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Toyah! Toyah! Toyah!

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Album Review

Featuring the diminutive Toyah Wilcox when she was more Siouxsie Sioux and not so Kate Bush, Toyah Toyah Toyah captures a 1980 concert in Wolverhampton, which was also filmed for a U.K. television documentary on the brittle singer/songwriter/actress/cult figure. She's an acquired taste with that kind of severe personality and delivery — and even more severe hair — that could only come from the U.K. and only in the '80s. If you're not familiar, don't start here. Start with some kind of hits collection that includes the later, more prog singles "It's a Mystery" and "I Want to Be Free" and leave this to the fans who crave a document of her scrappy early years. With only two albums under her belt at the time of this recording, the new wave diva sounds urgent, hungry, and just as sharp as her haircut while her band rocks with that jagged, amphetamine beat, occasionally slowing down for the dramatic sci-fi numbers like "Insects." A year later she would release the fantastical and heavy album Anthem and began phase two of her career, so this is a kiss goodbye to the days of Derek Jarman and anti-establishment with some songs that wouldn't be on future set lists. Not that there's any other kind of Toyah fan, but this is strictly for the hardcore.


Born: 18 May 1958 in Kings Heath, Birmingham, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Toyah Ann Willcox was born in Birmingham on May 18, 1958, and trained as an actress at the Old Rep Drama School. She was launched as an anti-establishment figure when she appeared in two cutting-edge films in the late '70s: Jubilee, the punk rock movie directed by Derek Jarmen in which she played a character named Mad, and the Who's mod film version of their early-'70s rock opera album Quadrophenia, in which she played the equally bizarrely named character, Monkey. She moved on to front a punk rock...
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Toyah! Toyah! Toyah!, Toyah
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