Archive for December, 2019

Merry Christmas from Dreamscape

December 24th, 2019

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Successful & Happy 2020.

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Christmas 2019: Day 24: Musical Milestones

December 24th, 2019

Christmas Eve 2012, Toyah guested on Marlow FM’s Musical Milestones on The Eclectic Light Show. She discussed her life and career and chose six songs along the way. As this aired on Christmas Eve and the station didn’t have a Listen Again function I recorded it and uploaded to Dreamscape a low quality mp3 of the 30-minute special. Click below to listen/download.

Christmas 2019: Day 23: Neil Tennant’s Smash Hits Christmas

December 23rd, 2019

Christmas 2012, BBC Radio 4 aired Neil Tennant’s Smash Hits Christmas on 20th December – a real festive pop treat for everyone who grew up in the 1980s. The programme was an interesting look back at the golden years of the UK’s biggest music magazine of the Eighties. Neil recalls the golden days of, the iconic, Smash Hits magazine, when he worked as a writer in their Carnaby Street office.

There were also contributions and memories from founder and legendary magazine maker Nick Logan, editors David Hepworth and Mark Ellen, writers Miranda Sawyer and Sylvia Patterson, and from regular Smash Hits cover girl, Toyah., talking about Smash Hits in general and her Brave New World cover from the Summer of 1982.

Neil Tennant had a life as a journalist before he became famous as a Pet Shop Boy. In fact, it was on a Smash Hits trip to New York that he had his big breakthrough with the record producer Bobby O. Also included is a rare recording from the 1982 Christmas Flexidisc (a message from the stars) and probably Neil Tennant’s first recording – the music for a trailer advertising Smash Hits stickers. (Producer: Susan Marling. A Just Radio Ltd. production for BBC Radio 4). The half-hour programme is no longer available at BBC iPlayer and has also been removed from You Tube. Maybe the BBC will, in their wisdom, one day repeat it.

Scene Sussex: Gig Report: Toyah Holds Court in Brighton!

December 22nd, 2019

Missed this great gig review, published in November by Scene Sussex. Here it is now:

Toyah holds court…
Tonight, Saturday 2 November 2019 saw Toyah visit Brighton to play in a new Brighton venue, Chalk. The weather had been awful all day with the Brighton Breeze racking up to 50 mph during the day. Toyah said she had been blown over as she got out of the car after a horrendous drive to Brighton. Those of us outside waiting for the doors to open watched the skies nervously as the rain today really meant business. Thankfully we got in still dry, others were not quite so lucky.

Toyah: The Set
Toyah took a leisurely stroll onto the stage, looking out into the fairly full venue. She was given an enthusiastically warm welcome from the Brighton crowd in this new Brighton venue. And with a huge smile on her face we were off. The first song was a new one and, all things considered, was pretty appropriate considering the weather outside, and couldn’t have been better chosen if you tried, Dancing In The Hurricane. Brilliant track from the new album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen, which is also the title of this tour. Toyahs band is made up of a guitarist, bass player, drums and keyboards. Dancing In The Hurricane had a great rock feel to it and gave the band a chance to warm it up.

• Continue reading at Scene Sussex.

Christmas 2019: Day 22: Pop Quiz Christmas Special

December 22nd, 2019

christmas2018aChristmas 1984, Toyah guested on the Pop Quiz Christmas Special on BBC1. The programme aired at 4.15pm on Christmas Eve.

This was the penultimate edition of the original Pop Quiz. There were four series, plus five specials, 48 episodes in total, with Toyah guesting four times. The final Pop Quiz Special aired a few days later on 28th December 1984. Though there have been a number of revivals since.

Pop Quiz was a British television quiz programme that originally aired on BBC1 from 4th July 1981 to 28th December 1984 with a Top of the Pops special on 4th January 1994 hosted by Mike Read. It was then revived from 21st May to 9th July 1994 on the same channel but this time hosted by Chris Tarrant (Toyah also guested on this series, alongside Pete Burns). It was revived again on Red TV from 14th June to 30th August 2008 with Mike Read returning as host. He also hosted two specials on BBC Four in December 2016 and January 2017.


One Artisan: Sculptured Pebbles

December 22nd, 2019

Pebble Seat
The Pebble seat is a stunning and practical garden feature. Arranged with smaller cast stone pebbles it echoes the seaside and when arranged with sculptural planting it creates a very contemporary feel. They are very tactile to touch and surprisingly comfortable.

“When I first saw Darren Rumley’s sculptures I was instantly transported to childhood memories on Lynmouth Beach and reminded of my fascination with pebbles in rock pools. To have such a large scale natural shape in either a traditional garden or a modern garden adds harmony and natural continuity, as well as draws the eye. we have found guests instantly want to interact with the giant pebbles, firstly by touch, then by sitting and talking around them.” TOYAH WILLCOX

• Continue reading at One Artisan.

Christmas TV: Toyah on Britain’s Favourite Christmas Carol

December 22nd, 2019

Toyah guested on last night’s Britain’s Favourite Christmas Carol, which aired on Channel 5. A very festive 90 minutes on the Saturday before Christmas. Here are a few screen caps.

Christmas 2019: Day 21: Birmingham Walk Of Stars

December 21st, 2019

christmas2018dChristmas 2016, Toyah attended a ceremony to be inducted into the Birmingham Walk Of Stars.

Toyah said: I am thrilled to be receiving a star on the Birmingham Walk of Stars. Having spent my childhood and teenage years in this great city, I developed my love of music and theatre here, thanks to all the great music venues and theatres available within the one city.

• See news on Toyah attending the Birmingham Walk Of Stars event here and here. (Photo © Birmingham Mail)


Caution Spoilers: Win Invasion Planet Earth DVD

December 21st, 2019

Competition Time! Your chance to win Invasion Planet Earth on DVD!

British sci-fi film Invasion Planet Earth comes to DVD on 30 December, and I have three copies to give away. Entering is really easy – see below for details and T&Cs (this is a UK-only competition).

The movie has been a 20-year labour of love for writer-director Simon Cox, who ended up crowdfunding some of its budget. In the film, our planet, already on the brink of a world war, is faced with an alien invasion. Cox has big ideas and he’s painting them on a huge canvas, with the action moving from London streets to Manhattan to space.

• Continue reading/Enter the competition at Caution Spoilers.

The Telegraph: What’s On TV This Weekend?

December 20th, 2019

Britain’s Favourite Christmas Carol
Channel 5, 6.50pm, Saturday
Countdown shows have fallen somewhat out of fashion since their 1990s heyday, but nobody has ever accused Channel 5 of being ahead of the curve. They’re continuing to resurrect the Saturday schedule-filler with this 90-minute injection of very light entertainment. Feel free to dip in and out of this countdown of the nation’s 20 best-loved Christmas carols that unspools in the usual fashion, by deploying famous(ish) faces to provide humorous or revealing commentary in between clips.

Those expressing their thoughts on Ding Dong Merrily on High et al include Toyah Willcox, radio presenter Katie Thistleton and DJ Pat Sharpe. But what may elevate this special is the addition of musical and historical experts – including Rev Canon Ann Easter, Chaplain to the Queen (no less) – to describe the musical innovations that make particular carols appealing, and to share surprising stories behind some of the classics.

Performances will come both from a raid on the television archives for memorable clips and from choirs nationwide. Of course, television countdowns are no more scientific than a poll of your friends at the pub, but this piece of televisual tinsel should at least put you in a festive mood.

Christmas 2019: Day 20: I Believe In Father Christmas

December 20th, 2019

Christmas 1982christmas14f, Toyah covers a 70’s Christmas classic! The build up to Christmas wouldn’t be complete at Dreamscape without this… I think I’ve mentioned I Believe in Father Christmas every December for the last 20 years, so here we go again…

Toyah covers the Greg Lake 1975 classic (which also features Robert Fripp, Toyah confirmed a few years ago on Toyah’s Christmas at the Zoo) for ITV’s Pop Goes Christmas in 1982. She sounds great, looks amazing and Keith Hale and Joel Bogen are having a right old festive time in the forest of lit up trees. Bravo!

Toyah on Christmas TV: Britain’s Favourite Christmas Carol

December 20th, 2019

Britain’s Favourite Christmas Carol: Saturday 21st December: Channel 5: 6.50pm
A countdown of the nation’s most beloved carols, as voted for by the British public. A cast of famous faces guide viewers through the results, giving their take on some of the most enduring songs ever written. In between the notes, a team of experts reveal the musical tricks, hidden histories and surprising stories behind these classic carols. Plus, a cast of community and professional choirs from across the UK perform the carols, alongside beloved performances from the TV archives.

Christmas 2019: Day 19: Festive-Related Releases

December 19th, 2019

Christmas 2019, and ochristmas14fnly 6 days until Christmas Day, why not download some, Christmas/festive-related, Toyah music/releases to help make the rest of the countdown more melodic.

1. I Believe In Father Christmas; Toyah’s version of the Greg Lake 70s festive classic (which was voted one of the greatest ever Christmas songs in a 2012 poll) has gathered quite a history over the years: It was originally recorded for ITV’s Pop Goes Christmas in 1982, Safari then included it on the Mayhem compilation album in 1985, and later it was also made available on the CD Live & More. At Christmas 2012 it was released as a digital single. Download at iTunes. 2.Winter In Wonderland; One year on and at Christmas 2013 there was another new digital single, make that an EP, for Christmas – Winter in Wonderland… Download at iTunes. 3. Has God Ceased To Dream You; Toyah released this four-song EP in December 2014 as a companion piece to the recently digitally released Take The Leap! album… Download at iTunes.


Toyah on Christmas TV: Quadrophenia – Our Generation

December 19th, 2019

Quadrophenia – Our Generation: Sky Arts: Friday 20th December: 0.00am
Quadrophenia – Our Generation: Sky Arts: New Year’s Day: 10pm
Celebrity fans and cast members come together to shed light on the making of Quadrophenia and explore the legacy that the cult film has left behind, 40 years after its release. (Photo © Sky Arts)

Christmas 2019: Day 18: Crimson Queen/Good Times

December 18th, 2019

Christmas 2008, Good Times magazine – published in the US – named In The Court Of The Crimson Queen their “CD Of The Year”.

I must devote some space to what is, for me, the event of the year, a new CD, “In The Court Of The Crimson Queen” by UK pop/rock icon Toyah. She’s been married to King Crimson founder/guitarist Robert Fripp since 1985, and the CD title is a play on Crimson’s ‘Court Of the Crimson King”, a late 60s timepiece. Let’s take a look, track by track.

• Read the full review, by Jimi LaLumia, here.

Toyah on Christmas TV: Toyah’s Sack The Stylist?! Top 30

December 18th, 2019

Toyah’s Sack The Stylist?! Top 30: NOW 80s: Monday 30th December: 11pm
Pop legend Toyah brings 30 memorable videos featuring a cavalcade of clothing calamities from superstars including Bowie, Madonna, Adam Ant and many more in this crazy countdown!

Christmas 2019: Day 17: Fanclub Christmas Cards

December 17th, 2019

Christmas 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984. In the early eighties Toyah’s Official Fanclub – Intergalactic Ranch House – sent out Christmas cards to subscribing members each December, with Toyah taking the time to sign each and every card, which numbered around 6,000 at the height of the fanclub’s popularity.

This tradition was carried on for an extra year, in 1984, when the Intergalactic Ranch House became simply the Toyah Fanclub after Toyah left Safari Records after five years and she signed to the CBS/Portrait Records.

All four cards featured photos of Toyah, showcasing great early eighties imagery and creating a unique set of fanclub memorabilia that became collector’s items.


Invasion Planet Earth: Dowmload Out Now!

December 17th, 2019

Invasion Planet Earth is now available to buy as a download across all digital platforms, including Sky Store, Amazon, iTunes, Virgin Media. The DVD is released on 30th December.

Christmas 2019: Day 16: Celebrity Mastermind

December 16th, 2019

Christmas 2018, Toyah became a Mastermind! She won Episode Two of Series 17 of Celebrity Mastermind, which aired on BBC1 on Saturday 22nd December.

John Humphrys puts four celebrities to the test in another episode of the classic quiz. Taking part are comedian Joe Pasquale, Newsround presenter Ricky Boleto, singer Toyah Willcox and Olympian Jeanette Kwakye. They answer questions on werewolf films, 1990s number one singles, Boudica and Disney animations.

Toyah on Christmas TV: 100 Greatest Musicals (Pt Two)

December 16th, 2019

The 100 Greatest Musicals: More4: Boxing Day: 12pm
Part Two, 50 – 1. Denise Van Outen concludes the rundown of viewers’ favourite musicals, counting down from 50 to number one. Featuring interviews with stars including Scott Baio (Bugsy Malone), Lee Curreri (Fame), Ron Moody (Oliver!) and Susan Sarandon (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), as well as directors, writers and producers including Randal Kleiser (Grease), Rob Marshall (Chicago), Alan Parker (Evita, Fame and Bugsy Malone) and Cameron Mackintosh and Willy Russell (Blood Brothers). Plus, Omar Sharif, Elaine Paige, Michael Ball, Claire Sweeney, Jonathan Wilkes and Miss Piggy are among the contributors who reveal the impact these musicals have had on their lives. Also airing on More4 +1 and HD.

Christmas 2019: Day 15: Once Upon A Christmas

December 15th, 2019

Christmas 1996, Toyah contributed a thoughtful festive recollection of Christmas Times past to the charity publication Once Upon A Christmas (Memories and Recipes From Your Favourite Celebrities). This book is now long out of print and unavailable.

In this delightful Christmas book, a host of our most popular and well-known celebrities from all walks of life have contributed stories, memories, recipes and thoughts about Christmas to make this the most irresistible festive anthology there is… Once Upon A Christmas will help to put – and keep – you in the Christmas spirit.

Toyah Willcox: Broadcaster and Singer

Childhood Christmasses were the most magical. It was the appearance of the Christmas tree that cued two weeks of sheer all-encompassing joy. I’m talking about being four years old. Just able to talk but unable to comprehend the hidden meanings of the words of wisdom from the giants, the adults…

• Continue reading Toyah’s Once Upon A Christmas contribution at Dreamscape’s Press Archive.