Archive

Posts Tagged ‘At The Barrier’

At The Barrier: Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! Review

May 18th, 2022

Third instalment in Cherry Red’s deluxe reissue series of Toyah’s Safari Records catalogue

Release Date: 13th May 2022
Label: Cherry Red Records
Formats: CD + DVD, Limited edition neon yellow vinyl

So – here we are again. Just about a year ago, we were pleased to review the deluxe reissue of Toyah’s second album, The Blue Meaning, and now, here comes installment number three in Cherry Red Records’ Toyah reissue series – a CD/DVD reassessment of the seminal 1980 live album, Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! And, as usual, it’s a cracking package. The CD-half of the package comprises, for the first time, the entire concert – complete with encores – from Toyah’s show on 17 June 1980 at Wolverhampton’s legendary Club Lafayette. The CD is accompanied by a DVD of the 1980 ATV documentary film ‘Toyah’ – a splendid period piece that captures Toyah at home, at work and at play, just as she reached the very cusp of her major commercial breakthrough. As usual, the package comes complete with an informative booklet, this time with detailed sleevenotes from Craig Astley, Toyah’s official archivist, and an introductory reminiscence from Toyah herself.

The gig at the Club Lafayette was added, for the benefit of the ATV camera crew, to the itinerary of Toyah’s 1980 Ieya Tour to provide some live footage for inclusion in the documentary that was in the process of being compiled. The band played a slightly shorter set than was normal for the time, with material drawn exclusively from the debut album Sheep Farming In Barnet and the (then) new release The Blue Meaning and the resulting live album, Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! was a triumph. Toyah is on top form as she shrieks, squeaks, groans and howls her way through a dramatic performance. The recording captures the enclosed atmosphere of the packed club wonderfully – in the way that the best live albums always seem to manage – and the setlist is inspired. Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! Reached number three in the indie chart and stayed in that chart for over a year and was Toyah’s first album to creep into the national album chart, peaking at number 22. Big things were just around the corner, and that impending breakthrough seems to ooze from the very grooves of this album.

• Continue reading at At The Barrier. See links to three other Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! (Deluxe Release) album reviews… + recent news!

Posh Pop: Album Review By ‘At The Barrier’

August 24th, 2021

Anthems, hope and escapism – it’s all there on the first Toyah album for 13 years!

Release Date: 27th August 2021
Label: Demon Music Group
Formats: CD / CD+DVD / Vinyl / Digital

“Thank you, Toyah, for a great album. And welcome back – we’ve missed you!”

The last time Toyah graced these pages was back in May, when we reviewed the reissue of her 1980 album The Blue Meaning. In that review, we gave a brief a resumé of what Toyah has been up to in recent years, including a mention of the hilarious You Tube postings, Toyah and Robert’s Sunday Lunch (and if you haven’t seen this yet, check it out – it’s unmissable!) and releasing her (until now) most recent album, 2008’s In The Court of the Crimson Queen.

Well… She’s back, and how!! Posh Pop is Toyah’s first album of new material for 13 years, and it’s a blast. Toyah herself is very proud of Posh Pop, considering the album “A career best,” and she could very well be right. It’s a joyful album that draws copiously on Toyah’s glam and punk roots and builds upwards from there; the 80’s synth sound is still around, tempered and enhanced by lots of stunning rock guitar from Toyah’s husband, “Bobby Willcox” and the lyrics are clear and excellent, covering topics as diverse as the lockdown “Zoom Boom,” space exploration, ageing, bereavement, the devastation of war, the fate of humanity and the Beirut explosion. And it all comes enclosed in a wrapper of addictive, anthemic rock and pop.

• Continue reading at At The Barrier. The album is released on Friday. Pre-order Posh Pop here.

The Blue Meaning: Review by At The Barrier

May 26th, 2021

Toyah – The Blue Meaning (Expanded Deluxe Edition): Album Review

Dark, intense and disturbingly graphic – an early masterpiece by Toyah revisited

Release Date: 28th May 2021
Label: Cherry Red Records
Formats: 2CD + 1DVD, Limited Edition Coloured Vinyl

Cherry Red Records have done it yet again! This week’s lucky recipient of their deluxe reissue treatment is Toyah and the band’s second album, 1980’s The Blue Meaning. In fact, Cherry Red are working their way through Toyah’s Safari Records catalogue – the band’s debut album, Sheep Farming In Barnet, has already received the deluxe repackaging and the rest of the bunch, Anthem (1981) The Changeling (1982) and Love Is The Law (1983) will be along soon – a veritable treasure trove from the happiest, most productive and most creative period of Toyah’s career. Oh – and for clarity – at this stage in the career of Toyah Willcox, Toyah was the collective name for the band in which she featured – Joel Bogen on guitar, Charlie Francis on bass, Steve Bray on drums, Peter Bush on keyboards and Toyah herself on vocals (or verbals and unusual sounds, as the album’s excellent sleeve notes put it.)

• Continue reading at At The Barrier.