08 January 2016

TOYAH’S BLOG 
2016


Read Toyah's blog on the Official Page HERE 


DECEMBER 2016

HELLO THERE!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!

This is the week I am being honoured by Birmingham by being awarded a place on BIRMINGHAM WALK OF STARS ………..to be situated on Broad Street on the spot my father had his antique shop when I was a child. I am so grateful to everyone who has made this possible. Jasper Carrot, the Birmingham City Council and WestSide Birmingham.

When I was thirteen, I used to sit with Dad in the shop on a Saturday morning watching the TV presenters from the ITV Studios and the actors from the Birmingham Rep Theatre window shop outside and I’d dream that one-day I would be in the same business as them.

I am not sure if my parents ever believed I would have amounted to anything when I was a teenager but even in their wildest dreams I doubt they ever thought their youngest daughter would be honoured by a bright shiny star outside their antique shop in what has become one of the most exciting cities in the UK.

Transformation is a wonderful thing! TO BE SOMEONE, the film will go into production in 2017 and it will be about The Mod movement today. This is after much speculation about its future due to it being mistakenly linked to Quadrophenia in the press, it is now able to move forward.

The film has no ties with Quad at all but is a MOD story….a really great Mod story. I think it will be well liked when the audience can get to see it in 2018. Another exciting development is the filming of CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. The stage production might be shot in Birmingham.

I hate “hearsay” and prefer not to talk about things until they are 100% but everyone is pulling out the stops to make this happen and again Birmingham Council and Birmingham Film are being heroic…..so fingers crossed …..AND another thrilling aspect about this film is it might be shot at the Birmingham Old Rep Theatre where I went to drama school in the 1970s.

All this is in development but moving very quickly and none of it could have moved this fast without the help of everyone I have worked with in the past month…… the team on John Godber’s film THE LAST LAUGH, Birmingham Council, Birmingham Film, Octopus TV and of course the entire stage production of C&P. If we manage to get this going I will slot into the production as an actress/ composer and exec producer ………Simon Darlow and myself writing some new material for the show and the TOYAH BAND taking part on stage playing all the music live.

Very exciting and very challenging in equal measure.

016 has been a great year and from this vantage point 2017 looks even better. Six feature films are lined up and some great festivals for the band too. STEVE ORAM’S new film has a healthy budget, which allows him his most ambitious project yet and “we” – his faithful band of actors will hopefully be shooting early summer, again for a 2018 release. I am looking forward to the quiet of Christmas to have a creative writing period.

In January I am in Seattle with Bill getting ready to start HUMANS 4, so I am really looking forward to the phone going silent as everyone starts to celebrate with their families. The silence of Christmas is something I love.

It has been a wonderful year and I couldn’t have done it without the band, CHRIS WONG, ANDY DOBLE, JOHN HUMPHREY, TIM ROSE, COLIN HINDS AND PAUL NICHOLSON.

A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU ALL.

Also a huge THANK YOU to CRAIG ASTLEY, DAVIE, KATE WAY and my agents ROCK ARTIST MANAGEMENT and to everyone at DAA.

As well as being a wonderful year it has also been a weird one too, with so many people passing away. Andrew Sachs being the most recent to pass over.

I worked with Andrew in radio drama in the 1990s and he was a quiet conscientious actor with huge intelligence and never once played on his Fawlty Towers fame. In fact if you had never seen Fawlty Towers you would have never been none the wiser as to Andrew being an icon in it because he was so modest he never talked about himself.

Last week I was on the road with the SAS BAND and the show dedicated a whole section to DAVID BOWIE. This was the first time I managed to listen to LIFE ON MARS without losing my composure completely. I chose to sing suffragette City, as this song is so fast there is no time for tears to well up!

One of the best songs in the SAS set was FASHION……my god this is stunning live. My husband’s guitar part on the original is out of this world.

The fabulous Madeline Bell was also singing with the band. Madeline has world knowledge of Soul and Rhythm and Blues but she admitted to me she didn’t know any BOWIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She sang LETS DANCE with the lyrics in her hand. I think this is the first person I have ever met who doesn’t know BOWIE’S work!

Also singing with the SAS BAND was Paul Young who I will be touring with in March on the 80S INVASION TOUR…..which we are getting excited about….15 shows of fun and madness and memories! HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERY ONE!

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD

LOVE TOYAH

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NOVEMBER 2016

HELLO THERE!

Today I pulled my gym kit out of the draw beneath my bed…WillyFred’s favourite snoozing ground, and my gym kit was covered in his lovely fluffy white fur.

So I trained whilst looking lovingly at what would have slightly irked me if he were still on this earthly plane. Small smudges of fluff. A beautiful memory of an utterly lovely creature. I thought my year was about to settle down, get a little quieter and it just isn’t so.

I am a keen follower of Susan Miller…https://www.astrologyzone.com. Making sure everyone in my circle reads her monthly predictions on the 1st of each month. The reason I adore her is she writes astrological predictions for Hollywood agents, which I find hysterical…it’s another world!

At the beginning of October she advised that in the first week of the month Taureans must be pro-active in creating their futures. This set the Fripp/Cox household into a focussed frenzy of communications. I set about writing to all the people I want to work with and by the end of the week I had landed 6 movies for 2017. Even my agent took the advice and we were all completely amazed it worked!

Then other, unexpected, work offers landed on our desks…..artwork requests, song requests, documentary requests, directing offers and script advisory positions. NOW if you know me at all, you know I cannot say NO to work. I love working; it is constantly rewarding and exciting.

Three of the movies next year will only need me on set for a couple of days….but the other 3 movies will need me around for a month or so and they are big budget, mega story extravaganzas. One of the productions is CRIME AND PUNISHMENT……this is going to take a lot of work. We are initially filming the stage performance as is, slotting myself as actress/singer into one of the characters/ writing 3 new songs / replacing the backing track score with the live TOYAH BAND and myself directing the camera work alongside Phil Willmott directing the actual show which will be filmed in a theatre in front of an invited audience.

(Unless I can find a suitable film director…, which would make my life a lot easier.) The idea being the stage production exists for cinemas to stream and for the DVD buying public to be able to purchase the production. Then, in a year or so, we move on to having a full-length feature film being proposed, with A-listers i.e.: Rocky Horror/ Phantom / Les Mis territory. This week I am briefly working with John Godber on a film in Hull, THE LAST LAUGH. John and I have tried, umpteen times, to work together over the decades.

In fact the day he sent me the script for The Laugh, I was looking through my script library and found a letter from him dated 1991, asking me to tour SALT OF THE EARTH with him.

John like myself is proactive in all that he does. In fact I find him inspirational in his commitment, drive and vision. A giant of a guy. The only time we could meet up, last month, before filming was at the Tribeca in Manchester. My dressing room was a mirror ball den in the basement with 5 beds in it. As John and his family entered I explained the beds where in my rider….he made no comment.

The TriBeCa by the way was a F—— FABULOUS gig……what a fun night. Mind you all the gigs in October where “the cherry on top of the cake”…my goodness Bristol Fleece felt like God entered the room and boogied with us……it was sublime.

On many occasions this year I have experienced a presence on stage next to me, and on these occasions the show has turned into an event beyond the shows usual experience…….something charged the air into a frenzy. This happened at Muni in Colne, the Devon Hall in Bideford and in Bristol Fleece. At the Muni I actually thought there was someone standing between Wong and myself on two occasions, making me turn and look at the space between us. It has been such a weird year nothing would surprise me!

This week I took part on two documentaries; one on Pete Burns ….who deserves to be remembered for his brilliant mind. And the other on Marc Bolan. For the Marc Bolan documentary I was asked to find my original vinyl albums.

So I crawled up into the attic space where my vinyl collection is stored and looked through the collection I started when I moved to London in 1976…..my god it is a brilliant collection. I sat in the attic and was in awe of what I have.

Roxy Music, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Pere Ubu, Tubes, Devo, Human League, Alice Cooper, Bowie, Fripp and Eno, Velvet Underground, Neco, Lou Reed, everything that made me want to be a musician……I never thought I would hear myself saying something so retrospective…..but those were good old days! As it is Halloween I am going to list the books I have read this past month…..they are goodies:

THE SUPER NATURE: WHITELY STRIEBER/ JEFFREY J. KRIPAL LIFE BETWEEN LIFE: DR. JOEL L. WHITTON/ JOE FISHER AUTHORS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE: JEFFREY J. KRIPAL CONFIRMATION: WHITELY STRIEBER PRODUCER TO PRODUCER: MAUREEN A. RYAN

All my favourite subject! Otherworldliness. Not for the faint hearted…..as they challenge our belief of what is real and what is not. Have a wonderful November!

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD!

LOVE TOYAH

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OCTOBER 2016

HELLO THERE!

Thank you to everyone who’s written to me, responding to my last blog, to tell me the “Lost Garden Centre of Bunnies” is Stanway near Winchcombe.

I couldn’t believe the response. So many e-mail all saying the same place. So as soon as I have a moment I am going exploring. THANK YOU! September is the month where the following 14months shape up.

2017 has some highlights booked in already. Steve Oram has cast me in his next film, which starts early summer. The Humans resume in February.

There’s the 80s Invasion tour in March followed by two other films before the summer, plus the festivals are coming in thick and fast.

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT at THE SCOOP has to be one of the high lights of my life. NEVER have I felt such pride. The musical gave a new context to the music and it worked so well. On the last night I had a producer in who is looking at the production being filmed.

But the show didn’t run without its drama. On the cast’s first day off in ages Alec Porter, the stunning lead, fell 15ft off a wall and broke his ankle. TERRIFYING! But as I said to him, via e-mail, as he was recovering in hospital…..you are alive and that is all that matters.

This meant Phil Willmott’s assistant had to stand in with the book on Wed 7th Sept, to a full house, and carry the show…Jack was incredible. He knew the songs and nailed them immediately and was off the book in days and gave a fantastic performance for the rest of the run.

The producer texted me “as soon as Jack sang WE ARE I knew he had nailed it, he blew us all away!” Then on the penultimate show a stomach bug cancelled the evening and we were all anxious the cast wouldn’t be able to perform the last show, but thanks to the local A&E acting really quickly the show was back on for the last night. It quietly broke my heart to see the last show.

Funnily enough in exactly the same way my heart broke every time a show ended that I was actually in. There is only one solution to it…..get the show back on in another venue ASAP! THANK YOU to everyone who saw the show and responded with such positive enthusiasm.

Thousands upon thousands turned up making it one of The Scoop’s biggest successes. It’s funny, but living in the two diverse worlds of the FRIPP/COXES, how some of our circle of friends reacted to the news that my music was part of a new musical.

It kind of rocked their boat of perceptions that I am in fact more than just FRIPPS celebrity housekeeper. My true friends were there and in full support and I am grateful to you all, we had some fun nights on the South Bank this last month. And we all made many more new friends!

The O2 ISLINGTON was a great night, the band were fantastic as were the audience. Opening with ANGEL AND ME meant we started at the top of the roller coaster and stayed there for the rest of the night balancing on the precipice!

It was exhilarating starting with a song that is never comfortable to perform. It was strange having our London show in September as this show usually signals the end of the year for us, but we have a full two months ahead of us. A journalist asked me on the 8th September “When did you receive your last act of kindness?” Where do I start?

Mercury was in retrograde for most of September and as I was embarking on 30 press interviews in 24 hours I was well aware of the consequences of saying anything inflammatory or ANYTHING that could be lifted out of context for the next ten years.

So my answer was considered. As so much of public sharing these days is based on spite/insecurities/regrets/jealousy/sabotage…really the list is endless I thought to myself “here’s a question I can tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth!”

My reply: “ I receive acts of kindness every day of my life. The doorman of this building held the door open and said hello. My Press Agent ran and got me a glass of water.

The women in the petrol station at 2am this morning said, “Hello how are you?” As I was parking my car the driver next to me handed me his ticket, which still had time left on it.”

But of course these social acts of manners, communication and making contact don’t sell papers these days. My feeling on this is we have a choice to live in a world where “Acts of kindness” are part of everyday life or a world where we are blinded by a type of modern rage that stops us seeing the full spectrum of life.

What I am getting at is deep in the heart of the human condition people are naturally kind, LOVE IS A NATURAL AND PREFERED EMOTION, especially when life is in balance, when food is plentiful, when homes are readily available, they are governed by an inner truth.

Be sure to catch the last remaining shows of 2016! See you out there!

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD

LOVE TOYAH

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SEPTEMBER 2016

HELLO THERE!

My life in the past month has mainly been festivals but behind the scenes it’s also revolved around KING CRIMSON, getting hubby roadworthy as he will be away for almost 4 months. The last 4 weeks has also seen HUMANS 4 evolve into the world too.

I was thrilled to land Dean Stockings and Sean Chapman the chance to art direct and shoot KING CRIMSON for the tour programme and the end result is stunning……Robert behaved…what more can I say….this man hates having his picture taken but he really likes and trusts Dean, so there was Frippy smiling away to the camera! Over the coming months I am penning the “ruff” songs for HUMANS 4. Bill is raring to go and Jan/Feb are marked in the diary for studio time in Seattle.

This means I present him with as many songs as possible before Christmas. This allows time for Bill to say NO to most of them….then come back a month later and say he really loves them…..it has become a regular much loved/ much mocked pattern on all past three albums.

He has another major project to work on this autum…..King Crimson are covering GET IN YOUR CAR (HUMANS: STRANGE TALES) and Bill is producing it for the summer of 2017.

I meet up with Bill in Paris in December, where we swoop Robert up and bring him home for Christmas but more importantly they are both my “hot date” for an event on the 11th Dec in Birmingham……more to announced soon. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT is now open. It is a free festival event and it deserves its audience. For me what is especially exciting is it is designed to bring a new audience to the theatre experience, as well as theatre lovers.

Sitting in on the first public performance, people drifted in throughout the show till the auditorium was full and they sat transfixed. I have known about the production since March and to be present at the first rehearsal run through bought tears to my eyes.

Phil Willmott who has written and directed it and acts in it, has had the extraordinary vision to place 13 of my songs into the story. There are times, watching it, you would have thought the songs were specially written for the show. The opening song WE ARE sent shivers down my spine. ANGELS AND DEMONS is so evocative within the stories setting. ANGEL AND ME has had a very special re-working (on the opening night someone came up to me and said they were shaking from head to toe they found it the most exciting thing they had seen) Then we get onto songs from IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON QUEEN and they fit all the characters in the play! The cast are very strong indeed. Alec Porter, the lead, is quite astonishing. He is a rising star. I predict great things for him.

When I arrived at the first run through he introduced himself by telling me I had held him in my arms when he was 6 months old at a dinner party held by John Makepeace (leading furniture designer). I can count on my fingers the number of babies I have held in my life and Alec would have been number 4 out of 5! The venue is really easy to get to. Trains run to about 100 yards away. Or you can park near the National Theatre and have a fantastic 25min walk to THE SCOOP at Tower Bridge. The show is on every Wednesday to Sunday at 8pm until the 25th Sept…. it’s 90 mins long so if you can bring something to sit on as the seating is stone!

Brexit has affected my diary for this year. 3 films that were due to start filming from July have moved their shooting schedule to April 2017 due to backers wanting to delay shooting to this October, as they wanted to see how the markets would move. They needn’t have worried, the British markets have had a great year.

The problem with filming late in the year in the UK is the daylight hours are so short from Oct till April you can only get half as much done… so April 2017 gets really busy for me. Which is not bad news as I am in writing mode now and cannot put my guitar down.

In August I had time to retrace my steps on a meandering drive I had around Gloucestershire 5 years ago. When my mother was in Cheltenham hospital towards the end of her life in 2011, knowing her time was limited, I used to take long drives to distract myself from the grief and on one of those drives I came across a beautiful village, the centre of which was an incredible stately home, and I remember a small but exquisite garden centre that had a special rabbit pen …really cared for bunnies.

Can I find this place again? I’ve searched and searched. Even stopped and asked people in hotels along the way if they know it.

The reason being….I can feel there is a little soul waiting to come home. It was five years ago, the place might not even exist any more. But I will keep looking. Also I was so distracted at the time I could have drifted into another county.

Robert said…”do you want another bunny so soon? Isn’t it nice to have some time off”…..we will see.

I hope to see you all at the O2 Islington on Friday 9th Sept.

It will be the band’s last public show in London for this year. The set list will be very high energy, with THE PACKT going into the set list plus many classics.

Tonight is the press night for CRIME AND PUNISHMENT.

The weather forecast says “no rain”. Fingers crossed.

See you out there

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD

TOYAH

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AUGUST 2016

HELLO THERE!

It has been such a lovely week.

Life is so unpredictable and keeps slinging pleasant surprises from all directions that are always a joy to deal with. On Monday this week I recorded a vocal for Chris Wade from DODSON AND FOGG.

The studio then sent the vocal down the line to Chris in Yorkshire and within…..about 5 hours…it was released. This has to be a world record surely ….WOW.

Chris sent me the track DRINKING FROM THE GUN about a month ago and asked if I would sing on it. I really like the cool groove and underlying tension in the song and with Chris’s permission added the third verse and outro. Luckily he LOVES my contribution. His enthusiasm for the finished track made my week.

You can buy the track digitally and see the accompanying visuals here. My publishers IMAGEM heard the track and got in contact to say they love it too. This means the world to me. It’s funny, no matter how old you get, encouragement is always incredible invigorating!

After Glastonbury in June the writer Guy Chambers told Simon Darlow he really likes the new material we are writing…….coming from Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams Angels and many more) this was just the bee’s knees. Why does the summer go so much quicker than the winter?

There is a fantasy harbouring in my skull that one day I will move around the world following the summer, the midnight sun even and never see winter nor the night time again.

It isn’t a fear of the dark that bothers me. It is a claustrophobia that comes with the colder weather and the lack of light, being a person who seriously does not enjoy wrapping up or reading under a light bulb.

For example I have just created “NAKED SUNDAY”, much to Roberts bemusement (he wont join in) where I refuse to dress, not even for lunch, and I stand in the garden and look up at the sky and say “hey Google Earth get a view of this” and I read my papers in the buff and follow Robert around the house suggesting he should do the same. I must admit the main aim of this practice is to make Fripp laugh. This is a man who loves the conventions of wearing a Three Piece Suit even in a heat wave. I love the convention of wearing nothing behind closed doors! Fripp can be so earnest sometimes a birthday suit is the only way to lighten him up.

There has been a slight twinge of embarrassment so far. Our house and garden are rigged with a security system that films all movement….I forgot. Enough said.

I have just played  the WICKHAM FESTIVAL with THE SAS BAND.

I don’t think I have been so nervous about a show for years. The reason….these guys are the best and they only work with the best and it is an honour for them to include me in their line up. That was reason enough.

But why soooooooo nervous? The main reason I was having to deal with my grief over Bowie.

I was to perform my first ever BOWIE song in public and to be truthful I still cant think of BOWIE passing without crying. I cannot control my emotions yet over this. The song SUFFRAGETTE CITY was chosen because it suits my natural style of singing and my energy. In rehearsals it sounded fantastic but could I hold the tears back on stage.

Luckily I did. I loved every minute and for me performing SUFFRAGETTE was a joy. Hopefully I can do it again! The festival had a fantastic atmosphere. It was one of my favourite of the whole season. It was full to bursting and the audience where totally up for it. But unbelievably there was no chocolate on site. Back stage at these events there usually is an abundance of carbohydrate, which is very much needed when you are about to set your gears to high speed ahead. Searching the dressing room for the chocolate stash I found Jack Daniels, Champagne, Beer, Cider, Gin……..(I prefer not to drink…….I’d say I was teetotal but a port at the end of a weekend of singing is fab on the throat) a bunch of grapes and NO CHOCOLATE.

The thing is I wasn’t the only girl on the team. AND GIRLS NEED CHOCOLATE. It wasn’t as if it was required by me alone. The thing is, if it was there I most likely wouldn’t have touched it, but it’s absence turned me into a bloodhound trying to trace the illusive ingredients all over the back stage area.

Nothing, not even a jam roly-poly and custard in the catering tent to substitute the urge…….what is the world coming too. So I sidled away from the catering tent and allowed the TREVOR HORN BAND to rev me up. They were fantastic and every song was a classic….brilliant.

Before this I had a really special weekend in HULL, BRIDLINGTON and MIDDLESBROUGH with the band.

In HULL I was doing a new shoot with photographer GARY CLUTTERBUCK. This was exciting. Lasers where installed in the studio, which took me right back to the days of touring SHEEP FARMING and BLUE MEANING when we had lasers on stage with lots of dry ice. Gary’s work is always futuristic or dramatic but he kindly took shots for a new acoustic poster at the same time.

Then on to Bridlington. This part of the East Coast is so popular, no evidence of Brits holidaying abroad here. The weather was fantastic and the whole world was on the beach making sand castles. It flooded my heart with memories of holidays in Cornwall.

The outstanding memory of this weekend is how special the British people are. Hearts of gold. Willing to help out, being open and fun and all quite brilliant in their individual ways.

For example the band and I couldn’t find anywhere to eat for Sunday before LongLands club and we ended up in Guisborough sitting outside PIE IN THE SKY, an excellent Pie n’ Mash café. When slowly it unfolded that the owner Sarah Cook is a huge Toyah fan. So many excellent Pies and selfies later we said our goodbyes, but I saw Sarah in the audience at Longlands Club bopping away, so I asked the audience to all visit her shop and buy a pie so her new business will have a good year.

The next day this story was in the press…….I had so many phone calls from the BBC wanting to cover the story ……what next? The feature film…..PIES IN THEIR EYES!

Is it me or does anyone else find Jared Leto incredibly sexy in SUICIDE SQUAD? The cast are fantastic but Jared gives a performance that is mind blowing….makes me wish I was young again.

I am so looking forward to the remainder of shows in August. HENLEY REWIND, CLEETHORPES ROCKS, GRAZE, AND DERBY CATHEDRAL. I hope you can come!

After that I am on a movie……more to come later.

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD

LOVE TOYAH

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JULY 2016

HELLO THERE!

Dear little WILLYFRED flew away on the morning of the 22nd June. His health had been declining since Christmas and I was hand feeding him every four hours for the past couple of months which kept him going but eventually the vet said enough is enough we must let him go.

The vet very kindly came to our home and Bunny knew nothing. Robert, myself, the vet and the assisting nurse all held him, all of us in tears and he drifted away in 10 seconds. We stayed up all night the evening before and we gave him so much love and attention, he kind of had a remission and was able to play and eat, then once the sun came over the horizon he slipped back into his sleepy not so well self.

I am so grateful for his life. 8 years and 10 months. That’s a long time. His life was the last bridge between myself and my parent’s lives, and I see WILLYFRED as having been by my side all the way through the grief of losing them, giving me strength, reminding me that life is about bonding/ continuation and being in the moment as well as the simple things like eating and having fun.

Never, ever, will I regard an animal as nothing more than just an animal. WILLYFRED was remarkably intelligent and knowing, capable of empathy and understanding when his companion humans were in need. His natural intelligence blew me away……..GOD BLESS HIS LITTLE SOUL.

Oh by the way…he was also capable of complete destruction as well….like the time he chewed through all our computer wires, the TV wires, my stage clothes….. sprayed us hourly so we constantly had to change our clothes before going out, eating us out of house and home and humping everything soft within easy reach of guests who came for dinner including their handbags, nibbling ladies ankles….he loved the ladies, he was a constant flirt and his capability to exhibit pure joy with a single leap in the air will keep me smiling through thick and thin. We love you WILLYFRED.

All is good in the FRIPP/COX household.

Despite the weird summer weather the shows have been fantastic. My god DEAL, KENT was electrifying…….the show went on and on, the audience asking for more and the heat in the room was like a sauna….loved it. The one show I was not looking forward to was Glastonbury because of the logistics. This was for no other reason other than “how do you find a needle in a haystack?”……I was terrified of the scale of it and how on earth to get in, find our space etc.

Well I needn’t have worried, for all the apparent chaos this was a well oiled machine. The organisation was incredible. Our welcome was incredible.

We were taken to a house overlooking the site….what a wonderful spectacle….a temporary city of revellers. At this base we could rehearse then we were taken on to the PRS tent…. it was very muddy….but the atmosphere lifted me off my feet, truly amazing. Our set was half an hour in front of one of the most important audiences in my life. Publishers/writers/MP’s/ industry bigwigs and it turned out to be what my husband and I refer to as a “set up”.

By this we mean our guardian angel is working his magic. Simon and I performed mainly songs to be placed in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT and the audience loved it and wanted more and wanted to know about the whole project.

Everyone knows I tour constantly but funnily enough the industry isn’t aware I write all the time, even my own publisher! Who came up to me after and said he loved the new songs and he wants to prioritise them, to which I was able to say “Great because they are signed to you anyway!”

So Simon and I are looking into CRIMSON QUEEN being re-released with 4 new tracks and a possible acoustic version making the whole project a double album. (but this can only happen if the industry steps in, I can’t tour/write/act AND manage AND fund AND make everyone their food AND do the accounting)

Bringing to mind a Bill Rieflin saying “Toyah if you are capable of doing it all then people will let you do it all while they take a nice holiday in Spain!” He is right. GRASSINGTON was a mega experience, wonderful audience, terrible weather!

My car developed an electrical fault on the M1. 159 miles from the venue. I panicked called Wong to ask where he was to see if he could get me on route but he was on the A1 ahead of me. So managing to start the car and re-setting the electrics, I limped the car to Grassington. The RAC came just as I was about to go on stage and made it safe to drive back, (thank you!) then I had to limp the car back at 40 MPH to Worcester at which point I left it on the dealers forecourt and bought another car on the spot and drove it away…..never have I had to do that in my life but life is so damned busy I can’t risk not making it to a show.

HOUND has started shooting and so far it has been a great experience. GARY SHAIL is my husband in the film and I think he is fab……his character is a “father figure”, a man of standing within the publishing world of the 1890s. My character is a poet……..both real people…poets and writers………we continue shooting throughout the summer.

I woke up on Friday 24th June and turned the TV on and heard the news we are leaving the EU and was stunned. We were both in total shock. It is now two weeks later and a kind of optimism is returning, especially with non-EU countries being willing to do trade deals with the UK but I am not at all sure we have done the right thing. But I do believe we must make the best of it and be forward-looking not backward looking with regret in our hearts.

The thought that we could be an “island utopia” leading the world in excellence is a wonderful thought, bringing back shipbuilding and our steel industries, but I don’t think those Utopian ideals are possible, simply because technology is designed to make the planet one single place and I believe that is something we should be aiming for, yes we need local governments serving us and I mean SERVING, we pay taxes, we all deserve to be valued and cherished, but we are a huge rock spinning in a vast universe….can we afford our divisions? These are strange times and I hope they are great times too. Change should and can be good and I pray we can make amends to Europe who I feel very much akin to.

After playing UNDER THE BRIDGE at Fulham Football Ground (fabulous venue, can’t wait to go back next year) I had to drive up to Manchester to shoot a pilot with Noel Fielding and Jonathan Ross.

I can’t tell you about the pilot (top secret) but it did involve myself and Jonathan Ross in mortal combat with a clear plastic tube and a bug…….no more to be revealed from me……..it was hysterical.

Jonathan Ross to his credit made a point of apologising to me for ever saying anything derogatory about my appearance, way back in 2003 when I did I’M A CELEBRITY GET ME OUT OF HERE and I accepted. He was sincere and he didn’t have to apologise….case closed. I’ve just finished writing a new song for CRIME AND PUNISHMENT with Simon Darlow and now I am off down the motorway again. This weekend I sing in Dorchester, Southampton and South Molton in the next 24 hours!

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD

LOVE TOYAH

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JUNE 2016

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for all the Birthday and Anniversary wishes.

We had a fantastic week in Seattle. Our Birthdays were a great excuse to get over to the USA and see our band pal Bill Rieflin. Much partying was partied in 7 days.

There were many strange and wonderful coincidences going on that week. Before we left the UK I did the photo shoot for what is being called QUADROPHENIA 2. I have been “on board” with this project since February so it is nice to see it is out in the open. It isn’t called QUAD 2 but it is understandable that is what people are thinking. It is a film based on a book that was a Mod hit called TO BE SOMEONE where the voice of Jimmy continues his internal narration of his life 30 odd years on……so all the original characters are involved.

Anyway once having landed at Seattle a car took us to the hotel where we followed Pete Townsend into the reception…THE WHO were playing Seattle that night! But we were too jetlagged to see them play!

Touching base and making a fuss of Bill was our main concern, and his wife Frankie too. We managed to make plans and day dream together….it was a lovely trip purely because of that and our Birthdays were an added bonus.

We experienced something out there that baffled us; the good people of Seattle were in general fascinated by us. Smiling as they passed us, even taking pictures of us and it wasn’t because they recognised us. We even had a professional photographer jump out and take our picture on Pine St. We were baffled by it then Frankie pointed out it was because we “dress up” i.e.: Robert in a suit and tie and myself in neat dresses…whereas No One in Seattle bothers to wear smart clothes.

Possibly this had something to do with it but I think it was because we were an elderly couple CiuLdzrWEAAHknYholding hands. It was the “cute factor” freaking them out!

Frippy and I didn’t manage to open any presents until we got back to the UK, where upon I had so many books off hubby that we have had to order more bookshelves to be put up in the house. Heaven knows when I will have time to read any of them….more holidays needed!

Cannes festival was great for me. I wasn’t there in person but with buzz of TO BE SOMEONE being announced it lead to my being offered other movies, so after filming HOUND (with Gary Shail as my hubby) I go into #SWIPERIGHT for July, a horror genre film being shot in Kent. My role is wicked. I can’t wait!

Even though it hasn’t been officially announced yet I think it is safe to confirm that Simon Darlow and Myself are over the moon that many of the songs from IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON QUEEN are about to be used in a theatre production of Dostoevsky’s CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, a steam punk version/rock musical of the novel which opens on the 30th August at the Scoop Theatre in London. It will run until the 25th Sept.

It is a free event, it is an open-air amphitheatre by the River Thames, but it will be on a first come, first served basis. It is going to be busy. They expect 40,000 people will see it as the event has been full to capacity in the past. It is part of the London Festival’s Russian Season.

Simon and I are writing three new songs for the piece. The writer/director Phil Willmott is also using some songs off ANTHEM.

Another first this month is I am playing at Glastonbury! This hasn’t been announced as I am a guest of PRS, it is a well known surprise!

Simon Darlow and the Toyah Band will be on stage with me, in the PRS TENT and we are performing CRIMSON QUEEN. Simon will be on guitar alongside Wong. It has taken months of paperwork and organising because we are not officially there, which causes security issues. I am being sneaked in separately to the band through a secret back door! I am quite nervous about it….crowds are not my thing but I have been promised we are tucked away from all the madness. The festivals start this month. It is my favourite season of the year and I am praying for good weather…for the audience’s sake as much as mine. Having seen the REWIND audience in Perth last year tolerate hail stones the size of small cats I would not wish that on anyone ever again.

LETS ROCK, GLASTO, GRASSINGTON, DARTFORD, CHELMSFORD, REWIND, GRAZE and we are just adding one in Devon….it looks like a perfect summer! What with filming feature films in the week days and singing at weekends I like to think I have found the balance I have craved all my life.

As a parting piece of gossip before I run off to do press……I have been in contact with Phil Spalding, Nigel Glockler, Adrian Lee and Joel Bogen…… something might be happening in a years time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful June! See you out there!

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD

LOTS OF LOVE TOYAH 
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MAY 2016

My thinking cap has been on, mulling over what disturbs me so much about modern communications. It’s the overload, the jabbering, nattering, twists n’ turns, no apparent constants. Everything is over in a Tweet.

35 years ago I would have sold my soul for the invention of Facebook, Twitter etc. I would have LOVED my life to have been on TV or viewed through a web cam. Now it seems sinister.

A thought occurred to me that apart from the “distracting” nature of it all, it isn’t helping me organise my thoughts, in fact my thoughts seem to have become a jumble because of the constant un-constants the modern world bleeds into our lives.

One attempt to fight this is I am embarking on doing a miniature painting per day of the year…..watercolour/ acrylic/ pencil/ pastel ANYTHING to focus my mind the hour before I have to open my e-mail.

So far so good, these happen really quickly, instantly and seem to release a stop valve of mental pressure where my over loaded mind can pull focus.

It is a visual meditation.

If, and I mean IF, because this project is loaded with contradiction (should I go

to the gym, should I shop on line) and irony (time not being available being the biggest) I mange to pull off the 365 notebook paintings it will be interesting to see if the style/subject/methods achieved reach more clarity or more mental jumble as the year progress’s.

Seeing FRIPP N’ ENO together is always a joy. All three of us have our birthdays across three consecutive days. FRIPP 16th May, ENO 17th May, TOYAH 18th May……there are similarities between us, comfort possibly being the most obvious. FRIPP n’ ENO are big gigglers and love “silly” humour….the absurd.

Having popped over to Eno’s for a playback of his latest music/ art instillation THE SHIP, instructions where we can walk around, make phone calls, do handstands, play silly buggers and rummage through his belongings, even, we would be forgiven for leaving half way through with out saying goodbye.

Afterwards in a conversation between Fripp, Eno and Professor of mathematics J. Doyne Farmer (lovely man who was genuinely interested in me) I was explaining that as a child of Punk it was fair to say the “Glitterati” of music see me as a little uncouth (as my mother would say) and Eno said “no we don’t think you are uncouth. You are just not cool like me”. Mutual giggles from the evil twins FRIPP/ENO.

You have to admire male self-confidence.

I wrote a thank you card to Eno the next day “ Dear Eno, thank you for inviting us to hear THE SHIP. It was good you got to see FRIPP before his sex change. He has been a big girls blouse since “ No Pussy Footing”. Love Toyah”

Cripes! After a great time at THE VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM with Professor

John Pitcher and multiple luminaries of media, publishing and design, my having spoken briefly about playing MIRANDA in JARMEN’S THE TEMPEST on Shakespeare’s birthday, I thought I’d drive home to Chiswick down Kensington High Street to see what was in the shop windows whilst I sat in traffic.

There was a huge police presence, more police than members of the public. Kensington Palace Gardens was lined with police vans and I thought there must have been one hell of an incident to warrant this.

Then the President Of The USA’s motorcade started to appear from Kensington Palace and I realised I am 50 feet from the President. Now that must be a first and last all in one moment!

OH NO I AM WRONG!

Next day I am ambling along the side of the River Thames on my way to see Steve

Oram for a bite to eat before a screening of AAAAAAAH! At the NFT and there’s all these policemen and armored vans around The Globe. My path crosses’ Barack’s path again.

Boy Oh Boy I love my liberty. Imagine having this entourage for the rest of your life!darlow_toyah_april16

Is it me or are the priorities in the press and media skew-whiff?

I am beginning to feel cannibalised by a monster that is exploiting and anaesthetising my soul.

Was Pink Floyd right? Are we being sucked into a convenient numbness?

Is our culture becoming a moronic hell?

So my antidote…..

I read…. things I normally cannot focus on that make my head hurt…one very good book for this has been A.C.GRAYLINGS “THINKING OF ANSWERS. It initially made the cogs of my brain crank with rusty noises but now I can hardly contain myself after reading two pages each morning…it has unlocked me from monotony…I am

rediscovering free will, free thought again. Rushing to my lyric notebook and writing, writing, writing!

Reading FRANCIS THOMPSON AND WILFRED MEYNELL, KEATS, WORDSWORTH, anything, Sy-Fi, Comedy, Cookery, anything written before the invention of the internet, makes me feel I’ve freed my self from a George Orwellian hell.

May is one of my favourite months. Simon Darlow and I are penning away for the project we will soon be able to announce…sounds so mysterious…..it is fun.

For my birthday I will be in Seattle….Yippee…then back for a summer of festivals, acoustic shows, filming and fun!

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD LOVE TOYAH

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APRIL 2016


HELLO THERE!

So what have I been doing in the last month? WELL…..

I have been living with this feeling of “something is about to happen” since January. What I mean by that is something is going to be an upheaval, a complete change. It’s to do with my working life.

It is a feeling that is making me restlessness, I can only remember it once before in 1980. It is both a good and bad thing, my desk is cleared, I am writing new songs, I am learning my instruments, I am reading all those books I should have read decades ago, I am learning my film scripts….it is as if I am about to be called to do something and I have to remain completely ready for it even though I have no idea what IT is!

I have been turning down work that I feel will be a distraction and only focussing on building my working relationships with film directors /writers/ producers.

At my grand age it feels right to only be available for future projects I believe will stretch my abilities and be totally representative of my 40 years experience as a writer/performer.

Having always trusted the unexpected, jobs that look like a complete change of direction, Trafford Tanzi was one, Quadrophenia another and certainly The Tempest was a step into the dark…..and how wonderful all three were, I feel very excited about what this year might spring on me.

It feels like the universe is juggling with us, sorting us by ability/ strength of mind/ tenacity and knowledge and then we all fall into our little hole of “what next”. Its just I sense the “what next” wont be the usual. AND my dreams! I am dreaming about Bowie every night, it is as if I am getting to know the man in death as I never knew him in life. Years before Bowie died Robert dreamed of him constantly and Robert used to write up his dreams in his diaries and these got Robert into trouble……because one of the dreams revealed that Bowie was making THE NEXT DAY ( totally unbeknown to us at the time), which lead to the press twigging Bowie was in the recording studio again and then Viscontti accusing Robert of letting the cat out of the bag to the world!

There is an air of actors frustration resounding around the walls of my office as I wait for 3 films to be given the first day of shooting….thank goodness I have other avenues to express myself in….the concerts so far this year have been heavenly. Liverpool St. Andrews Hall was breath taking and Colin Hinds hometown, so he had quite a crowd supporting him. The sound in the hall was alive. We really didn’t need a PA. It is built like a whispering gallery. Every breath had a soft echo following it. VINTAGE TV says the feedback globally to The Water Rats has been close to phenomenal and it certainly has shown it’s success in downloads from new territories from Estonia, through the Baltics, Europe and across to the USA. I have a hankering to play all these places.

Imagine, I am 58 in May and I might just get to do that world tour!!!!!!!! I have mentioned the world a lot in this blog, possibly because I feel a part of it, rather than simply part of an island. Especially this week as our Democracy is humiliated by fat cats revealing they have money stashed in Panama…..money that would most likely pay off world debts and give everyone an equal life. Never have I felt the fabric of political trust has been so violated……well OK there are other monumental occasions too. I truly believe perfection of life is possible and what I mean by this is all the resources in the world are there for us all, why does it get so F—– Up by so few!

When life gets tough I do believe the world is full of reassuring signs and symbols that are there to guide us. For example at my fathers funeral a butterfly came into the church and landed on the wreath on his coffin and then it flew into my mother’s hair.

This was incredibly reassuring at that moment but still perfectly clear that in nature these things happen anyway. Was it a nicely timed accident that happened to bring humour and comfort to a really sad occasion? Coincidence? I think not.

Then an hour later I arrived home and looked up at the sky and there was a cloud in the shape of an angel high above my head in the expanse of completely clear blue sky and at that point I shouted “I see you!” and the cloud dispersed. Tonight Robert and I were loading the car for a journey to Dundee when a lovely fat toad crossed my path in the darkness. I’d never seen a toad this close to our back door and I ran and got my phone to take a picture. Then when we came back inside we saw a new e-mail had arrived. A dear friend who was also part of our past management team had flown away after a really cruel last few months fighting cancer in a hospice.

Even though this was expected we still felt shock, then I remembered the toad and went on line and asked “what does a toad at the back door mean?” (no matter how strange a query the internet has answers) back came a multiple of related answers to the meaning of toads and frogs at the back door……..Rebirth, Transition, personal Transformation. How fitting for a friend who has just flown. When Celtic warriors died on the battlefield centuries ago a Hare was believed to carry their souls to the next life so I took comfort that with the animal kingdom on this night the toad delivered its message.

The summer gigs are flowing in every day, new festivals for the band to play, so keep an eye on the home page and remember….

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD

LOVE TOYAH XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


MARCH 2016

HELLO THERE!!!!! 

I am in BIG trouble in the FRIPP/COX household since I unintentionally scared the living day lights out of a workman in the house. Robert was out for the day, my car was at the garage and the workman thought he was alone in the house because of the absence of cars…….I was in my office when I heard the back door open and I thought “ahhhhh Robert is home early…..I am going to GET HIM!” This usually means hiding in the shower room in the dark until he comes in, or in his office under his desk and I reach out and grab his foot.

So I hid in the shadows upstairs and in a high unearthly voice I started to sigh “help me! Help me!” Silence, not a sound, no movement just wonderful trepidation and silence, the type of atmosphere Robert gives off when he knows he is being got.

Then a terrified voice down stairs trembles from the floor below me “who’s there….who’s there……who are you! OMG is someone there!” Realising it wasn’t my husband, rather than apologetically owning up, I had to creep off and hide my fit of giggles, eventually turning up on the stairs to ask the poor man if he was alright. He said yes but he heard a ghost.

And he told me the story when he was in our attic on his own one day, a man gave him orders from behind and when he turned around no one was there. The builder still doesn’t know it was me whimpering “help me! Help me!” He still thinks it was the ghost of someone else.

February was great. The shows at THE WATER RATS and THE ROYAL VAUXHALL TAVERN were rocking. ROCKING! VINTAGE TV were slightly taken by surprise to discover the audience was as loud as the band, singing along to every song. I hope the atmosphere comes across on the TV SPECIAL broadcast Tuesday 22 March, because it was a remarkable evening. Our fans really turned out to support us. Then a week later at THE ROYAL VAUXHALL TAVERN new people were turning up to see us because word was out THE WATER RATS was impressive and the RVT rocked too…fabulous! We have added EVERY SCAR HAS A SILVER LINING to the set. It sends shivers down my spine….it is soooooooooo good.

At the beginning of February Robert, myself and my sister Nicola flew to Antigua. I had a photo shoot on the island and my sister was sailing the Atlantic back to the UK. In fact she wont hit our shores until the 15th March in Portsmouth…I will be there to meet her!

Bizarrely, our hotel, which was large, seven floors, we were the only guests! We had the restaurant and the beach entirely to ourselves! It was so restful. Twice a day booze cruises would moor up and drunk/happy Brits would walk the beach. We hid behind beach huts then emerged again when they had gone. It was deserted otherwise and I managed to get Robert in trunks and into the water….it’s only taken 30 years. We have now renamed him BEACH BUNNY BOB.

We were only there for four days and I landed back in the UK the morning of the QUADROPHENIA IMMERSIVE at the Hammersmith Apollo. This was a great evening. Actors on stage were reliving the scenes on screen in real time to the film….a lovely actress was playing me…she looked just like me!

My favourite event was a stunt man jumping off the Apollo balcony as Jimmy dives into the audience in the club scene in the film. It was during this evening’s events as we waited in the dressing room back stage that Phil Daniels, myself, Mark Wingett, Trevor Laird and a few others agreed to being signed up for an new film to be made in the summer, not related to Quad but about Mods…….more on this…in the summer.

Last week I saw EXTREMIS. My scene in the film is very short but very memorable because it is quite mad. Simon Darlow and I have a song at the end and it is perfect. It is a very harrowing story line and the actors are great in it. Steve Stone the writer/director has written me into his next film which should start shooting in September…he has given me more to do this time…..another very dark story!

But before all this I shoot my scenes in HOUND. A script I fell in love with about 10 years ago written by Chris Ward who I first met through Derek Jarman.

It’s BUSY.

Bill Rieflin is taking 2016 off for a sabbatical. Which means, all being good, work on HUMANS 4 can resume in 2017. I am still writing in the mean time and I am spending my Birthday with Bill in Seattle in May. Because Bill is neither with KING CRIMSON this year nor the HUMANS Robert is talking of re-releasing a live album of SUNDAY ALL OVER THE WORLD and a REMIXED version of KNEELING AT THE SHRINE because he will not record any new KC until Bill is back in action next year, this means SAOTW has his time and attention.

I doubt the release will happen this year…….but it has gone into production as far as planning is concerned. So everything is good, very, very busy and lots of new things are going on and of course the project involving SIMON DARLOW and myself is still to be announced….any day now.

Kate Way isn’t able to be at the shows any more. Her condition has worsened and she now needs surgery in Germany. We are looking at doing a fund raising gig for her in the summer… so more on that later. But for now all my friends are trying to raise funds for her as she needs two op’s in all and they have to be private. Sadly her condition isn’t recognised as a disabling one therefore she doesn’t get any financial help off the state…….shocking isn’t it?

In the meantime I have 4 scripts to learn, songs to write and shows to perform. I hope you can catch one of this month’s shows and…………..

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD

LOVE TOYAH

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FEBRUARY 2016

Hello there.

Devastated is the only word appropriate for the untimely loss of Bowie.

I do feel as though the most important role model in my life has left the planet, left myself and most of my generation feeling adrift…..dare I say……our leader has gone. This “otherworldly” being has returned home and left us behind.

The morning the news broke I fell apart, the same uncontrolled physical collapse that took over my body when my parents passed away. Shaking from head to toe.

 

I was in London, 6am and I needed to wake Robert up back home ASAP and warn him.  Word had gone round quickly that the BBC only wanted quotes from Eno, Tony Visconti and my husband. Robert was hounded all week by ever station around the world except ITV (this confounded us, Fripp isn’t ITV material?).

 

Robert refused to do press. Firstly the reality of the news took a week to sink in with him. About 6 days later he admitted he couldn’t take any more details about Bowie’s death or he was going to lose his composure and break down.

Meanwhile for me flashing through my head fantastic memories and visions of seeing Bowie for the first time, hearing Bowie for the first time, the first time I ever heard The Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud. The desperate loneliness of my teenage years being nourished by this mans brilliance, encouraging me to step away from a life that wasn’t representative of who I was. With out ever knowing me, a lone teenager locked away in a suburban existence, he gave me the strength to move to London and seek my dream.

 

The praise for this brilliant man will rightly continue.

 

In the Fripp/cox household it has been discussed that no personal anecdotes, no “inside stories” will be told at this time. Only Bowie’s music and craft will be discussed.

 

The message he left behind for me is life is for living, even when you are dying. Thank goodness he pointed that out.

Also in January I learned many dear friends are also fighting cancer and it has left me determined to grasp every minute of time we all have left together and live it to the full, whether it be months, years or decades! Hopefully decades.

No self-pity, whatever happens to us towards the end….life remains to be lived……fabulous……GOD BLESS AND THANK YOU BOWIE.

 

There are some really exciting things happening this year. Work I cannot announce yet but will be announced in the press. I have 3 films in the pipeline and concerts are coming in daily.  In a way the concerts are my “normality”, but apart from that I am lucky enough to continue to be invited as a writer too.

 

Simon Darlow and I had a meeting this week for what is our first involvement with a particular London based-project….something we have never considered attempting before. I can’t wait for it to be announced as I think it will be wonderfully anarchic. Expect the official announcement on 1st March!

 

After the initial e-mail asking if I’d consider penning new material for this project,  I received a wonderful text from the writer/director who is masterminding this project (who I worked with 8 years ago) saying “I am LOVING getting to know your music. So much richness and depth. It is an extraordinary body of work.” After a pretty hellish January to be asked to be involved in this project was very uplifting. Believe it or not I don’t get compliments that often and when I do they do not go unappreciated.

Because I was keen to submit a large emotional span of music I have written over the years I found myself listening to VELVET LINED SHELL. My GOD…….it is F—— BRILLIANT.

 

I immediately e-mailed the band and said EVERY SCAR HAS A SILVER LINING is going in the set! I cried when I heard it again after about 10 years. It is so good.

 

For the last two weeks I have been based at my home in Menton in France, the idea being to isolate myself and recharge my brain, to escape the 10 hours of daily bureaucracy and reboot being creative. This was planned well before Christmas but we landed with heavy hearts.

 

Surprisingly a book I have been meaning to read for six years has lifted my whole being and filled me with joy, filled me with renewed enthusiasm. I bought the book in UNIVERSITY BOOKS, SEATTLE in 2012 whilst recording STRANGE TALES. Bill Rieflin was by my side looking for a Patti Smith book, I picked up Keith Richards LIFE and turned to Bill and said I’ve got to read this.

 

I love THE STONES.

 

CITADEL was permanently on my tour bus sound system all through the late 70s and 80s. The range of sounds, the sitar, guitars and keys are fantastic and inspired me so much when it came to making ANTHEM.

 

Then 15yrs later on a rainy day in Hastings, the blackening sky never relenting with rain, I was shooting some TV programme outdoors when we put JUMPING JACK FLASH up loud on the camera crew’s bus, opened all the doors and danced in the rain till we felt better again. THE STONES lift your heart.

 

So in MENTON last week, 5 years after buying LIFE, I actually managed to find the time to read it and it brought me back to life. Reading Keith Richard’s uncompromising love of the blues, his description of loving certain chords and experimenting with them. The riots breaking out at their gigs as their fame took off, it took me back to why I have fought so long to stay in this business as well as reminding me of the passion I had when I first started, more passion than knowledge but a passion that got me in the race.

 

AND there are names in the book who I have come across recently. I am about to be filmed in 3D for a new concert project which allows audience members to perform with their hero’s. Three weeks ago I was invited to a film studio to see the technology for myself and I was introduced to someone I had known 40yrs ago, who Keith Richards writes about, the owner of the MARQUEE CLUB HAROLD PENDLETON. He is 92 now, he was there too to witness this new technology and I was able to thank him for all he did for me in those early days.

 

Life has been very weird for 4 weeks. Oh …and Mercury was in retrograde too.

 

GO AWAY JANUARY …..let the year start anew in February!

 

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD
LOTS OF LOVE TOYAH
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 


JANUARY 2016


HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Hello and welcome,

 

I am stir-crazy now.

 

December was a realisation of a dream……I took the month off to travel and research and read plays. Fantastic!

 

I have started writing HUMANS 4 as well as writing material for Simon Darlow and I to work on.

 

In the second week of December I ended up in Rock and Padstow, in Cornwall, with my sister, where we spent our childhood holidays. The Willcox family had a prefab bungalow in Rock when I was barely three years old and I remember my mother pushing two armchairs together in the very small living room, for my bed each night.

 

The memory of our yearly holidays is as clear as a bell. The primitive but stunningly beautiful roads with deep hedges covered in yellow snails, the rock pools that inspired the artist Barbara Hepworth and the vast moving expanse of Estuary water moving with the pull of the moon constantly.

 

The prefab is no longer there but I remembered the road and the incline down to the beach and the ferry from Rock over to Padstow.

 

My sister and I walked for miles each day. Finding hidden harbours and secret valleys….especially secret in December…..not so in the summer!

 

This year I am travelling a lot.

 

In the next six weeks I am in Antigua, France, Seattle, only coming home for the concerts.

 

Later in the year I am in the USA for parts of November and most of December.

 

It’s really exciting to know my feet will hardly touch the ground.

 

One of the weirdest phone calls I had this December was asking me to fly to Beijing with 10 hours notice to sing at Miss World. I was on standby because of an artist being taken ill…luckily I didn’t need to go over, as exciting as it would have been ten hours notice wasn’t enough time to prepare to sing on a stage surrounded by the most beautiful women in the world…..I would have needed a month to get ready for such a challenge.

 

It has been a FABULOUS two weeks. My sweet hubby was home. We had a lot of time together and a lot of time with good friends.

 

My Christmas was tee-total and sugar free. This wasn’t at all hard, I just made sure nothing tempting was in the house, but we still had one of the best Christmas lunches in years……Salmon En Croute, Dressed Crab, Roast veg and lots of Stuffings…….Robert is mad about sage and onion stuffing!

 

I am now half a stone lighter and pray I can keep the weight off, but as soon as I start gigging again I know the dressing room will be full of chocolate as the band insist it is on their rider. One way of dealing with this is hiding all the offending goodies in Wongs bag and telling him to lock it out of sight.

 

Now Christmas is over I am ready for the madness of 2016. There is only so much sanity one can take.

 

Christmas was one of the best, probably the first where I wasn’t in a “silence of grief”, thinking about my parents not being around. Perhaps time has lessened that pain.

 

Every pressie I received was perfect!

 

Lots of books, brilliantly chosen by Robert, one of the most surprising is a history of Durham Cathedral. I love Durham, it has an atmosphere like no other and every time I walk into the Cathedral I am in tears, it is so vibrant with energy, the right kind of energy, the energy of a community in harmony. Trevor Horn, the producer, is from Durham and he loves the Cathedral too, it is his favourite building and I think he sang there as a boy. I was on a show with Trevor a couple of years ago and all we talked about was how “elated” we felt when we walked into the Cathedral.

 

Every Year Robert and I make a pilgrimage there to pray at the shrine of St. Cuthbert to help bring healing to all our friends fighting the big C.

 

I would love to sit and write there all day but it is no secret about the healing power of St. Cuthbert and many people pass through each hour praying for a miracle, which makes me kind of not want to be greedy and take up too much space.

 

So far our prayers have been answered.

 

Another well-chosen gift from Robert was an entire collection of Sophia Loren movies, in Italian and in English. My god that women is a goddess like no other…such intelligence and beauty…I am a fan.

For Robert….. I bought him everything I saw him looking at in shops over the year.

 

My husband has a habit of returning to certain shops again and again and just staring at and holding items he likes and not buying them when you can tell he really really wants them. So I went back to all these shops and luckily his besotted items where all still available and I GOT THEM!

 

 He was so surprised on Christmas morning….pressie after pressie of things I had spied him coveting….TEE HEE.

 

Now I am off to France to work on the new acoustic show starting in February.
I have been searching for rare photos and strange stories from my past to regale the audience with.

 

I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR AND A WONDERFUL 2016.
See you out there.

 

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD

LOVE TOYAH

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