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Blitzed: An Interview with Toyah

September 12th, 2022

Toyah remains an iconic figure across several decades of the UK music scene. Outside of her acting career, she chalked up a series of chart hits as a musician including ‘It’s A Mystery’, ‘I Want To Be Free’ and ‘Thunder In The Mountains’.

More recently, she returned with the album Posh Pop which reached the top 25 in the UK charts. She also enjoys her regular (and popular) Sunday Lunch video shows, alongside husband Robert Fripp.

This October sees Toyah supporting Billy Idol as part of his Roadside tour. Meanwhile, Toyah’s classic 1981 album Anthem is also being reissued this September. Blitzed sat down with Toyah to discuss her busy autumn plans…

You’ve got the Billy Idol tour coming up in October, which is an interesting contrast. You’re both very different, yet at the same time you’re both seasoned travelers from that fervent 80s pop scene.

It’s great and don’t forget punk rock. Billy used to be based in London with Generation X, which is when I met him. We both have 45-year careers, are quite diverse in our individual journeys as musicians and then you’ve got Television performing Marquee Moon.

I think it’s quite a clever line up because I’m only on stage for 7:30 to 8:00 o’clock and I’ve got to fit in 28 albums and 15 hit singles. That’s quite a journey to make, but what all of us have in common on this bill is we started in punk and we’ve both, all of us, evolved into rock. I think it’s quite diverse. I’m not just an 80s icon. I’ve been pretty present, especially in the last few years. I think it’s a very clever mix I hope that I can get in some good punk rock material. Obviously the 80s material, but also the new stuff as well because Posh Pop went to No. 1 in 36 charts, 22 in the main charts on August the 27th last year and I’m certainly going to be including some Posh Pop tracks.

• Continue reading at Blitzed.

Magazines: Retropop – Toyah Interview Special

July 7th, 2022

Toyah is interviewed in the new issue of Retropop magazine (August 2022) in a special eight-page feature. Retropop is on sale now. View the full feature here. NB: This interview was originally published on Retropop‘s website in 2021 around the time of the release of Posh Pop. (Thanks to Minna of The Toyah Willcox Interview Archive)

Metro: Age Won’t Change Toyah Willcox

June 24th, 2022

Age won’t change Toyah Willcox: ‘We’ve never stopped being rockers, we are just rockers in a different time and place’

Toyah Willcox says she’s far more than a punk princess

Born out of a lockdown-powered creative burst, Toyah Willcox and musician husband Robert Fripp’s weekly online Sunday Lunch videos have quickly become regular news events.

Cheeky, audacious, entertaining, and even eye-watering, each episode has been attracting hundreds of thousands of views.

But if you think they’re big now, wait till you hear what’s next.

‘We are developing a stage show and a movie is in development as well,’ reveals Toyah, adding that the duo are even considering an album.

‘But once you get into a studio situation you’ve got to rethink everything, and how people will experience that in an album form.

‘It’s not a no, but it takes an awful lot of consideration.’

• Continue reading at the Metro.

The Guardian: Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp Look Back

May 30th, 2022

Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp look back: ‘He came from the 60s, having multiple girlfriends at once’

The musicians recreate a photo from their wedding – a day of panic, pasta and paparazzi

Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp are a rock star couple turned lockdown YouTubers. Actor and musician Willcox, 64, rocketed to fame during the punk rock era, appearing in cult movies such as Quadrophenia, before releasing 80s hits such as It’s a Mystery.

Meanwhile, Fripp, 76, is a founding member of King Crimson, and has collaborated with artists including David Bowie and Brian Eno.

Both prolific musicians, they launched the successful Sunday Lunch video series in 2020, in which they cover classic songs in their home in Pershore, Worcestershire.

Toyah: This photograph was taken on our wedding day in 1986, which started off really dull and rainy, but as soon as we got to the church the sun came out. Robert was terrified. I was enjoying it, but very nervous: I had to keep the ceremony secret so photos weren’t leaked to the press. Sadly, the papers got wind and we were chased by paparazzi for two days afterwards. They were banging on the car door, shouting and saying that if we didn’t let them get a picture they were going to print a bad story about us. It wasn’t fun.

• Continue reading at The Guardian.

Daily Star: Toyah Willcox’s Hottest Pics

May 18th, 2022

Toyah Willcox’s hottest pics – braless, see-through tops and underwear flashes

Punk babe Toyah Willcox has had a varied career – from writing books to performing with her band, it seems there’s nothing she won’t try. Take a look at some of the rebellious rockstar’s raunchiest looks

Toyah Willcox has been on the scene for more than four decades as a jack of all trades, having tried her hand at everything from singing and acting to presenting.

The triple threat began her career back in 1977 and in those 45 years the multi-talented star has had eight singles in the Top 40 chart, won Brit Awards for Breakthrough Act and Female Solo Artist, and fronted her self-titled band Toyah.

Birmingham-born Toyah was known as a rebel and, due to her bold hair colours and flamboyant style, she was once known as “The Bird of Paradise” during her youth.

She began her career in theatre before she turned her passion to music. While playing a role at the National Theatre, she started Toyah and the band became very successful.

• Continue reading at the Daily Star.

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)

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)

Retro Pop: Toyah ‘Posh Pop’ Interview

August 25th, 2021

Toyah: ‘In the ‘80s I was treated like an icon, now I know what it’s like living pay packet to pay packet’

Toyah is back with ‘Posh Pop’, her 16th album and first since 2008’s ‘In The Court of the Crimson Queen’

The record features 10 brand new compositions, co-written and produced by Simon Darlow, after the singer and her husband, King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, found themselves without work during lockdown.

Ahead of her latest release, the ’80s superstar opens up on her new music and accompanying visual project, revealing how the album was born, becoming a YouTube sensation with ‘Toyah and Robert’s Sunday Lunch’, and how living “pay packet to pay packet” has brought the singer closer than ever to her fans.

It’s been 13 years since you released your last album ‘In The Court of the Crimson Queen’. How did ‘Posh Pop’ come about?

To give it context, the majority of ‘In The Court of the Crimson Queen’ was written in 2007. Around 2017, every song on that album was placed in a musical called ‘Crime and Punishment’ at London’s Tower Bridge Scoop Theatre. This allowed us to get an official release in 2018 and that’s when Simon Darlow and I added Dance in the Hurricane and Who Let the Beast Out?.

What happened with ‘Posh Pop’ is the extraordinary experience of all of our live shows being cancelled or postponed until a later date. Having all this time doesn’t mean that you stop being a creative human being. So we found a way of being able to write and to do the next album, and lockdown enabled us to do that in a very strange way.

• Continue reading at Retro Pop. Posh Pop is released on Friday. Pre-order the album here.

The Telegraph: New Toyah Interview

August 21st, 2021

Toyah Willcox: the day I found out there was a killer in my family

At 63, the punk icon learned that her grandfather was a murderer. She opens up on how it answered so many questions about her childhood

For all of us, the first lockdown last year was difficult. But for Toyah Willcox, it was unfathomably challenging….

• Continue reading at The Telegraph. A subscription is required to read this interview past the preview. (Photo © The Telegraph)

Reader’s Digest: Toyah Willcox: I Remember

August 20th, 2021

Toyah Willcox is an English musician, actress and TV presenter. From fronting a band to releasing solo music, there is little that she hasn’t done across a four-decade career

My childhood was definitely privileged. We had hot water, heating, food, we had our own home, and I went to a private school.

Having a limp, dyslexia and a lisp. I wasn’t even aware of it. I was having a perfectly happy childhood until people pointed out that I had a physical difference to everyone else in the room. Then, when I was sitting my 11-plus people realised that I was not on the same page as everyone else because of dyslexia. Alan Sugar, Richard Branson—you could name a thousand people who have exactly the same experience as me and we’re doing perfectly well. I have such a wonderful life. I have overcome so much.

I wouldn’t say that that specifically made me tougher. What made me tougher was being the only woman in the music industry. My way of learning, my way of working, means that I have to just be a little bit ahead of everyone else. And I think any woman in acting or music would say, “I feel the same too.” You never arrive.

• Continue reading at the Reader’s Digest.

Rolling Stone: Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox Interview

March 25th, 2021

Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox on Their Viral Quarantine Videos: ‘We’re in This With You’

King Crimson’s guitarist and his pop-star wife on what inspired them to cover everything from “Enter Sandman” to “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and what everyone got wrong about their ‘Swan Lake’ tutu dance

“My wife is a force of nature and my wife leads the way,” Robert Fripp says of his partner and quarantine-video collaborator Toyah Willcox.

On April 5th, 2020, music fans stuck in their homes and cruising the web for diversions were greeted with one of the most unusual sights in a season filled with them: King Crimson auteur Robert Fripp and his wife, singer and actress Toyah Willcox, both elegantly dressed and dancing to Bill Haley and the Comets’ early rock anthem “Rock Around the Clock.”

Filmed on Willcox’s iPhone in the kitchen of the couple’s home near Birmingham, England, the head-scratching clip launched one of the year’s least likely and most talked-about viral series. Every Sunday since, “Toyah and Robert’s Sunday Lunch” (sometimes called a “Lockdown Lunch”) has presented a new clip of the couple having quick, good-natured fun at home. The ever-upbeat Willcox sings and vamps (while wearing a variety of costumes, from workout suit to cheerleader costume) while a deadpan Fripp accompanies her on electric guitar.

• Continue reading at Rolling Stone. (Photo © Toyah Willcox)

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.

Music News: Toyah To Release New Studio Album

March 8th, 2019

musicnews19aToyah to release In The Court Of The Crimson Queen new studio album in April

Toyah will release a revelatory and accomplished new studio reworking of her album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen on 12 April 2019. Written and arranged by Toyah Willcox and Simon Darlow, In The Court Of The Crimson Queen which has been newly recorded and mastered is released as a double CD package and digital. This release which further cements Toyah’s status as an iconic name of British rock and pop features five additional new tracks.

In The Court Of The Crimson Queen sees Toyah continuing to hold court with a set of beautifully crafted songs, thought provoking lyrics and a rally cry to forever living life out loud, proud and heard. The album’s 15 tracks explore life, love, empowerment and wonderment.

Several of the album’s songs have been previewed live in recent Toyah concert tours or featured on (now deleted) fan-only releases. Toyah and Simon Darlow have been developing new songs and perfecting this body of work which is now reimagined as a double album. In The Court Of The Crimson Queen presents a collection of finely honed songcraft, killer hooks and two lifetimes of performing, writing and producing music.

• Continue reading at Music News.

The Pitch: Q&A with Toyah Willcox

October 26th, 2018

thepitch18aWhat do movies mean to you?
For me movies are vital escapism and deep expressionism. They also question everything in life. When you look at Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, in comparison to John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place, the passion and belief behind these two extraordinary films runs equally deep. Film can be about truth as much as about speculation and metaphor.

What are three of your favourite films and why?
Oh boy! Where do I start? I have to relate to my most immediate experiences. A Quiet Place has recently blown me away. Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool has magnificent acting. Phantom Thread is my favourite Daniel Day-Lewis film, but I am a horror lover and I always return to Alien when I am relaxing! I can recite the script word for word!

• Continue reading at The Pitch.

The Telegraph – Culture/TV: It Shouldn’t Be A Big Deal

October 10th, 2018

telegraph16a‘It shouldn’t be a big deal – but it is’: what a female Doctor Who really means to women Whovians

More than eight million people tuned in Sunday night’s episode of Doctor Who – the show’s largest launch in a decade – to see Jodie Whittaker make her debut as the first female Doctor in the show’s decades-long history.  But did she pull it off?

Among those glued to their sofas were the comedians Bridget Christie and Susan Calman, authors Juno Dawson and Jenny Colgan, and the pop star Toyah Willcox – a Who fan who was once mooted for the title role herself. The Telegraph asked each of them what the arrival of a female Doctor means to them, and what they thought of Sunday’s episode.

• Continue reading at The Telegraph. (Subscription Required)

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Dreamscape Press Archive: Read Up On Toyah!

April 3rd, 2018

Check out the Dreamscape Press Archive. Classic Toyah interviews, reviews, features, articles and clippings – A huge virtual library with press from 1979 through to 2014.

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Daily Mail: The One Lesson I’ve Learned From Life

February 26th, 2018

dmail18aThe one lesson I’ve learned from life: Toyah Willcox on how you can have the same waist at 60 as you did when you were 23!

Toyah Willcox, 59, shot to fame in the Seventies as a punk singer and actress / She revealed how she spent the past three months overhauling her lifestyle / She says a tailored diet helped her lose weight and improved her energy levels

This year I turn 60, which seems astonishing to me. Yet I’ve never been much of a conformist and I see no reason to become a little old lady. I’ve realised each decade has its own purpose and, in anticipation of my seventh, I’ve spent the past three months overhauling my lifestyle.

Today I have the same waist measurement I had at 23. My energy levels are through the roof, which is good because I’m still playing festivals and I’m known for the energy of my performance. This time last year I felt very different. I was physically and mentally sluggish. I was neither as bright nor as quick as I used to be and I was unhappy with my body shape. But I don’t think it’s inevitable everything should thicken and sag, and I wasn’t willing to watch it happen.

So my husband and I decided to take control of the way we were ageing. We went to the Wildmoor Spa in Stratford to see a Harley Street specialist in DNA. We had ours closely analysed for dietary intolerances and genetic traits that influence the way we process food. Results in, we were given tailored diets to follow. It’s been a major commitment of both money and willpower. I’ve cut out wheat, dairy and all processed foods, but my husband has different rules, so though we cook together, we have different meals. At first, I lost weight because I couldn’t find much to eat, especially on restaurant menus. And I missed cake.

• Continue reading at the Daily Mail. (Photo © Clark Enwell/BackGrid)

Another Man: Jubilee Turns 40

February 22nd, 2018

How Jubilee Became the Greatest Punk Film of All Time

Today, Derek Jarman’s punk classic turns 40 – to celebrate, we track its journey from notoriety to immortality

“Punks were in the audience screaming ‘THIS AIN’T PUNK!’ and ‘WHAT A LOAD OF BOLLOCKS!’ and ‘SHIT!’” That’s how Jayne County recalled the raucous atmosphere at the premiere of Jubilee, Derek Jarman’s dark sci-fi reckoning with a dystopian England, in an interview from 2011.

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County, a veteran of the New York punk scene who cameos in the film, was no more charitable in his own assessment of Jarman’s vision, released in cinemas 40 years ago this month. “Wasted celluloid”, she called it – though the scene she starred in wasn’t half bad, naturally.

• Continue reading at Another Man.

What’s On Stage: My Top 5 Showtunes: Toyah Willcox

February 18th, 2018

wostage18aThe actress tells us the musical numbers she couldn’t live without

Toyah Willcox is best known for her career as a singer and has had eight top 40 singles from over 20 albums. Her biggest hits include “It’s a Mystery”, “Thunder in the Mountains” and “I Want to Be Free”.

Her stage credits include Calamity Jane, Amadeus and Three Men and a Horse. She is currently starring in the stage adaptation of Derek Jarman’s Jubilee – having featured in the original film – which runs at the Lyric Hammersmith until 10 March.

We caught up with Toyah and asked her: “If you were stranded on a desert island which five showtunes could you not live without?”

• Continue reading, and see Toyah’s Top 5 showtunes, at What’s On Stage.

Metro: My London… Toyah Willcox

February 16th, 2018

metro18aToyah is interviewed in today’s print edition of the Metro.

The singer and actress loves walking from Regent’s Park to Kensington’s museums and wants to live by the BFI

Is there an area of London that you love?
The South Bank, because my first experience of London was the National Theatre in 1977. I was 18 when I joined the National, and Ian Charleson, who played Eric Liddell in Chariots Of Fire, introduced me to (film director) Derek Jarman who lived on Butler’s Wharf so lots of my formative years were spent in the area. In the late 1970s it was nothing like what it’s like now, it was derelict, there was no sign of any money going in. The National was ground-breaking for being built there at that time. Today, it’s still my favourite part of London. It’s vibrant, you have the arts on tap, it’s multicultural, it’s interesting and I love the architecture. If I could afford to I would live right next to the British Film Institute.

What are the most memorable London Stages you’ve performed on?
The Olivier (theatre) at the National Theatre is a sacred space to work in and I was one of the first people to perform on ‘the revolve’ (revolving stage) which was built in 1976, in the play Tales From The Vienna Woods. It was the first play to use the revolve, which was in its embryonic stages, and kept breaking down. When it broke it had to be operated manually by hand. The other stage is Wembley Arena, which I’ve done once. It was a dream come true. I love playing arenas and, as a performer, you have to have ticked off Wembley. It was big, it was loud, it was beautiful.

• Continue reading at Twitter. (Thanks to Talent 4 Media)