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Toyah At Home #3: Newsy Bits

July 6th, 2020

Info from Saturday’s third instalment of Toyah At Home, which aired at Toyah’s official You Tube channel.

It’s A Mystery: from Toyah’s second EP was the song of the morning. She talked about her reaction when first hearing the song, written by Keith Hale of Blood Donor, and how it ultimately changed her life.

The Humans: “It’s Humans day!!” said Toyah, and a very quick look at all of the Toyah & The Humans releases – Four vinyls and a great box set. Toyah mentioned Bill Rieflin wanted to call it “The Humans’ Greatest Hits”.

Derek Jarman: Toyah talked about her experiences working with the late writer/director on the films from her early career; Jubilee and The Tempest.

The Tempest: Detailed discussion on working on this film. Lots of memories from Toyah, including two wonderful keepsakes Derek Jarman gave her at the end of filming, and playing Miranda as a wild child. Toyah said: “The Tempest for me was one of the most important films of my career“, and her introduction to Shakespeare.

Making Movies in Los Angeles: Toyah talked about relocating, or more to the point not relocating, to the USA for acting work, and whether her younger self would have done so now if she had the opportunity.

Glastonbury: The experience of playing the legendary festival (in 2016) but never attending it as a festival-goer!

Most Haunted: Toyah chatted about the various haunted homes she has stayed in, and the activity generated within them.

In The Fairground: Interesting chat about the song from the 1981 EP Four More From Toyah; its origins, what the lyric is about, and how it relates to today.

In The Fairground: Toyah said: “I listened to that and thought, wow this track, it’s really nice. I could probably sing it a lot better now than I did back then. Back then we were on tour, we had to deliver for Christmas. It was 1981 and was pretty much made in between live shows, and I think I could develop that now much better for the acoustic show“.

New Studio Album: by the Toyah band of now? There are a number of obstacles, including geography, finances, the ongoing pandemic, but “It’s a possibility” Toyah said.

Telepathic Lover: Live archive footage of this great song from Four From Toyah: Birthday Edition EP and 2019’s In The Court Of The Crimson Queen album. Toyah said: “One of my favourite songs live. I just love the groove and when we’re on stage, this is the Toyah band at their best. It’s absolutely fabulous“.

Ask Toyah: Toyah said “Please keep those questions rolling in. It’s really good to do this. I love, I love It, I love it! They are wonderful!“.

Toyah at Home: This week’s show was promoted on Toyah’s official Instagram with a rare Four From Toyah era photo (directly above).

• See you next week for Toyah At Home #4.

Toyah & Robert Fripp: When It’s A Mystery Meets King Crimson

July 6th, 2020

A number of people have asked what would it sound like if Toyah and King Crimson’s music came together. In this week’s sunday lunch, it’s no longer a mystery.

NOW 80s: Who Won Wot?: 1980 – 1989

July 4th, 2020

NOW 80s’ mammoth 10-hour Who Won Wot? 1980 – 1989 aired yesterday, hosted by Mark Goodier. The first artist played from 1981 was Toyah, with the Thunder In The Mountains video. Mark said: “We begin 1981 with a 4ft 11 pop star who had the biggest hair of the entire decade, here’s the Most Fanciable (as voted by Smash Hits magazine readers) Toyah Willcox with Thunder In The Mountains“. Click on the screen caps to zoom.

Toyah At Home #2: Newsy Bits

June 28th, 2020

Info from Saturday’s second Toyah At Home, which aired at Toyah’s official You Tube channel.

Good Morning Universe: was the song of the morning, with Toyah explaining how it got its title. Joel Bogen wrote the music and as soon as Toyah heard the joyous track she wanted to call it Good Morning Universe.

Good Morning Universe: Toyah performed a live version of the title song from Toyah’s third EP, and ninth single, released in November 1981. I’ve always loved this song, and all the others on the Four More From Toyah EP.

Shirley Manson: Toyah mentioned the Garbage lead singer’s recent comments about Toyah being one of her early influences.

Early Influences: Toyah talked about her own early influences, Dusty Springfield and Sandie Shaw in the 1960s, as well as Curved Air, Grace Slick, Roxy Music, Alice Cooper, Lou Reed and David Bowie in the 70s.

Movies: To Be Someone will hopefully be showing later this year, with press and publicity happening soon. Toyah also mentioned Give Them Wings.

Take The Leap!: Jolyon Dixon, the guitarist from Friday Forever and Toyah’s Take The Leap! band asked Toyah if she would be interested in a Leap! anniversary tour.

Steve Strange: Toyah talked about the Visage frontman back in the days of her Mayhem warehouse and the Blitz Club and the last time she met him, at the V&A Club To Catwalk exhibition in 2013.

Favourite Venues/Tours: Toyah reminisced about playing (the legendary) Glasgow Apollo. Her favourite venue is Wembley Arena, and she loves playing in churches because of their great acoustics. Toyah loved all of The Humans tours, and also the recent Thunder In The Highlands tour.

Computer: Will this ever be played live? There are plans for some of the Safari album songs to be played live during Toyah At Home to coincide with the Cherry Red release of Toyah’s Safari back catalogue.

Ophelia’s Shadow: Some of the songs are too studio layered to perform live but Lords Of The Never Known and Brilliant Day will be (Toyah mentioned the late Keith Tippett).

Prostitute: Toyah talked about the possibility of the album being performed live as an art project with visuals. She also talked about performing the album during the FrippFripp tour in 1988, and about the legacy of the album and its meanings now as the world changes and evolves.

• Toyah also chatted about which song took the longest to write (Slow Descent by The Humans was mentioned), and the show ended with live footage of She’s Fast by The Humans from Trading Boundaries in East Sussex.

Serbian Council of GB Fundraiser – It’s A Mystery

May 10th, 2020

The Serbian Council of Great Britain held an online fundraising concert on Sunday 3rd May 2020 as a call to action during the COVID Crisis. Toyah supported the cause by performing It’s A Mystery.

• Click on the screen shots below to see/hear Toyah’s full performance (begins 11m into the clip). Visit the crowdfunding page here.

Toyah on TV: Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!

May 7th, 2020

Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!: NOW 80s: Friday 8th May: 9pm
T’Pau’s Carol Decker brings a bit of Heart and Soul to a countdown of ’80s ladies who like to rock! With Joan Jett, Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar. (as well as Toyah via the Thunder In The Mountains video)

Toyah on TV: Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!

February 23rd, 2020

Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!: NOW 80s: Monday 24th February: 4am
T’Pau’s Carol Decker brings a bit of Heart and Soul to a countdown of ’80s ladies who like to rock! With Joan Jett, Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar. (as well as Toyah via the Thunder In The Mountains video)

Christmas 2019: Day 8: TOTP – Be Proud Be Loud (Be Heard)

December 8th, 2019

Christmas 2016, and BBC Four aired a repeat Top Of The Pops, which was originally broadcast in October 1982 on BBC1, with Toyah’s studio performance of the single, Be Proud Be Loud (Be Heard). This site described it as “iconic, classic and utterly unforgettable“.

While the retro TOTP aired, BBC Four also tweeted: “In 1982, Toyah was so famous, she even had a lion-tailed macaque named after her on Animal Magic, and appeared on the show to meet it“.

Toyah on Christmas TV: Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!

December 6th, 2019

Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!: NOW 80s: Thursday 12th December: 10pm
T’Pau’s Carol Decker brings a bit of Heart and Soul to a countdown of ’80s ladies who like to rock! With Joan Jett, Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar. (as well as Toyah via the Thunder In The Mountains video)

Let’s Rock Winter 2019: It’s A Mystery

December 4th, 2019

Toyah, performing a crowd-pleasing version of It’s A Mystery at Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham last Friday night at the first concert of the Let’s Rock Winter three-date tour. There are another two dates to be played later this month. See I Want To Be Free performed here. (Thanks to Darren)

Let’s Rock Winter also features Tony Hadley, Marc Almond, Jimmy Somerville, Nik Kershaw, Boney M, Clare Grogan of Altered Images, Then Jericho, Sonia, Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow, Peter Coyle of The Lotus Eaters and Dr & The Medics.

Toyah on TV: Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!

December 2nd, 2019

Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!: NOW 80s: Thursday 5th December: 11am
T’Pau’s Carol Decker brings a bit of Heart and Soul to a countdown of ’80s ladies who like to rock! With Joan Jett, Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar. (as well as Toyah via the Thunder In The Mountains video)

Four More From Toyah: Anniversary + Fanzine Preview

November 11th, 2019

Next week marks the 38th Anniversary of the release of the Four More From Toyah EP. Four great songs (as well as a bonus fifth song on the flexi!!) and utterly incredible imagery. Here is a mini preview of the FMFT page from the forthcoming Issue 38 of our fanzine, along with the original EP front sleeve in the UK. The fanzines will be posted out at the beginning of December!

Step Into The New World: Digital Artwork

November 3rd, 2019

The artwork for the digital release of Step Into The New World.

Toyah on TV: Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!

October 8th, 2019

Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!: NOW 80s: Wednesday 9th October: 9pm
T’Pau’s Carol Decker brings a bit of Heart and Soul to a countdown of ’80s ladies who like to rock! With Joan Jett, Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar. (as well as Toyah via the Thunder In The Mountains video)

From The Stacks: Thunder In The Mountains

September 12th, 2019

A great mini article on the Thunder In The Mountains single, just published by From The Stacks.

From The Stacks: Toyah, “Thunder In the Mountains” (Picture Disc)

Toyah never made a dent in the American charts, but lead singer Toyah Willcox left a big impression on the new wave kids. Willcox had it all: Big hair, beauty, and that “new wave diva” vocal style shared by so many early ’80s Brit artists. She was an art school kid’s dream.

And speaking of art school dreams, the video for “Thunder in the Mountains” is a Mad Max meets Spartacus fever dream:

Willcox is still getting things done, both as an actress and a musician. Her latest release is an extended version of In the Court of the Crimson Queen, featuring a guest appearance by her husband, King Crimson’s Robert Fripp.

As for this beautiful “Thunder in the Mountains” 7-inch: Expect to pay about three bucks, and just imagine how cool it will look hanging behind your turntable. Happy hunting.

• Continue reading at From The Stacks by clicking below on the Thunder In The Mountains collage I created circa 2012 (which, much like a lot of the other Toyah imagery I’ve created over the past 20 years, has been posted all over the internet/Facebook/Pinterest etc but never with any sort of link back to this website or design credit).

Sheep Farming in Barnet AP: 40th Anniversary

September 8th, 2019

A belated Happy Anniversary/Birthday to an incredibly important single/AP/EP!

Not only is it one of the most important but also one of the best – all six songs are amazing and all stand the test of time, still sounding fresh, vibrant and way ahead of anything else that was released in 79!

Toyah’s second single, the Sheep Farming In Barnet (EP/AP) – following the debut single, Victims Of The Riddle, a few months earlier – was released in July 1979. The traditional EP contained four songs, Toyah’s record label wanted to differentiate from that format and decided to release SIX songs on one single (a mini album really). This was the first, and last, AP release. Tracks were: A. Neon Womb, Indecision, Waiting; B. Our Movie, Danced, Last Goodbye.

The band members were Pete Bush: Keyboards, Mark Henry: Bass, Joel Bogen: Guitar, Steve Bray: Drums, Toyah Willcox: Verbals. As with the debut single, this was a huge hit on the UK indie chart, and also increased the band’s, already growing, popularity in other parts of Europe. The, now iconic, cover shot for the single was taken at the RAF Fylingdales radar station near Whitby in Yorkshire. Unfortunately, the “golf balls” were demolished in the mid 1980′s.

• Continue the celebration – See Official Toyah’s Sheep Farming in Barnet collage/info post at Instagram (part of the Crimson Queen Tour countdown). Visit the SFIB AP page at the Toyah Discography. You can also check out our Toyah 40 Archive.

Toyah on TV: Video Killed The Radio Star

June 21st, 2019

There’s a repeat airing of the Toyah Special of Video Killed The Radio Star on Sky Arts early next month. This is its first repeat since premiering in August 2018.

Video Killed The Radio Star: Sky Arts: Tuesday 2nd July: 7pm
Toyah Willcox. (Series 7, Episode 6) An insight into the making of videos by Toyah Willcox, whose hits included It’s A Mystery, Thunder in the Mountains and I Want To Be Free.

Toyah on TV: Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!

June 16th, 2019

Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!: NOW 80s: Wednesday 19th June: 6pm
T’Pau’s Carol Decker brings a bit of Heart and Soul to a countdown of ’80s ladies who like to rock! With Joan Jett, Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar. (as well as Toyah via the Thunder In The Mountains video)

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

May 6th, 2019

There’s another chance to catch Toyah’s Sack The Stylist?! Top 30. It airs again this Wednesday, at 12pm, on NOW 80s

Here’s the show’s full playlist: 30. Love and Pride – King, 29. Fade To Grey – Visage, 28. Bad Boys – Wham!, 27. The Slightest Touch – Five Star, 26. Synchronicity II – The Police, 25. You Think You’re A Man – Divine, 24. I Found Someone – Cher, 23. The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow) – The Jam, 22. Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye – Bananarama, 21. What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For? – Shakin’ Stevens, 20. Touch Me (I Want Your Body) – Samantha Fox, 19. You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) – Dead Or Alive, 18. Things Can Only Get Better – Howard Jones, 17. Lucky Star – Madonna, 16. Just Say No – Grange Hill Cast, 15. London Town – Bucks Fizz, 14. The Look Of Love – ABC, 13. More Than This – Roxy Music, 12. Open Your Heart – The Human League, 11. Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode, 10. Blue Jean – David Bowie, 9. Ant Rap – Adam & The Ants, 8. Starting Together – Su Pollard, 7. The War Song – Culture Club, 6. Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) – A Flock Of Seagulls, 5. Thunder In The Mountains – Toyah, 4. Too Shy – Kajagoogoo, 3. The Wild Boys – Duran Duran, 2. Wired For Sound – Cliff Richard, 1. I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You) – Grace Jones. Bonus Track: Sensational – Toyah

Well, I’ve been taking an affectionate look at fellow pop stars and their styles so I had to balance things out with that. My hair, make-up and outfit on Thunder In The Mountains was pretty crazy. But I loved it!

Toyah on TV: Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks! / NOW 80s

April 27th, 2019

Carol Decker’s 30 Rock Chicks!: NOW 80s: Sunday 28th April: 9pm
T’Pau’s Carol Decker brings a bit of Heart and Soul to a countdown of ’80s ladies who like to rock! With Joan Jett, Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar. (as well as Toyah via the Thunder In The Mountains video)

Thunder In The Highlands: Ieya/Dance In The Hurricane

April 26th, 2019

Ieya at The Liquid Room – Thunder In The Highlands Tour – in Edinburgh last night. See/hear two minutes of Dance In The Hurricane here. The tour plays Dundee tonight.