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Toyah Willcox: On Record | In Conversation

May 13th, 2022

Toyah Willcox | On Record | In Conversation
Season 1, Episode 7

Broadcaster Satnam Rana and Journalist Adrian Goldberg present twenty-two conversations with Birmingham musicians, promoters, managers, venue owners and entrepreneurs who have all contributed to local, national, and international music culture. Join us and our special guests for conversations about their lives in music, their connections to the city, and how Birmingham has inspired or influenced them, personally and musically.

Selected dates also feature free live performances from the artists appearing On Record. The first of its kind, On Record is a multi-artist, multi-genre concept album forming a sonic love letter to the city of Birmingham. Produced as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, the eleven-track album will be available on a limited vinyl release and across all streaming platforms.

From her early days as a Birmingham punk to the recent internet phenomenon of Toyah and Robert’s Sunday Lunch, Toyah Willcox has become an award-winning rock legend as well as a much-loved actress, and music composer. In this episode Satnam Rana digs deep into Toyah’s enduring career, what influences and drives her. And what a career!

Toyah has amassed thirteen top 40 singles, recorded twenty-five albums, written two books, appeared in over forty stage plays, acted in over twenty feature films, including Derek Jarman’s seminal punk epic, Jubilee, and presented hundreds of TV programmes in her own charismatic, outspoken, and impossible to categorise way. She released Posh Pop, her first solo studio album since 2008, in August 2021.

Listen to Toyah Willcox: On Record | In Conversation.

Round & About: Star Q&A: Toyah Willcox

April 30th, 2022

Musician Toyah Willcox, who turns 64 this month, shares her excitement for a summer of festivals, including Let’s Rock where she is set to star…

Hello! Given the past two years, do you think 2022 could be the most joyous ever?
“2022 will be joyous – the artists have missed the audience and the audience have missed the artists. It’s going to be one big party. Let’s Rock is very special because not only are there back-to-back acts all day who are brilliant and iconic, but also the atmosphere is so friendly and family-orientated. You can look out over an audience and sometimes see three generations of the same family. They are a joyous community with one thing in common – they all love the 1980s! I love performing with the Let’s Rock band (sensationally good musicians). We also get to see the friends we’ve been performing with for decades… for 40 years.”

Q. Are there any other performers you’re looking forward to seeing?
“I always end up on the same plane and same hotel as Chesney Hawkes, all over the world… Somehow fate brings us together and we have a scream. Chesney lives in the States, I live in the UK, but we walk into the same room in the oddest places and say ‘What are you doing here?!”’

• Continue reading at Round & About.

Birmingham Post: Pop Back In Time

April 30th, 2022

Toyah was interviewed this week by the Birmingham Post, in a joint feature with other 80s musicians. Here are a few quotes from the article.

Toyah is part of an all-star Let’s Rock cast of 80s pop artists. Martin Fry and Mark White of ABC. Pauline Black of The Selector. Electro pop pioneers OMD and Level 42’s Mark King.

Flame haired singer Toyah Willcox was a Top Of The Pops regular through the 1980s

“Top Of The Pops was an event, every time,” she says. “It’s a show I used to watch with my family and to actually be on it was an honour.”

“I worked and I worked and I worked and I worked – there was no time for celebration.”

“A hit meant more work and more work; the management kept us going 24/7. The excitement knowing I was at number four in the charts with Four From Toyah/It’s A Mystery was immense. That alone was a celebration. I’d toured five years solidly for that success so, when it came I kept working.”

B:Music: On Record: In Conversation with Toyah Willcox

March 3rd, 2022

Justham Family Room & Jane How Room
On Record: In Conversation with Toyah Willcox
Thursday 05 May 2022 | 7.30pm

About On Record: In Conversation with Toyah Willcox
Steel Pulse bassist Amlak Tafari and broadcaster Satnam Rana present twenty-two conversations with Birmingham musicians, promoters, managers, venue owners and entrepreneurs who have all contributed to local, national, and international music culture. Join us and our special guests for conversations about their lives in music, their connections to the city, and how Birmingham has inspired or influenced them, personally and musically.

Selected dates also feature free live performances from the artists appearing On Record. The first of its kind, On Record is a multi-artist, multi-genre concept album forming a sonic love letter to the city of Birmingham. Produced as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, the eleven-track album will be available on a limited vinyl release and across all streaming platforms.

From her early days as a Birmingham punk to the recent internet phenomenon of Toyah and Robert’s Sunday Lunch, Toyah Wilcox has become an award-winning rock legend as well as a much-loved actress, and music composer. In this conversation we’ll dig deep into Toyah’s enduring career, what influences and drives her.

And what a career! Toyah has amassed thirteen top 40 singles, recorded twenty-five albums, written two books, appeared in over forty stage plays, acted in over twenty feature films, including Derek Jarman’s seminal punk epic, Jubilee, and presented hundreds of TV programmes in her own charismatic, outspoken, and impossible to categorise way. She released Posh Pop, her first solo studio album since 2008, in August 2021.

Produced in partnership with B:Music

• Continue reading, and details on booking free tickets for In Conversation with Toyah Willcox, at B:Music. See further info and more events taking place here.

Autumn Voices: Quick & Quirky Questions with Toyah Willcox

February 16th, 2022

Toyah Willcox should really need no introduction to you all – she’s a prodigiously talented singer, composer, writer and actress, as well as the co-creator and host of the hugely entertaining Sunday Lunch videos and Agony Aunts podcast with her husband, Robert Fripp. You can read more about her here.

Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:
I am still a charting recording artist today at 63 years old
I’ve been vegetarian since lockdown and have no regrets
I work hard to be able to afford solitude, ironically considering the last couple of years, and I only write music in silence.
I’m aiming to be a conceptual artist within the next two years.

What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?
I live in the now – the past becomes the barometer of how we expect the present. I don’t reflect on any age; life is a constant journey forwards.

Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?
Gandalf from Lord of the Rings and Will Ferrell the actor (Autumn Voices think he is in his 50s, but he’s a great choice!)

• Continue reading at Autumn Voices.

Categories: Interviews, Press Clips Tags:

Best Magazine: Toyah Interview – Toyah’s Potty-Mouthed Ghost!

February 8th, 2022

Toyah is interviewed in the latest issue of Best magazine (15th February 2022, Issue 07).

Toyah’s Potty-Mouthed Ghost!

Singer Toyah Willcox talks sweary spirits, sage and loving being scared, as she appears on Celebrity Help! My House Is Haunted…

Fans of creepy TV shows will be loving the return of Help! My House Is Haunted – its spin-off show hunts down unwanted spirits haunting the stunning homes of UK celebrities. Ordained exorcist Ian Lawman, ghost-hunter/investigator Barri Ghai and paranormal researcher and historian Jayne Harris return to tackle their most notable cases to date and exorcise the haunted properties of some famous faces – as they enter the homes of among others, Alex Best, reality star Charlotte Crosby and musician Toyah Willcox. Here, the 63-year-old singer from King’s Heath, Birmingham – famed for hits like It’s A Mystery and Thunder In The Mountains – tells us about life in her haunted Midlands home with her musician hubby, Robert Fripp.

“Our last house was so haunted we had to leave”

Toyah, what made you want to do this? It’s as far from making music as you could imagine…
My house is very old and one of the most extraordinary things about it is that my husband and I only went to view it to be nosy – but as we walked through the door, I burst into tears, We both knew immediately it was meant to be our home. It was as if the house had invited us to live there. I’ve always experienced haunted properties because I’ve constantly lived in old places – but this house, for me, has just been glorious.

What surprised you the most about this experience?
I’m very proud that my house has friendly feeling. My guests see something all the time! I always say, ‘It’s friendly, don’t worry, it’s just proof of life after death.’ But when the team told me there was something here meaning harm, that threw me. It was as if it only wanted me in this house, not outsiders. I’ve never felt compromised in any way in this house, but the team started getting attacked!

What happened?
Barry, one of the crew, got strangled by one of the spirits – and they think it’s because I wasn’t there! That made the hair on my arms stand up. But I’m afraid I loved every minute. I kind of enjoyed the team being scared too, because it was really reaffirming for experiences we’ve had elsewhere. Our last house was so haunted that we had to move – it shows you’re not alone in this.

Has all this made you want to explore paranormal activity more?
It’s made me very aware of history. I live in an abbey town, where parts of the Battle Of Worcester were fought during the English Civil War. So over the river where I live, people died in battle. Out of respect, I would want to know more about it. A deserter spirit came forward in my home, who was running away from that battle. If you tuned in and know the history of a place, you have a sympathetic leaning towards whatever spirit may still be there.

Have you always believed in the supernatural?
Yes, I think I have. And I firmly believe that we lead such busy lives we only see the obvious, you know? I think there’s a lot that goes on around us that we would never notice, because it’s so subtle.

• Continue reading in the latest issue of Best magazine, on sale now!

Podcasts: My Time Capsule – Toyah Willcox

January 25th, 2022

Toyah is the latest guest on the My Time Capsule podcast.

Ep. 158 – Toyah Willcox

Toyah Willcox or “Toyah” is a musician, actor, and presenter. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Toyah 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.

Toyah Willcox is guest number 158 on My Time Capsule and chats to Michael Fenton Stevens about the five things she’d like to put in a time capsule; four she’d like to preserve and one she’d like to bury and never have to think about again.

• Listen at My Time Capsule.

Categories: Interviews, Podcast Tags:

Music Republic Magazine: Toyah Willcox – Track Record…

December 31st, 2021

Toyah Willcox needs little introduction; musician, actress, author and presenter….and latterly in lockdowns – internet sensation.

In a pop career spanning more than 40 years, Toyah has released circa 20 albums and scored 13 Top 40 hits, including the 1980s anthems “It’s a Mystery” and “I Want To Be Free”.

Toyah secured her place in the UK’s acting pantheon in the 1970s, starring in at least 40 plays and 10 feature films – perhaps most notably in Derek Jarman’s cult punk movie “Jubilee” (1978) and the iconic mods‘n’rockers film “Quadrophenia” (1979), while at the same time demonstrating her diverse talent by playing Miranda in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.

Legends… Since then, Toyah’s acting credits have seen her billed alongside the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Sir Laurence Olivier, Greta Scaachi and Harvey Keitel…and even seen her enter the world of children’s TV presenting.

• Continue reading at Music Republic Magazine.

Financial Times: How I Spend It – Toyah Interview

November 24th, 2021

How I Spend It: Toyah Willcox on rocks, hag stones and meteorites

The musician reveals what lies behind her lifelong fascination with crystals

I collect crystals, and I’m not talking about crystals you keep in your pocket. These are museum-quality collectors’ pieces. My fascination is that these are timeless things. They have been there since the Big Bang. All around the house we have crystals, along the skirting boards, in cupboards, in the cutlery drawers. My computer sits on a piece of rose quartz that is at least 10kg in weight. It’s the size of a Bible you’d see in a church.

Meteorites are full of potential. They’re what’s put us here

I remember clearly the first stone that meant something to me. I was about seven years old. I was on a sandbank on the River Avon and picked up a pebble with a hole in it. My father said it was a “hag stone”, one with a naturally formed hole in it. I could not put it down. I was instantly in love with it, the smoothness of it, the history of it, what it’s been through, what it’s survived, that it’s outlived all of us and will outlive all of us. I’ve had this particular hag stone since I was seven – I’m now 63, and it’s been a point of conversation with virtually everyone I’ve known. A lot of musicians feel the same way about stones; we collect pebbles and send them to each other.

• Continue reading at ft.com. (Thanks to Kelly and Michael)

OK! Magazine: New Toyah Interview

November 19th, 2021

Toyah is interviewed in this week’s OK! magazine (Issue 1315, 22nd November 2021). Talking about Proud Cabaret, her career, the Sunday Lunch/You Tube videos and more.

• Read the interview at The Toyah Willcox Interview Archive. (Thanks to Minna and Kelly)

Television: Toyah Talks Proud Cabaret on This Morning

November 8th, 2021

From Punk Princess To Cabaret Queen, Toyah Willcox On Joining Proud Embankment | This Morning

She first burst onto the music scene in the 80s. But forty years on, Toyah Willcox is going from punk princess to cabaret queen as she joins the impressive line-up at Proud Embankment. Following in the footsteps of Julian Clary, Bill Bailey and Denise Van Outen, Toyah will be treating fans to a spectacular evening of music, burlesque artists, and award-winning acrobatics. Toyah also discusses becoming a viral lockdown sensation.

Metro: Sixty Seconds/Toyah Interview

November 5th, 2021

Toyah was interviewed in Tuesday’s Metro, in their “Sixty Seconds” feature, talking about Posh Pop, Proud Cabaret, Sunday Lunch, Robert Fripp, Billie Piper and more.

• Read the full interview at The Toyah Willcox Interview Archive. (Thanks to Minna)

Toyah On The Radio: BBC Radio 2 – Rylan On Saturday

October 23rd, 2021

A reminder Toyah is guesting on Rylan On Saturday on BBC Radio 2 this afternoon. The show begins at 3pm.

Toyah said this week: “Hear me chatting to the wonderful Rylan on BBC Radio 2 on Sat 23 Oct. I’ll be talking all things Posh Pop and Proud Cabaret from the middle of the Atlantic in a storm!”

Rylan On Saturday: BBC Radio 2: Saturday 23rd October: 3pm
Pop Prince Craig David, Pop Icon Toyah plus Shelia the Wookie. Craig David discusses his new single with MNEK plus national treasure Toyah chats to Rylan. Email rylan@bbc.co.uk if you want to play along to the film & TV Quiz Couch Potatoes quiz or suggest a song on the White Isle of Rybiza. Plus mummy Linda is back to share her dinner ideas.

Podcasts: The Dyspraxic Help 4U Podcast

October 11th, 2021

The Dyspraxic Help 4U Podcast had the honour of interviewing Toyah to celebrate Dyspraxia Awareness Week 2021.

The legendary entertainer has Dyspraxia and took the time to speak with us in the hope of inspiring others to follow in her footsteps.

Dyspraxic Help 4U is delighted to have teamed up with Dyspraxic Alliance and Dyspraxia Magazine for Dyspraxia Awareness Week 2021.

For album and tour details please visit www.toyahwillcox.com – Special thanks to Mike Nelson.

• Click below to listen at You Tube. The podcast can also be downloaded at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts. Spotify and Anchor FM.

Toyah On The Radio: BBC Radio 2 / Rylan On Saturday

October 9th, 2021

Toyah will guest on Rylan’s Saturday afternoon BBC Radio 2 show in a fortnight’s time – Saturday 23rd October.

Rylan on Saturday
Pop legends Craig David and Toyah chat to Rylan

Pop legends Craig David and Toyah chat to Rylan about their new music.

Email rylan@bbc.co.uk if you want to play along to the film & TV Quiz Couch Potatoes quiz or play a song on the White Isle of Rybiza. Plus mummy Linda is back to share her dinner ideas.

• Listen live or on Catch Up at BBC Sounds after the show airs.

Record Collector: The Big Interview

September 21st, 2021

A preview of the amazing six-page Toyah interview feature from the new issue of Record Collector magazine. This is a must have as it’s such a substantial feature. In this great interview, Toyah talks Posh Pop, her discography, punk, childhood, early career years, meeting Robert, lockdown, Sunday Lunch and much more. RC523/October 2021 is on sale now! (Thanks to Minna of The Toyah Willcox Interview Archive)

Radio: Richard Green/BBC Radio Devon

September 20th, 2021

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

Faye from Steps, The Retro Hour features Howard Jones, Toyah and Brother Beyond.

Toyah talks Posh Pop and more, with the interview beginning around 2hr 10m into the show and runs for around 10 minutes. There were plays of I Want To Be Free and Space Dance, the latter of which Toyah chose to be played on the show.

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

Record Collector: Toyah – Mystery Girl

September 16th, 2021

Toyah is interviewed in the latest issue (523, October 2021) of Record Collector magazine.

“I thought I was part of the movement, but the movement never accepted me.”

Re-energised by a long overdue reissue campaign of her early music and the release of Posh Pop, her first album for 13 years, Toyah talks to RC523 issue

ISSUE NO: 523
Exclusive features include:

THE TOP 200 RARITIES IN THE WORLD TODAY – You read about the 200 rarest and most valuable collectable records in the UK in these pages last year. Now we’re looking further afield for hard-to-find vinyl,
this time scattered across the globe. Warning: may require second mortgages
TOYAH – As her early albums are finally reissued, Ms Willcox talks punk, punching Adam Ant and lockdown celebrity
THE WHO – A pictorial potted history of the mod pioneers, from beat pop riot boys to still-windmilling Britrock royalty
WANDA JACKSON – The queen of 50s rockabilly and contemporary of Elvis and Johnny Cash is still going strong – but is her new album to be her swansong?
STEPHEN DUFFY – The mercurial folk-pop songwriter retraces his early days in neglected Brum post-punks The Hawks
FAUST – The “Dada Beatles” early output still sounds thrillingly unhinged 50 years on. We hear about its suitably anarchic evolution from four of those who lived to tell the tale

• Record Collector magazine, Issue 523 is on sale now!

Retro Pop: Interview – Toyah On Dyslexia Breakthrough

September 2nd, 2021

Toyah on dyslexia breakthrough: ‘Learning an instrument broadened and deepened my communicative skills’

According to the singer, music lessons helped “rewire” her brain and have helped improve “broaden and deepen” her communicative skills.

Learning to play guitar and keyboards led to a huge breakthrough in Toyah’s lifelong struggle with dyslexia.

The Summer of Love hitmaker was diagnosed with the learning difficulty at a young age, which can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling.

Speaking exclusively with Retro Pop ahead of the release of her latest album ‘Posh Pop’, Toyah reflects on the profound impact lockdown had on her, both personally and professionally, and reveals lessons in piano and guitar have enhanced her life in numerous ways.

“I can now play guitar, I can now play keyboards, and it means that my communicative skills are much broader and much deeper,” she explains.

• Continue reading at Retro Pop. Read Retro Pop’s review of Posh Pop.

Radio: BBC Radio Manchester – Mike Sweeney

September 1st, 2021

Toyah guested on Mike Sweeney’s BBC Radio Manchester show earlier today, talking about Posh Pop, Sunday Lunch and more.

There were plays of I Want To Be Free and Levitate during the interview, which aired in two parts.

Toyah Willcox (01/09/2021)
Mike chats to singer, Toyah Willcox, about her Posh Pop Tour 2021.

• Listen on Catch Up at BBC Sounds for the next few weeks.

Television: BBC Breakfast – Screen Caps

August 31st, 2021

A few screen caps from Toyah’s guest appearance on BBC Breakfast this morning. There were bursts of It’s A Mystery, Thunder In The Mountains (both Top Of The Pops performances), Levitate, and Zoom Zoom. Toyah talked about Posh Pop, You Tube, Sunday Lunch and much more! See a clip from the interview at BBC Breakfast‘s Twitter.