January), talking about her career, punk, autism, playing an Acoustic, Up Close & Personal gig at Selby Town Hall (21st February, Sold Out), making movies, being ridiculously busy all year and much more.

Special guest Toyah (22/01/2020) Toyah talks to Adam ahead of her performance at Selby Town Hall.

• Toyah’s interview begins around 2hr 14m into the show and is divided into a couple of segments. The show is available for just the next 7 days at BBC Sounds.

Radio Catch-Up: BBC Wiltshire Interview @ Sounds

February 14th, 2020

Toyah guested on Su Davies show on BBC Radio Wiltshire on Saturday (8th February), talking the Electric Ladies Of The 80s tour, Hazel O’Connor (“How well do you know Hazel, Toyah Willcox…?“), the Eighties, big hair and much more. There were also plays of I Want To Be Free and It’s A Mystery.

Toyah – Sue’s joined by singer and presenter Toyah Willcox ahead of her visit to Wiltshire.

• Toyah’s interview begins around 1hr 14m into the show and is divided into two segments. The show is available to listen to for the next 23 days at BBC Sounds.

Livingston Ledger: New Toyah Q&A/Interview

December 9th, 2019

Toyah Willcox answers our most probing questions

People expect me to be tall after seeing me with that big hair‘: Toyah Willcox gives her definitive answers to our most probing questions

We ask a celebrity a set of devilishly probing questions – and only accept THE definitive answer. This week it’s actress and singer Toyah Willcox’s turn

The prized possession you value above all others… My notebooks. I think very fast and visually and I have to write down an idea right away or it will be lost forever.

The biggest regret you wish you could amend… Not learning the piano and guitar when I was really young. The height of a child’s learning is before ten, so I missed out.

• Continue reading at the Livingston Ledger.

Leicester Mercury: Toyah Interview – ‘My Voice is Fantastic’

November 17th, 2019

Toyah was interviewed in the print edition of Friday’s Leicester Mercury. Here’s the full article:

Let’s Rock: The Winter Retro Tour is heading to Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham and among the line-up are 80s headliners Toyah and Dr and the Medics. Helen Barnes caught up with both of them

With a career spanning more than 40 years, 61-year-old Toyah Willcox is making the most of her voice being in “fantastic” form.

What’s so great about Let’s Rock? It’s one of those fantastic events where it’s a real party atmosphere – because every song you get, everyone knows. The audience can dance and sing along – it’s about them and their memories too. I think 80s music has a real narrative to it, a story to it, and people identify their lives with it. I think all of that brings an audience together – and let’s not forget it’s Christmas!

Will you be singing any Christmas songs yourself? Absolutely! We are all doing our hits and then doing Christmas songs, so the finale will be a big Christmas finale where we will all be on stage together. It’s really very exciting, as the line-up is stunning – which is why I love doing them. You’re always working with people you admire and have followed for 40 years.

Who are your favourite 80s artists then? Well, I love Talk Talk and Depeche Mode too – I absolutely adore their music still and find it very uplifting. It has transcended the decade. I’ve also just been travelling around the world with Marc Almond and he is so much fun. Every song in his set is groundbreaking because at the time his music came out, the world was changing but hadn’t yet changed. Marc is one of the people that changed the world and music is just fabulous – I always stay behind to watch his sets when we are working together!

What’s the best thing you’ve discovered since turning 60? I think there’s an independence that comes with your 60s. I’m starting to just clear my life of of everything that’s niggly and doesn’t work – and that’s usually to do with bureaucracy. I am clearing my desk of the unnecessary, without any form of guilt and just looking for things that are fulfilling. I think when you hit your 60s and realise that you’ve done your best, that’s all that matters.

Which has been your favourite hair colour over the years? The only colour available back then was a vegetable dye called Crazy Colour – today the colours are much more sophisticated. I think I just loved the orange and cerise pink together; It was so vibrant that no matter how you felt, as soon as you looked in the mirror, it was like a cup of coffee!

Have you had any hair disasters? Early on, in the punk days, my hair was crimson red, and I remember standing at a bus stop; There was a deluge and I was without an umbrella. People were just staring at me with concern on their faces. It really didn’t look good – it looked like I’d been attacked.

You’ve done tons of TV presenting, what are you more confortable doing these days – presenting, acting or singing? At the moment my voice is fantastic, so I’m honouring that and this year I’ve done a hell of a lot of concerts and next year is fully booked, but I will only do that whilst I feel I can be 100 percent. I feel grateful that here I am at 61 and I can do it. Work for me is 99 percent of who I am. I’ve never felt like a home bird or a family orientated person, so it’s all incredibly important to me.

What have you got planned for next year? Well, eight re-releases of my album – I have a very good relationship with my record company, and I have a box set coming out. I’m touring with Hazel O’Connor and then doing all the Let’s Rocks, so it’s a very busy year.

As a mummy of young children, I heard you daily on Teletubbies! How did that come about? I am friends with the creator and she just asked me to come in and read the start and end, ast the narrator. It literally took me about 30 seconds to do, but “Over the hills and far away, Teletubbies some out to play” and “The sun is setting in the sky, the Teletubbies say goodbye” are probably the most famous two lines I have ever said, in the history of entertainment!

My eldest shares the same birthday as you, May 18th. On that day, this year he was blowing out eight candles and eating a football themed cake. What were you doing? Well, I have a home in France, and I was there with my husband. We’re right by the sea so we were probably eating sea bass, caught that morning, with some wonderful French vegetables. I’m a bit of a sensible eater. To completely contradict what I’ve just said, we would have gone and had ice cream after – and lots of it!

Your name is unusual – I have never come across another Toyah. Did you come across any others when growing up? No, not at all. I think you will find that the Toyahs that exist are all younger than me, so named after me. It has now become quite popular.

You’ve spoken before about your childhood and being bullied. Were you ever tempted to get back in touch with them once you became famous? A lot have been in touch with me. I did have one quite serious connection from someone who abused me at school and wrote to me – she was so distressed by what she did to me that she had been in therapy all her life. She asked if I could forgive her and I said I never even think about it. It may have formed who I am, but I don’t give it any thought. I live in the present. I’m a pretty tough cookie and even though I hated every minute of school, I’m a survivor.

The Argus: Punk Or Dinosaur? Toyah Willcox Is Still A Rebel

October 18th, 2019

Toyah Willcox, the high priestess of punk, is looking forward to returning to the “hot steamy” gigs of her youth.

She is playing a gig at Brighton’s Chalk Live – formerly The Haunt – on November 2 and thinks it will be a blast. “I’m very fond of Brighton,” she said. “When I came here in the Sixties it was a quiet sleepy seaside town, slightly invaded by hippy culture.

“What I like about the venue we’re playing is it goes right back to the punk days, it’s a hot, steamy, stand-up venue, it goes back to the punk ethos.”

Toyah, actress, author and rebel, was a key part of the Seventies/Eighties’ punk scene and starred in cult films Quadrophenia and seminal punk epic Jubilee. Now 61, she was born in Birmingham to a family she describes as remarkable and recalls the potential privilege of her childhood – her grandfather built many of the city’s landmarks.

Despite that, she calls herself the “child from hell” and says she had a violent relationship with her mother.

• Continue reading at The Argus.

BBC Hereford & Worcester: Would You Rather

October 18th, 2019

Toyah plays 80s “Would You Rather” with Tammy Gooding, which ones would you choose? Click below to listen to the short clip at Facebook.

Bang Showbiz: Quadrophenia 40 Years On!

September 19th, 2019

Phil Daniels, Toyah Willcox, Trevor Laird and Mark Wingett talk Quadrophenia 40 years on!

The Express: The Secret To A 30 Year Marriage Is

September 3rd, 2019

The Independent recently interviewed Robert Fripp and The Express have published an article of cherry-picked quotes from the piece:

Toyah Willcox husband: The secret to 30 year marriage is separate HOUSES – and naughty sex

TOYAH WILLCOX has revealed the secret to her happy marriage is separate houses – as well as plenty of naughty sex.

Toyah Willcox is a four time Brit Award nominated singer who has had eight Top 40 singles and released more than 20 albums. The 61-year-old musician from Birimingham is also an author and actress, having written two books and appeared in more than 40 stage plays and 10 films – and now she will compete on BBC’s Pointless Celebrities. She married guitarist Robert Fripp, known for position in progressive rock band King Crimson, in 1986 – but why has Toyah said the secret to marital bliss is separate houses, and ‘very naughty’ sex?

Toyah Willcox, 61, has had a very lengthy career, since fronting band Toyah in 1983, before embarking on a solo career.

As a singer, songwriter, and actor, she has achieved many accolades, but one of her happiest achievements was meeting her husband Robert Fripp. The couple met at a charity lunch, first in 1983 and then in 1985.

Speaking to the Independent, he said: “My life really began when I met this little creature and she became my wife. It was like an arranged marriage. We didn’t know each other, but it was perfectly clear to me within a week of knowing Toyah that she was the woman I wanted to be my wife – just as I knew within a fairly short time of having a guitar in my hands at the age of 11 that this was going to be my life. We got to know each other within the commitments and vows of marriage.”

• Continue reading at The Express.

Let’s Talk: The Creative Powerhouse That Is Toyah

August 29th, 2019

Catching up… Toyah is the cover star of the August issue of Let’s Talk magazine, with a great three-page interview feature inside.

Age is just a concept to Toyah as she celebrates 40 years in music

As Toyah Willcox celebrates more than 40 years as a top music draw with a performance at Holt Festival, she tells Rachel Banham about her show, why she belives that age is just a concept and how a Norfolk beach is one of her favourite places in the world.

“I’ve had a new album out this year called In The Court Of The Crimson Queen which has has national radio play, so we’re featuring the new material, but we also do the hits as well so the hits like It’s A Mystery, Good Morning Universe. I Want To Be Free, Thunder In The Mountains.. there are quite a few,” she says.

“I could actually just do the whole set of singles! It’s very high. So everyone is welcome.”

NB: Let’s Talk is a lifestyle magazine covering East Anglia, from North Essex to the “bump” that is the north Norfolk coast.

• Let’s Talk magazine is on sale now, in the aforementioned areas above, as well as online.

You Magazine: Where Were You When

July 16th, 2019

Where Were You When: Ziggy Stardust made his TV debut

David Bowie’s performance of ‘Starman’ was out of this world, recalls singer Toyah Willcox.

I was born in Birmingham in 1958. My life was quite conventional by today’s standards: I went to an all-girls school, ate with my family twice a day at a dining table and wasn’t allowed to speak unless spoken to. Men led the households and were affectionately known as ‘blokes’.

Then the singer Marc Bolan came along with T Rex in 1970, strutting his stuff to ‘Ride a White Swan’. He was clearly in touch with his feminine side but was very palatable to look at. While my brother scoffed at Bolan’s satin trousers, I sneaked off from school to see him on stage – and fell in love with rock ’n’ roll.

My adolescence was completely normal until an afternoon in June 1972, when I was 14. After coming back from school, I turned on the TV to see who was singing on Lift Off With Ayshea, a music show on ITV. I was expecting Slade, Bolan, Dana, maybe Val Doonican – but instead, there was David Bowie singing ‘Starman’, in his television debut as Ziggy Stardust. It derailed me completely.

• Continue reading at You Magazine.

C86 Show – Indie Pop: Toyah Willcox Special

July 16th, 2019

Toyah Special – talking about her life in music and much much more

Toyah musician, singer, songwriter, actress, producer and author. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Willcox has had 8 Top 40 singles, released over 20 albums, written two books, appeared in over 40 stage plays and 10 feature films, and voiced and presented numerous television shows.

Between 1977 and 1983 she fronted the band Toyah, before embarking on a solo career in the mid-1980s. At the 1982 BPI/Brit Awards Toyah was nominated for British Breakthrough Act, which The Human League won and Best Female Solo Artist which Randy Crawford won.

Toyah was nominated a further two times in this category in 1983, which Kim Wilde won and in 1984, which Annie Lennox won. Her biggest hits include “It’s a Mystery”, “Thunder in the Mountains” and “I Want to Be Free”.

Toyah continues to tour both with her full band and also with an acoustic line-up for her “Up Close And Personal” shows. In 2018 Toyah toured her #Toyah60 show, which marked her sixtieth birthday and fortieth year in music. This was accompanied by the release of her Four From Toyah- Birthday Edition EP of new material, which charted highly in the digital charts.

In 2019 Toyah charted at #74 in the UK album charts with a re-issue of her 2008 album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen. It also peaked at #22 on the Official Charts Company’s sales chart and #7 in the independent chart. This was Toyah’s first appearance in the British album charts since ‘Minx’ in 1985.

• Continue reading/Listen to the audio interview at C86 Show.

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Irish Examiner: Toyah on 40 Years in Showbusiness

June 28th, 2019

The High Priestess of Punk on 40 years in showbusiness ahead of Irish gig

Always the high priestess of punk Toyah Willcox has achieved a lot in four decades. Now at the age of 60 she still enjoys ‘living out loud’ — and makes no apologies for it, writes Lorraine Wylie

In four decades, she’s released more than 20 albums, written two books, appeared in 10 feature films and over 40 stage plays. She’s also presented a number of TV shows.

But to die-hard music fans, Toyah Willcox will always be ‘The High priestess of punk.’ Between 1979 and 1981, she released three albums, Sheep Farming in Barnet The Blue Meaning and Anthem.

The latter hit the musical jackpot and as well as spawning hits such as ‘I Want to Be Free’ and ‘It’s A Mystery,’ went on to earn her a gold disc. Now, she’s ready to showcase her latest collection, ‘In the Court of the Crimson Queen,’ described as ‘a rally cry to forever living out loud.’ Ahead of her performance at the Forever Young Festival in Naas, I caught up with Toyah who told me why, at 60, she still enjoys ‘living out loud’ “I think 60 is a great age,” she tells me.

• Continue reading at the Irish Examiner.

Daily Mail: Toyah – My Life Through A Lens

June 16th, 2019

My life through a lens: Singer and actress Toyah Willcox, 61, reveals the stories behind her favourite snaps

Celebrities share the stories behind their favourite photographs. This week it’s singer and actress Toyah Willcox, 61

1960: I love this picture of me at home in Birmingham. I’m naturally bossy and independent, and even then, aged about two, I had attitude. I never identified with being female and would physically fight my mother, Barbara, if she tried to put dresses on me. I wanted to play war and used to climb mountains and jump off cliffs. I was always hurting myself by doing idiotic things, which upset Mum a lot

1978: When I auditioned for the part of Bessie Watty in the film The Corn Is Green, I hid my bright-pink punk hair under a wig. But when I was cast and returned without it, the director wasn’t best pleased. Katharine Hepburn was the film’s main star. She would run her fingers through my hair and say, ‘I wish I could have done this at your age.’

• Continue reading, and see some great photos, at the Daily Mail.

Radio: Richard Green/BBC Radio Devon

June 10th, 2019

Toyah guested on Richard Green’s show on BBC Radio Devon on Saturday

Jason Donovan, Toyah, and Hamish Stuart of the Average White Band join Richard for a chat!.

• Listen to the show online at BBC Sounds for the next four weeks.

Toyah on the Radio: BBC Solent – Alex Dyke/The Wall Of Sound

May 23rd, 2019

BBC Radio Solent’s Alex Dyke will welcome Toyah as a guest this afternoon on his show, The Wall Of Sound. The programme airs for three hours from 1pm.

The Wall Of Sound: BBC Radio Solent: Thursday 23rd May: 1pm
With 80’s star Toyah, ahead of her appearance at the Theatre Royal in Winchester.

• Listen online at BBC Radio Solent’s website or at BBC Sounds post-airing.

Toyah on the Radio: Highly Rated on Scala Radio

May 10th, 2019

Toyah guests on Penny Smith’s Highly Rated show on Radio Scala, airing at 7pm this evening.

Highly Rated: Scala Radio: Friday 10th May: 7pm
Join Penny Smith every Friday from 7-8pm for Highly Rated, Scala Radio’s roundtable show, in which guests select their cultural recommendations for the week ahead.

On tonight’s Highly Rated Penny Smith is joined by TV critic Emma Bullimore & pop icon Toyah.

Listen from 7pm to hear their cultural highlights alongside some great pieces which include a track from next week’s Album Of The Week by The Sixteen!

• Scala Radio is available on DAB digital radio, app, online and smart speaker, and is also now on Sky TV, channel 0216 – Full details of how to listen are availabe here. (Photo © Scala Radio)