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Louder: Robert Fripp & Toyah on Dancing to King Crimson

June 1st, 2020

King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp and wife Toyah release another tongue-in-cheek lockdown video

King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp and wife Toyah have released another tongue-in-cheek lockdown video, this time pondering how to get more women to attend King Crimson shows.

“Welcome to Toyah and Robert’s Sunday Lunch,” says Fripp in the new clip. “I asked Toyah’s advice: how do we get more women to come and see King Crimson. And my wife says ‘If women can dance to King Crimson, they’ll be there!'”

• Contine reading at Louder. Watch the new video, “Women Dancing to King Crimson”, below. Browse toyah.net’s News Archive of posts on Toyah and Robert Fripp’s lockdown dances, Sunday lunch videos and more…

Stoke On Trent Live: Never Gonna Give You Up

May 30th, 2020

Stokie DJ recruits celebrities to sing Rick Astley hit for North Staffordshire mental health charity

The video, for North Staffs MIND, features members of 5ive, S Club 7, and the original dancer from the Rick Astley video

A Stoke-on-Trent DJ has recruited more than 30 famous faces for a second charity fundraising single. Last month, Terry Bossons enlisted help from indie artists to fundraise for the NHS with a cover of Chasing Rainbows under the alias ‘Indie Allstars’.

Now, he’s back with a new all-star cast including Sinitta, Lolly, and Gladiator’s Jet to cover Rick Astley’s 1987 hit Never Gonna Give You Up to raise money for North Staffs MIND charity.

• Continue reading at Stoke On Trent Live. See also: Retro Pop – Listen: Carol Decker, Hazell Dean, Toyah team up for Never Gonna Give You Up charity cover

The Scotsman: Let’s Rock Festival Dates 2021

May 28th, 2020

Here are the new dates and venues for next year’s Let’s Rock festivals

Having postponed its summer series due to the current pandemic the year, Let’s Rock have confirmed the rescheduled dates for summer 2021. The line-ups remain the same, with headliners including Adam Ant, OMD, Wet Wet Wet and UB40. Other performers including Tony Hadley, The Boomtown Rats, Kim Wilde, Marc Almond, Sister Sledge, The Undertones, Midge Ure’s Electronica, Toyah, T’Pau, Go West, Nik Kershaw, Chesney Hawkes, Betty Boo, and Heaven 17. LockdownFest, organised by Let’s Rock in aid of its official charity partner Child Bereavement UK, raised more than £130,000 for the charity.

• Continue reading at The Scotsman. Visit the Let’s Rock – The Retro Festival website.

Radio Times: The Strictly Rumour Mill 2020

May 27th, 2020

Even though Strictly 2020 is still up in the air, the rumour mill keeps throwing out new names of celebrities reportedly signing up for the show.

So far, newspaper reports have already suggested that presenter Maya Jama, actress Michelle Keegan, singer Toyah Willcox, presenter Lorraine Kelly, Corrie star Jack P Shepherd and all-round icon Jane McDonald might have agreed to samba and salsa this autumn.

• Continue reading at the Radio Times.

Edinburgh Evening News: Shirley Manson and Toyah Willcox

May 25th, 2020

Edinburgh singer Shirley Manson has written a heart-felt apology to her teenage inspiration, Toyah Willcox

Edinburgh singer and iconic Garbage front-woman Shirley Manson has revealed how Eighties pop star Toyah Willcox inspired her in a heartfelt post on her Facebook page, in which she recalled seeing the diminutive punk princess at The Playhouse in 1982.

Introducing Toyah to nearly 300,000 followers on her Facebook page, Shirley wrote, ‘This is Toyah Willcox and this is a true story. I loved her growing up but I never admitted it publicly because I knew deep down that it wasn’t considered very cool by the serious music press to do so. The worst possible thing for me at that age was to be thought of as uncool. However truth was she fascinated me and I think it’s fair to say I studied her. By that I mean I obsessed over photographs of her in magazines and tried to emulate her fabulous, esoteric style, copy her make up, style my hair like she did.’

Singer and actress Toyah fronted the band of the same name between 1977 and 1983 scoring chart success with hits like It’s A Mystery, Thunder In The Mountains and I Want To Be Free. She also appeared in cult movies such as Jubilee, The Tempest and Quadrophenia.

After recalling how Toyah was considered ‘pretty mainstream’ back in the Eighties, Shirley remembered seeing the singer, who is now 62, at The Playhouse, ‘I was 15 and pretty mainstream myself but as I said, needed more than anything to appear cool to my peers so I kept my tastes to myself. I went to see her play when she came to The Edinburgh Playhouse in the summer of 1982. I remember the undeniable, visceral thrill of seeing Toyah on stage…. The impact of seeing your idols on stage, in the flesh for the first time was something immense and extraordinarily overwhelming… I just remember the lights and lusting after Toyah’s hair and being utterly transfixed.’

• Continue reading at the Edinburgh Evening News.

Retro Pop: 80s Lockdown Fest Raises £105,000 For Charity

May 24th, 2020

Last Saturday’s Let’s Rock 80s Lockdown Fest helped raise over £100,000 for Child Bereavement UK.

Jason Donovan, Toyah, and Tony Hadley led the line-up for the virtual event, which was held in place of the annual Let’s Rock events, which have been called off due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Five Star, Sonia, Wet Wet Wet, Midge Ure, and Howard Jones were also among the performers, who went live on YouTube at 7pm to entertain fans and raise money. After all of the performances, it was announced that the event had raised an impressive £105,000, which will benefit Child Bereavement UK.

• Continue reading at Retro Pop Magazine.

Shirley Manson of Garbage: I Love Toyah!

May 15th, 2020

Shirley Manson of Garbage, and back in the mists of time, Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, speaks for us all. I would only add, never let the snobbery of music journalists dictate your tastes. I never did.

“I owe her an apology for not giving credit where credit is due.”

This is Toyah Willcox and this is a true story. I loved her growing up but I never admitted it publicly because I knew deep down that it wasn’t considered very cool by the serious music press to do so. The worst possible thing for me at that age was to be thought of as uncool. However truth was she fascinated me and I think it’s fair to say I studied her. By that I mean I obsessed over photographs of her in magazines and tried to emulate her fabulous, esoteric style, copy her make up, style my hair like she did.

Toyah wasn’t considered very culturally “important” like Siouxsie was. She was effervescent. She had a cute little lisp. She seemed a bit nerdy and she was considered pretty mainstream. I was 15 and pretty mainstream myself but as I said, needed more than anything to appear cool to my peers so I kept my tastes to myself.

I can’t remember who accompanied me to see her play when she came to The Edinburgh Playhouse in the summer of 1982. I am assuming it was my best friend Sara. We had been besties since nursery school but I can’t honestly remember. However I DO remember the undeniable, visceral thrill of seeing Toyah on stage. This was a time before pop stars were accessible and culturally omnipresent. The impact of seeing your idols on stage, in the flesh for the first time was something immense and extraordinarily overwhelming. It was the only time you ever really got to see them move through space. See them breathe and hear them speak. I just remember the lights and lusting after Toyah’s hair and being utterly transfixed.

I owe Toyah an apology. An apology for being a Judas. An apology for sucking at her teat and not having the strength of character to ever admit it. I owe her an apology for not giving credit where credit is due. I owe her an apology for, upon discovering she was a idiosyncratic firecracker and not ice cool, withholding my love. I apologize. And I want to thank her. For everything . For being a weirdo. For taking risks. For fucking trying and not being afraid. I love you Toyah Willcox. I wish I’d declared myself publicly sooner but it’s better late than never. “Don’t want to go to school. I want to be free. I want to be me”.

BBC Media Centre: Jools Holland / BBC Radio 2

May 12th, 2020

In the first of a new series, Jools Holland opens the vault of his TV series Later… to rummage through three decades-worth of classic archive performances.

Tonight he revisits the very first episode of the show to play the Neville Brothers and to tease out the history of New Orleans music.

Formed in 1977 in New Orleans, The Neville Brothers’ eponymous debut album was released just a year later on Capitol Records. Composed of brothers Aaron, Art, Charles, Cyril and Ivan Neville, the band became a key fixture in the New Orleans music scene, going on to win a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1990 for their song Healing Chant.

Also in this first episode Jools is joined by singer, actor and writer Toyah Willcox , who’ll be picking her own favourite Later… performances – including Muse, David Bowie and Bryan Ferry – and discussing her career with Jools. Willcox is a four-times Brit Award nominated singer-songwriter, actor and producer.

In a career spanning more than 40 years, she has released over 20 albums and achieved eight Top 40 singles, including I Want to Be Free and Thunder In The Mountains. In 2001 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Central England in recognition of her achievements in performing arts, media and broadcasting.

Ep 1/6 | Saturday 16 May | 8.00pm-9.00pm | BBC Radio 2: Presenter: Jools Holland | Producer: Mark Hagen for the BBC

Louder: Watch Robert Fripp and Toyah Perform Heroes for VE Day

May 10th, 2020

The King Crimson guitarist and his wife honour VE heroes with version of the David Bowie song

King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp and his wife Toyah have released a video of themselves performing a cover of David Bowie’s Heroes (a song Crimson themselves released back in 2017) to celebrate VE Day.

Fripp’s Uncle Bill, aka RAF Flight Sergeant Alfie Fripp, and Toyah’s own relative Beric Wilcox had both been in the armed services, Alfie Fripp even helped in the planning of The Great Escape. Radio 2 even played Bowie’s original version of Heroes in Fripp’s honour when he died, which of course featured his nephew on guitar.

Both Fripp and Toyah have been entertaining fans with humorous videos of themselves during lockdown, including the pair dancing and even performing ballet. Most can be seen on Toyah’s You Tube page.

• Continue reading at Louder. Visit Toyah’s You Tube channel.

Acapela Studio: Memory No.8 – Toyah

April 28th, 2020

Some of our favourite Acapela memories

We cannot bring you new music at present but we thought we would share with you some of the bands and artists who have graced the Acapela stage in the last few years……

MEMORY N0.8 – Toyah
4 years ago Acapela had a crazy idea that we would be able to invite world famous musicians to perform at the venue to a live audience!

The first major artist we contacted was Toyah…would she and other major names be attracted to perform in an old converted welsh chapel, on the top of a hill, miles from anywhere …we were just not sure!

We remember that first Toyah concert with great fondness – the sell out crowd turned up early, with the queue waiting to get in to the venue going down the street! The atmosphere before Toyah came on stage was electric and when she eventually came on stage the crowd could still not believe it was actually her!

Of course the venue has gone on in the last 4 years to achieve major awards and attract many famous names.

We will always be grateful to Toyah for that first night – as it gave us the encouragement to build the schedule to include so many superb musicians and exciting new bands. Of course every year since, Toyah has graced the Acapela stage and has never failed to get the same reaction from the sell out crowds.

TOYAH WILLCOX – OFFICIALLY AN ACAPELA LEGEND!

• Continue reading at the Acapela Studio website.

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Birmingham Mail/Live: Birmingham Celebs & The Lockdown

April 26th, 2020

This is what Birmingham’s celebrities are doing at home during the coronavirus lockdown

Lady Leshurr, Jamelia, Richie Anderson and Toyah Willcox are among the list of Birmingham celebrities using social media to entertain the public during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of us may be struggling with boredom, home-schooling and working during self-isolation – but we are not alone. Birmingham’s celebrities are finding it tough too.

Punk icon Toyah Willcox, 61, has been busy dancing in her kitchen with husband Robert Fripp.

The performances have had thousands of fans tuning in each week. Dance routines that so far that have included the tango and the twist, can be seen every Sunday on the star’s Twitter page.

The singer and actress has also updated her website with ten top tips filled with ideas of how to spend your time during lockdown.

Some of the star’s creative ways of looking after yourself in quarantine include checking your posture, avoiding sweets, and cooking.

• Continue reading at the Birmingham Mail/Live.

Rock Cellar: Robert & Toyah Are Keeping Active

April 14th, 2020

King Crimson: 2020 Tour Postponed, but Robert Fripp and Wife Toyah Willcox Are Keeping Active with Amazing Social Media Posts

Over the weekend, King Crimson announced that its planned 2020 tour has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and its hold on things at the moment.

… Despite the rough news regarding King Crimson and any upcoming live concert plans, Robert Fripp has been keeping busy lately with a series of social media posts that must be seen to be believed.

Holed up in his palatial English estate overlooking a scenic lake, Fripp and his wife, singer/entertainer Toyah Willcox, have recently shared some videos that … well, if you’d ever hoped to see a prog rock legend dress up in a bee costume and frolic around the backyard during lockdown, it’s your lucky day.

• Continue reading at Rock Cellar.

Boing Boing: Robert Fripp In A Bee Suit

April 14th, 2020

Robert Fripp in a bee suit and black stockings? Signs of the apocalypse for sure!

There are little lights in this darkness that shine through and make, for a brief moment, the invisible zombie apocalypse seem a bit less horrifying.

One of these for me has been Robert Fripp and his wife Toyah cracking themselves (and the internet) up on her twitter channel. Watch them as they play DIY Dancing with the Stars in their kitchen and flit about as pollinating bees in their back garden.

And yes, that is Robert Fripp, he of the impeccable 3-piece suits and dour resting face, in a full-on bee costume and sheer black stockings. Nice gams, Bob!

• Continue reading at Boing Boing. (Screenshot/Photo © Toyah Willcox)

Mirror: Toyah Willcox Urged To Sign Up To Strictly

April 6th, 2020

Toyah Willcox urged to sign up to Strictly after sharing lockdown dance routine

Fans of the punk icon have pleaded with her to appear on Strictly Come Dancing after she showcased her dancing skills on social media

Toyah Willcox and her husband Robert Fripp, like many, are trying to stay occupied amid the coronavirus lockdown.

And the punk icon sprinkled cheer on social media on Sunday by uploading footage of her and her husband executing a fun dance routine onto Twitter – which led to fans pleading with her to sign up to BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Glamming up for the routine, the musician, 61, slipped into a stunning embellished gown for the performance and Robert went all out by donning a suit and tie.

Using their kitchen as their stage the husband and wife pulled off impressive footwork to Bill Haley’s 1956 hit Rock Around the Clock. After they finished the uplifting jig, Toyah addressed the camera and said: “Happy lockdown lunch.”

• Continue reading at The Mirror. NB: At time of writing the video clip – Happy #lockdown lunch – had been viewed almost 107,000 times.

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.

London Post: Superstars Toyah & Hazel Bring Tour to Islington

March 9th, 2020

Iconic singing superstars Toyah Willcox and Hazel O’Connor bring tour to Islington

Iconic singing superstars Toyah Willcox and Hazel O’Connor will ramp up the retro when their pulsating new nationwide tour Electric Ladies of the 80s hits the capital next month.

The musical legends, who were at the forefront of post-punk and new wave, will evoke the era of neon brights and vintage beats as they each perform their own hit-packed set – and team up for some duets and surprises.

Between them, Toyah and Hazel have a combined back catalogue of 60 albums, plus several TV and film roles. Promising an uplifting show full of synth-spiked classics and more modern numbers, the 14-date tour will arrive in London on April 23rd.

The pair will be joined on stage at Islington Assembly Hall by a full electric band, with the set featuring much-loved tracks like Thunder In The Mountains, Eighth Day, It’s A Mystery, Will You, I Want To Be Free and D-Days.

Speaking of the tour, Toyah says: “I’m wildly excited for this. We’ll be doing some of our own repertoires, original arrangements, and new material. Expect it to be a very upbeat show, very musical and nostalgic, and above all, great to watch.”

Despite first meeting in 1980 at an audition, Toyah and Hazel’s careers have never collided – until now. Delighted to be hitting the road together at last, Hazel says: “It’s taken us 40 years, but we finally have this opportunity. I always love watching Toyah perform; her music is part of the roadmap of my life. The show is sounding incredible in rehearsals, and we can’t wait to get going.”

• Continue reading at the London Post. Book tickets for the tour here. NB: A number of the dates have already Sold Out, with more just about to!

Classic Pop: Toyah, The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton

March 4th, 2020

As well as giving Toyah Solo a four star review, the latest issue (No. 62) of Classic Pop magazine also reviews Toyah’s gig at the Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton in January.

Before her co-headlining tour with Hazel O’Connor kicks off, Toyah runs through a brisk set that maps her career from punk icon to Crimson Queen.

Toyah Willcox is not an easy figure to pin down. From her early days as ‘Punk Princess’, she morphed into a multi-coloured pop star, before enjoying later success with presenting, musical theatre and, perhaps most unexpectedly, children’s television. Hard to imagine for those who recall her in Derek Jarman’s Jubilee or leaping about on TOTP, but there’s a generation of 20-somethings out there who only know Toyah from Teletubbies, Brum and as the lead character in Barmy Aunt Boomerang.

• Issue 62 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now. (Thanks to Minna of The Toyah Willcox Interview Archive for the scan)

The Scarborough News: 15 Photos of Toyah’s Electrifying Gig

March 2nd, 2020

15 photos of Toyah’s electrifying gig at Scarborough Market Hall on Saturday

The original punk princess, Toyah, stormed Scarborough’s Market Hall on Saturday night with an electrifying gig.

The pop star-actress mesmerised the audience of a couple of hundred with a whirlwind performance of new and old songs, including It’s a Mystery, Sensational, I Want To Be Free, Thunder in the Mountains and Echo Beach.

Her warmth, charisma and vocal range would put to shame some of the modern starlets a third her age … she’s approaching 62, with a 43-year singing career!

• Continue reading/Browse the photos at The Scarborough News.

South Wales Life: Toyah Coming To Crickhowell

March 2nd, 2020

If you’ve never been to the Clarence Hall in Crickhowell then we guarantee you’ll want to make that the place you go to see Toyah Willcox next. Great, intimate venue and a fantastic performer, what more could you ask for on a night out. It’s only when you start doing your homework to write something like this that you realise just how much Toyah has achieved.

I come to this with a little piece of Toyah history. A long time ago I played cricket in the field at her home. It was a charity thing, which is just as well cause I’m rubbish at cricket. Toyah and hubby Robert Fripp came out to lend a bit of support. She did bowl a ball right at me, and I’m sure she won’t mind me saying that she is as rubbish at bowling as I was at batting. Through every other aspect of her life though, she is one mighty fine talented woman.

• Continue reading at South Wales Life. NB: This gig is scheduled for Saturday 30th January 2021.

Edinburgh Live: Let’s Rock 2020 Line-Up Released

February 29th, 2020

The Let’s Rock 2020 line-up has been released and it’s a belter – here’s everything you need to know about this year’s event

80s icons aplenty will descend on Dalkeith Country Park in Midlothian on Saturday 13 June.

It’s time to party back to the 80s with Let’s Rock, the UK’s biggest retro festival. And this year, the stellar line-up makes for their biggest summer yet.

A celebration of all things pop and 80s, Let’s Rock offers gloriously unpretentious non-stop fun, with legendary artists performing hit after hit to a crowd of all ages – many of whom embrace the throwback vibe by dressing in their finest retro fashion.

Let’s Rock 2020 headliners include: Adam Ant, OMD, UB40 and Wet Wet Wet. Other performers include ABC and Howard Jones – exclusives for Let’s Rock, plus Billy Ocean, Tony Hadley, Kim Wilde, Sister Sledge, The Boomtown Rats, Belinda Carlisle, Heaven 17, The Undertones, Midge Ure’s Electronica, Toyah, T’Pau, Go West, Nik Kershaw, Chesney Hawkes, Betty Boo + many more.

• Continue reading at Edinburgh Live.

Toyah Solo: Review by We Are Cult

February 29th, 2020

A review of Toyah Solo by We Are Cult.

Little Tears of Love: ‘Toyah: Solo’ reviewed

❉ This is a fine time to look back at the solo career of an underrated artist.

I’m too qualified, to give up lie down and die. This is my unsentimental education.

Toyah Willcox has been a household name since her eponymous band burst onto the UK pop charts in the early 1980s. Juggling her musical career with high profile work as an actress on stage and screen, and a string of television presenting work was both a blessing for her career longevity and a poisoned chalice when it came to her enduring legacy as an artist in her own right.

The release of Solo – the first ever Toyah boxset – is the first step for Willcox and her faithful master of the archives Craig Astley in a bid to right those wrongs.

Compiling most – but crucially not all – of Toyah’s solo albums released since the Toyah band broke up in 1984, alongside a collection of rare and unreleased material, plus a bonus DVD, the release starts a dedicated reissue campaign which continues with standalone coloured vinyl pressings of almost every studio album in the set in March, bringing most of them back into print for the first time in over a decade.

• Continue reading at We Are Cult.