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Cornfield Publishing: An Interview with Toyah Willcox

January 24th, 2017

80sinvasion17bThis month our Content Editor, Charlie O’Neill had the chance to catch up with Toyah Willcox ahead of the ‘80’s Invasion Tour’.

Firstly, Happy New Year. Did you have a nice Christmas? What did you get up to over the festive period?

TOYAH: Thank you and the same to you! I had the best Christmas ever, it was absolutely lovely. We were both home from a year of touring. And, we just had family time and for me that’s what Christmas always will be. It was very gentle and perfect. It’s the only time of year, where no matter what happens, whatever distractions, and you always make room for family. Its catch up time.

Do you have any New Years resolutions set or any goals you are aiming to achieve this year?

TOYAH: My New Years resolutions usually go into about 3 pages of dialogue with myself! Basically, I just want to keep developing and moving forward. I don’t want to just rest on my laurels. So, my new years resolutions are always linked to creative writing, painting, developing ideas and examining ideas, brining them into fruition. My New Years resolutions are always boringly predictable, but they are for me, nagging myself to hit my goals.

• Continue reading the interview at Cornfield Publishing.

Louder Than War: Interview: Jordan Mooney

January 19th, 2017

ltwjm17aInterview: Jordan Mooney : the iconic face of punk on then and now and Star Trek

Certainly personifying and symbolizing the face of “Punk” from a female point of view, “Jordan” caused a sophisticated anarchy that revolutionized equality in music for women at a time when it pretended to be a male profession. Beyond that she was, and still is a, heroine who dares to evoke the threat of imagination. Jordan defied sensibility and at the same time defined it.

Celebrated for her audacious fashion sense, her musical abilities, and her courageous and tantalizing artistic view, Jordan was privy to the most sacred Punk bands to ever emerge, including a close relationship with “The Sex Pistols”. She was also the very first manager of “Adam and the Ants”. She had a supreme role in Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s SEX boutique, and starred as the lead in one of the most impacting films of the time, Derek Jarman’s ” Jubilee”.

• Continue reading at Louder Than War. View details on Jordan in Conversation, with John Robb, taking place at Home Cinema, Manchester on Saturday 21st January, here.

Mysterious Girl: Toyah talks to Northern Soul

December 14th, 2016

northernsoul16a“There is a mindset when it comes to competitive combat and I think I might have that.”

Toyah Willcox will always be associated with early 80s pop, punk and new romanticism – and that’s no bad thing. With her flaming sunset hair, rebellious lyrics and tribal synths, she is unforgettable. But what isn’t always remembered is that this versatile all-rounder has acted opposite greats like Sir Laurence Olivier and Katharine Hepburn, worked for directors like George Cukor and Derek Jarman, and had success in children’s TV as Barmy Aunt Boomerang and as a narrator of Teletubbies.

Nevertheless, the call of the 80s is hard to resist and so, next Spring, Toyah will join Paul Young, Martika and China Crisis for the 80s Invasion tour. It’s a tempting proposition. But I wonder if Toyah’s boundless energy is still in good supply.

“That enthusiasm is just a natural part of who I am,” she says. “I don’t believe in working on anything half-heartedly. If people are good enough to work with you, you have to give them 150 per cent in return. You can’t become an actress and have limitations or boundaries, that just feels contradictory to me. Diversity is a very rewarding thing because you see different aspects of human life and come into contact with things that you would never have otherwise discovered. As a writer, that’s vital for me because we all tend to live in a bit of a bubble. With Teletubbies I was doing a favour for a friend who never thought it would ever see the light of day. Of course she couldn’t have been more wrong as it became one of the BBC‘s most successful programmes.”

• Continue reading at Northern Soul.

DM/Event: Toyah Willcox Reveals Her Cultural Favourites

October 10th, 2016

dmrk13a‘Of current artists, I love FKA Twigs. She blows me away’: Punk queen Toyah Willcox reveals her cultural favourites

Which former punk queen’s taste ranges from Bilbo Baggins to Bill and Ben, from Henry V to Half A Sixpence? It’s a mystery no more…

My movie magic

Growing up in Birmingham, my mum would take my sister, brother and me to see musicals like The Sound Of Music, Half A Sixpence, or My Fair Lady at the big theatres. They were very formative cinematic experiences.

A film I can watch over and over again is the 2007 Sean Penn-directed movie, Into The Wild. I am passionate about hill-walking, and going off into nature on my own.

• Continue reading at the Daily Mail/Event.

The Huffington Post: Toyah Willcox – Wise Words

September 10th, 2016

huffpost16aWISE WORDS: Toyah Willcox Shares Her Idea Of Perfect Happiness

Toyah is joining Paul Young, Martika and China Crisis on tour in 2017.

For the latest in our WISE WORDS interview series – where stars from a whole range of fields share the important life lessons they’ve learned along the way – we’re posing some of the big questions to TOYAH WILLCOX.

Next year finds her joining the roll call for the 80s Invasion Tour. As she prepares once again to take to the road, she talks to HuffPostUK about some of the harder lessons she’s learned along the way, and what brings her greatest happiness…

What do you do to switch off from the world?
I love walking and I love being in big, wide-open spaces like hill tops or relatively easy to climb mountains. I just get everything I need from silence and being outdoors. It allows me to think and clear my mind. I like being very active and I can walk up to around eight miles a day every day.

How do you deal with negativity?
I don’t! I don’t deal with negativity at all! I think we’re naturally more tuned to hearing negativity than positivity and I find that aspect endlessly fascinating, that I can pick up two pages of glittering reviews and just one bad sentence is what you’ll remember. I think that says a lot about the human psyche, so the way I try and deal with it is I remind myself that most negativity has been expressed in passing and it isn’t held permanently. Someone that is negative is flippant and has just released a sentence and moved on to something completely different. I just don’t allow it to have a solid existence, I don’t allow it tangibility.

• Continue reading at The Huffington Post.

Daily Mail: Toyah Talks Clothes & Fashion

September 9th, 2016

Make the most of your figure: Pink cap-sleeve midi dress and purple court shoes, £195, from LK Bennett – This beautifully made dress holds you in all the right places. It oozes sex appeal without being too revealing. Cocktails anyone?

Don’t flaunt your cleavage: Bell sleeve dress from Zara; suede court shoes, £195, from LK Bennett – I love the design— it’s both Swinging Sixties and New Millennium. I would wear it to a posh lunch with a chunky necklace of bright yellow citrine.

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Never go too short: Dress, from Précis; pearl button cardigan, £19.99, from Zara; courts, £165, from Russell and Bromley – This is my least favourite. It’s so formal I feel like a headmistress in it.

Be glamourous 24 hours a day: Graphic print dress, from Biba at House of Fraser, gold sandals, £275, from Russell and Bromley – I firmly believe we can be glamorous 24/7, and this dress proves it. It’s chic, comfy and not too showy for any occasion from the school run to the opera. Just gorgeous.

Show off your waist: Paisley print blouse, £29.99, burgundy pencil skirt, £29.99, both from Zara. Green suede courts, £75, from Dune – As a working woman I could only wear this if I were playing princess for the day. The shoes are gorgeous — but just too high to be practical.

• Read the full feature at the Daily Mail. (Photos/Text © Daily Mail). View the print version of this feature, published yesterday, here.

Daily Mail: How To Be Noticed After 50?

September 8th, 2016

dailymail16bHow to be noticed after 50? Dress like a lady! Eighties punk Toyah Willcox reveals the secrets of her ladylike look

Toyah Willcox was a punk singer in the Eighties, and dressed to match | But at 58 she’s discovered that the best way to be noticed is to be feminine | She demonstrate her newfound love of skirts, dresses and subtlety

By Toyah Willcox For The Daily Mail

Back in my Eighties heyday as a singer, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in anything pretty or ladylike. The only thing remotely pink from this punk era was my hair.

But, at the age of 58, I’ve discovered a style secret which would leave the old rebellious Toyah reeling. The best way for me to be noticed isn’t to be outrageous. It’s to be feminine.

The clothes that made me famous wouldn’t suit me now. And that’s why I’ve decided to get rid of my old wardrobe. Some items are going to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The rest I am selling in aid of charity.

They are joyous clothes, but these days, I have a new look. I still, however, want to be noticed and look exciting.

• Continue reading at the Daily Mail. (Photo © Daily Mail)

Retro Man Blog: Toyah at The Garage Islington London

December 18th, 2015

retromanblog15aThere’s a great new Toyah feature/review, of last month’s Proud, Loud & Electric gig at The Garage, just published at the Retro Man Blog.

Toyah + The Tuesday Club at The Garage Islington London

So, be honest now, what was your first gig? Mine wasn’t The Sex Pistols at the 100 Club Punk Festival, or The Who at Leeds University Refectory. I didn’t see Iggy smear peanut butter all over himself while crowd surfing at the Cincinnati Pop Festival and I never saw The Clash at the Victoria Park Rock Against Racism Rally. Nope, my first ever gig was Toyah on June 06th 1981 at the Hammersmith Odeon, the “Anthem Tour” in fact and I was 15 years old. Now, why I should feel a little bit guilty admitting this I’m not sure, but you know how snobby us music fans can be sometimes. But as Toyah herself might say, I should be “proud, loud and heard” and not try to cover up the facts just because it might not be thought of as very “cool”. However, your first gig is rather like your first kiss, buying your first 7” single or going to your first football match, it’s something that stays with you forever. Due to many and varied reasons it was impossible for me to get to many gigs in my teenage years so the whole experience of that first live show was magical.

• Continue reading at Retro Man Blog.

Sunday Times/Culture: Monkey Business

September 27th, 2015

Aaaaaaaah! was featured in The Sunday Times’ Culture magazine on 20th September – Monkey business – The actors go ape in a new movie that has grunts instead of gags. It’s already a cult hit. Click below to read the article. (Thanks to Lärwi for the scan)

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PSN Europe: View From The Top: The PR Guru

August 22nd, 2015

judytotton15aAn interesting new interview with, Toyah’s former PR person, Judy Totton.

Getting the right publicity for concert tours and festival appearances is a skill, and, despite the open internet field provided by Facebook and Twitter, some directed guidance and good old common sense remain valuable assets

Who are you?
Judy Totton of Judy Totton Publicity. I’m based in London and work in the UK, though I do have media contacts overseas. I promote big events, charity shows, companies and theatre, as well as artists releasing albums or touring. Some of my current clients are Bill Wyman, who has just released his first UK solo album in 33 years, Joan Armatrading on her last big world tour, Andy Fairweather Low and his band The Low Riders, Joe Brown and Paul Brady. I’ve represented many artists from all genres over the years and been involved with big festivals including Blenheim Palace and 11 years of Castle Donington Monsters of Rock.

How did you end up where you are now?
I started out in music publicity at Magnet Records. After two years there I joined CBS where I worked with a wide variety of artists from The Jacksons to ABBA, with John Cooper Clarke, The Only Ones, The Vibrators and many more in between. By the late 1970s Epic records was being split away from CBS and a lot of internal changes were happening. I wasn’t sure what to do, and it was artist agent Ian Flukes who suggested I set up my own company.

That was 1979. John Cooper Clarke and The Only Ones came with me and within a month I was approached by Status Quo. Toyah soon followed and then Haircut 100 and Orange Juice. From there I never looked back.

• Continue reading at PSN Europe.

UK Music Reviews: Interview: Toyah Willcox

August 2nd, 2015

ukmr15aA new interview with Toyah, published today, by UK Music Reviews.

Toyah Willcox, singer–songwriter chats with Kevin Cooper about her first appearance on Top Of The Pops, touring with The Humans, the release of her new film AHHHHH!, and performing at The Flashback Festival in Clumber Park.

Toyah Willcox is an English singer-songwriter and actress. In a career spanning more than thirty years, she has had fifteen Top 40 singles, released over 20 albums, written two books, appeared in over forty stage plays and ten feature films, and voiced and presented numerous television shows.

More recently she has formed a band called The Humans, which she fronts. She also tours with her own acoustic set and is heavily involved with The Flashback and Rewind Festivals. An incredibly busy lady, it was a privilege for Kevin Cooper to have the opportunity to catch up with her for a chat and this is what she had to say.

Hi Toyah how are you?
Hello Kevin I’m good thanks for asking.

So tell me, just how is life treating Toyah at this moment in time?
It’s very good Kevin, I am so busy that I am either spending twenty hours per day in my office or I am travelling to a show. Honestly, I have never been busier but don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining, I am incredibly grateful. It is fabulous and everything is so interesting. I don’t like doing just one thing, I like to have a lot of variety and at the moment I have got that. I am currently filming a drama for the BBC; I am promoting a new movie, and I have another movie being released over in Berlin in November, and so it is just very, very busy. And thankfully the shows are going wonderfully well too.

• Continue reading at UK Music Reviews.

Photo Groupie: Toyah & The Humans Interview

April 10th, 2015

photogroupie15aToyah Willcox has been pushing the boundaries of creativity for over 3 decades. Whether it’s through music or performance, she has never shied away from following her instincts. Her current creative project with The Humans is about experimenting with storytelling through sound. Toyah tells me “sonically it’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before because we’re very bass driven. I absolutely love the bass as an instrument of tonal beauty. With this band I wanted to make sure there

was nothing competing with the frequency but the voice work. So the voice sits upon this very masculine bass.” The juxtaposition of a feminine vocal and dominant percussive instruments gives The Human their unique sound and breaks down musical boundaries.

• Continue reading at Photo Groupie.

The Telegraph: Robert Fripp Interview

October 31st, 2014

telegraph14bAn interesting new interview with Robert Fripp was published in The Telegraph today. The article includes a couple of references to Toyah.

Robert Fripp, interview: ‘I’m a very difficult person to work with’

Guitarist Robert Fripp influenced David Bowie and Peter Gabriel but it’s only the latest revival of his band King Crimson that has brought out his happy side

… He’s explaining the finer details of this protracted wrangle when he suddenly catches sight of his other half, emerging from the driveway of their home. Toyah waves over, he waves back and even digs out his camera to take a picture.

“There’s my lovely wife, driving off in my car,” he muses, almost to himself. “I must’ve done something right to have Toyah as my wife. She’s a lot sharper than me, she has a very fine critical intelligence.”

• Continue reading at The Telegraph.

Gloucestershire Echo: Singer Toyah Willcox: “I’m No Sociopath”

September 1st, 2014

gloucecho14bSinger Toyah Willcox: “I’m no sociopath” as she chats ahead of a gig in Stroud

Conducting an interview can often feel like an odd form of psychotherapy in which you sit your subject down and probe at their personal life, hoping all the while that they’ll bare their soul and somehow thank you for the privilege.

Invariably in an increasingly media savvy, PR-managed and image conscious world, it doesn’t quite work out like that.

Now and again, however, there comes a breath of fresh air who doesn’t want to engage in a banal cat-and-mouse duel. Instead, in the case of singer and actress Toyah Willcox, they’ll be happy to speak their mind.

• Continue reading at the Gloucestershire Echo and/or the Gloucester Citizen.

Kent Online: Toyah Willcox, Deal Astor Theatre

June 19th, 2014

kentonline14aA new interview with Toyah, ahead of her Crimson Queen/Greatest Hits…Live! gig at The Astor Theatre in Kent on Saturday, published yesterday by Kent Online.

Former ‘high priestess of punk’ Toyah Willcox may have mellowed with age but she still loves donning the dramatic costumes to become her on-stage musical alter-ego, as she tells Jo Roberts

“In my youth, I was happy standing out but I love that now I can be anonymous in the street. I’d rather just turn it on for the stage,” says Toyah, whose current conventionally blonde tresses and subtle chic contrast with the flame-haired punk appearance she sported in the 1980s.

The prolific singer has released more than 20 albums in the past 35 years. Her biggest chart hits came in 1981 with the EP Four from Toyah and the single Thunder in the Mountains. Toyah forged a three-pronged career as an actress and media personality too but she will be returning to her first love when she hits the stage at Deal’s Astor Theatre this weekend with her Crimson Queen Greatest Hits show.

“It’s definitely a different part of me,” she says of her musical alter ego, known for a signature dramatic look which manages to combine a futuristic vibe with retro 1980s stylings. “The majority of the time I’m a businesswoman, but I can’t wait to get out of the office and become my on-stage persona, I love that freedom”.

• Continue reading at Kent Online.

Express: Toyah Willcox’s Six Best Albums

May 23rd, 2014

express14bA new Toyah article, choosing her six favourite albums, is published in today’s Express.

David Bowie, Lou Reed and Muse: Rock singer and actress Toyah Willcox’s six best albums

Toyah Willcox, 56, is the singer and actress who had hits in the 1980s with It’s A Mystery, I Want To Be Free and Thunder In The Mountains and appeared in the films Quadrophenia and Jubilee. She is touring throughout the year with The Humans and will be speaking at the new SohoCreate festival in London, June 4-6. Visit sohocreate.co.uk

DAVID BOWIE: Ziggy Stardust (EMI)

Bowie took the creative bull by the horns and steered a generation through problematic times. He went back to his rock ’n’ roll roots with this and it’s a gem. I saw him live and knew that I could only carry on living if I was a singer, writer and actress.

LOU REED: Transformer (Sony)

Bowie produced this. Reed could be off the wall but this honed and anchored him. I saw him in about 1978 and his transvestite lover was with him on stage so it was thrilling and different. It laughed in the eye of conservatism.

• Continue reading at the Express.

Mail On Sunday: Event: Desert Island Pics: Toyah Willcox

May 11th, 2014

mosevent14bToyah is featured in today’s ‘Mail On Sunday’ supplement Event, in their “Desert Island Pics”, with some excellent photos of, and memories from, Toyah:

Caged by Chris Tarrant, trapped in the jungle by the Aussie SAS… the It’s A Mystery singer’s colourful life.

1. Pants performers, 1980: That’s a promo shot of my first band. They dumped me but within months I had my debut hit. We’re all still friends, by the way. The belt I’m wearing was given to me by Lou Reed.

2. Women on top, 1986: This was the Woman Of The Year Awards at the Savoy. Diana was a beautiful person, quick to laugh and very kind. I sat next to her during lunch that day and she talked to me about how she wanted William and Harry to have normal lives, to be able to travel and do whatever they chose. She was a devoted, loving mother.

Click here to read the full article via a larger scan. (Thanks to Lärwi, of The Toyah Willcox Interview Archive, for scanning this.)

The Lady: First Impressions: Toyah Willcox

April 28th, 2014

thelady14a‘My motto is – never look back’

Toyah Willcox …is an English singer. She has had 13 Top 40 singles, including It’s A Mystery and I Want To Be Free, and has released 20 albums. She is also an actress and has written a number of books. Toyah and her husband divide their time between London and Worcestershire.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am on tour all year with my band, Toyah. I am also touring an acoustic show with my American band, The Humans. I have three movies to shoot this year – in the first there’s no dialogue as we all ‘speak’ like apes… it will make sense in the end.

When were you at your happiest?
Why ‘were’? I am happy now. Happiness is an art form. I find it challenging at times but the past is gone. My motto is never look back – but my 40s were fantastic.

What is your greatest fear?
In the last five years I have lost my parents and the pain is overbearing. My great fear is losing my husband and our friends. I can’t imagine being happy without my hubby.

• Continue reading at The Lady.

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Chorley Guardian: Life Begins At 50 – For Toyah

April 19th, 2014

chorleyguardian14aShe’s 55 but already this year she’s high dived in Splash and made her point on Pointless – now she’s back on the road – as Tony Dewhurst discovers

Toyah Willcox has never been afraid to speak her mind, and, now she’s a 50-something, the former high priestess of punk doesn’t show any signs of putting the brakes on.

Toyah burst on to the pop scene with smash hits It’s A Mystery and I Want To Be Free, and since then she’s also enjoyed a successful career as a singer, presenter and an actress, appearing in several films, stage plays and in numerous television dramas.

“The punk revolution changed my life, but I’m as busy now as I ever was,” said Toyah, who brings her colourful greatest hits stage show to Clitheroe tonight.

“Slow down? Not a chance. “I love performing and I’m chocka with commitments.

• Continue reading at the Chorley Guardian.

The Seattle Times: It’s Bill Rieflin Times Two

April 11th, 2014

seattletimes14aA great new interview with Bill Rieflin, by The Seattle Times, ahead of next week’s The Humans/Slow Music US live dates in Seattle and Portland.

It’s Bill Rieflin times two at Slow Music and Humans show next week | Concert preview

Bill Rieflin will be on double duty next week when he appears at the Triple Door on April 14 and 15. The multi-instrumentalist, who boasts a wide-ranging resume (Ministry, R.E.M., Nine Inch Nails, Robyn Hitchcock), will headline both shows with his improvisational group Slow Music, which also includes legendary English guitarist Robert Fripp, as well as playing in the evening’s opening act, the Humans, which features Fripp’s wife, English singer/actress Toyah Willcox.

“Believe me, it’s not my idea,” Rieflin said of the double billing. It all began when Rieflin was recently out dining in London with Fripp, Willcox, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck (another Slow Music member), and Young Fresh Fellows/R.E.M. guitarist Scott McCaughey.

• Continue reading at The Seattle Times.

Respect Magazine: New Toyah Interview

October 16th, 2013

Issue 22 (October 2013) of Respect Magazine has just been published and included is a great four-page interview with Toyah. The magazine is available online in digital format and Toyah’s interview is on pages 48-51. She talks Love Is The Law, who she would like to collaborate with, her dream party guest list and much more. Click below to read at Issuu.

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