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My first experience of Toyah, and being a Progressive Metal person and not really into Pop that much, I have to say I quite enjoyed it


You may be thinking, 'Toyah? She isn't Rock'. Well, she was in Quadrophenia, she starred in a London burlesque production, she's married to Robert Fripp, and on Sundays she dances around on YouTube, mostly in very little clothing. How much more Rock & Roll could you get? But before that we had a support act on called Star Dame which comprised of a female singer/guitarist and a guy on drums; a bit like a guitar version of The Dresden Dolls, but not as good. Dressed in what looked like sprayed on PVC, the young lady sang songs and punished her guitar throughout in such a way that I could not discern any of the words she was singing; although to be fair I think this was mainly down to the sound engineer, who should have added a bit more middle to her voice mix, but didn't, and this caused the vocals to come out muddy and muffled. She also had a tendency to just strum the guitar madly, while her right hand didn't necessarily hit any particular notes on the fretboard. Still, having said that, she did a fairly recognisable version of The Beatles 'Come Together' and the audience seemed to warm to her as their set progressed. The drummer by the way was steady as a rock.

So on to the star of the night Toyah, who I believe came on ten minutes before she was scheduled, wearing a beaming smile and telling everybody to dance before surprising me, at least, by starting with a cover and tearing through 'Echo Beach'. As lively as a hot wired chilli bean, she had bags of energy (I was quite gutted, knowing that she is only two years younger than me), as she ran through many fans favourites. At this point, she apologised to anybody who came due to seeing 'Sunday Lunch' for being over-dressed. But hang on, where's the drummer? Indeed, there was no drummer, the nearest thing to a set being two bongos to the rear of the stage. And talking of nearest thing to a set, I spoke to the sound guy to see if I could get a look at the set list, and he said he didn't have one; the only people who knew that was the band. I assumed from this, they maybe changed the songs from show to show.

'Thunder In The Mountains' and 'Dance In theThe Hurricane' (which she dedicated to those lost to the pandemic, and the NHS) both sounded excellent as Toyah really got into her stride, and I liked the fact that she communicated stories, histories and facts about the songs just prior to performing them, particularly that prior to 'Space Dance' where she explained that she tried to teach Robert to do the twist, which was so funny she used footage in the video. Bearing in mind that this was part of the delayed tour in support of her 'Posh Pop' album, which was released last August, I was surprised that she only did six songs from it. Having said that, she has released a large quantity of music over the years, and those old favourites have to be in there somewhere. Needless to say, 'It's A Mystery' and 'I Wanna Be Free' were both included.

So that, after a forced delay, was my first experience of Toyah, and being a Progressive Metal person and not really into Pop that much, I have to say I quite enjoyed it. With her boundless youthful energy, she kind of sweeps you along on a cloud of joy (she was particularly excited by the fact that she would be performing at the Isle Of Wight festival later in the year). Would I go and see her again? Absolutely.

Set List :- Echo Beach (Martha And The Muffins Cover), Thunder In The Mountains, Dance In The Hurricane, Neon Womb, Zoom Zoom, Levitate, Obsolete, Summer Of Love, Ieya, It's A Mystery, Good Morning Universe, Space Dance, New Beginnings, Brave New World, Rhythm In My House, Rebel Run, Sensational, I Wanna Be Free. Encore:- Take Me Home

Andy B/Lou C.

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