28 April, 2010

TOYAH ON
CAPITAL RADIO, LONDON
MUMMY’S WEEKLY
1979



HOST: This week I met a really weird lady. I’ve met one or two strange ladies in my life but never one quite like Toyah Willcox.

You’ve probably heard of her, she’s the chick who’s making quite an impact on the pub rock scene. Anyone who saw the punk film "Jubilee" probably remembers her as a particularly nasty piece of work called "Mad."

She went round chopping policemen men up and setting fire to people she didn’t like. But I asked her if she was really as frightening in real life as she appeared to be in Jubilee?

TOYAH: I can be if I had to be! I’m very much a person who fends for herself. I’m not a great socialite or anything. I’m very often attacked with certain rumours going around that I’m an old bitch an everything. But I don’t believe in bouncers on stage, I don’t believe … I don’t ever want to have to have that sort of thing. And when ever there’s been trouble I just use my own fist and the band feel quite safe because they know I can fend for myself if I have to. And I think that’s much … it’s more respectful towards the audience. There isn’t this false barrier there. Someone wants a fight, they can a fight. I’ll give it them. I also hope I’ll show them up.




HOST: Talk about having fights and using your fists, may I ask, Toyah, that do you actually provoke fights within the audience? Is that true?

TOYAH: Absolute rubbish! I mean the audience is there to be entertained. Not to be insulted or give them a bad time. I go on that stage with full intention of them enjoying what the band are going to do. I really try and like to do things visual, I like to involve them. I really like idea of going out into the audience and dancing with them. But no way do I provoke them. I really don’t. There’s people that provoke me in the audience but then I just have a quiet word with them and most times I make them feel about two inches tall. I can be a great bitch if I have to.

HOST: You have had fights on stage though, haven’t you?

TOYAH: Oh yeah, but that all started when we did this gig in a pub about a year and a half ago. And this bird grabbed me – she was a friend of one of the band and she started kissing me and I hit her, I was really quite shocked!

It’s started off as a lovey dovey fight, not a violent fight. It was just a really good fight. Because the audience, I mean mouths dropped and it was “ooh, it was so shocking.” And then on she turned up at every gig and it was a pre-planned thing. Purely coz the audience loved it.

My boyfriend, who also does my vocal effects for me live, he thought it was a real fight and he came running on stage to split us up and there was a threesome fight y’know … He didn’t know what the hell was happening, but the audience loved it, so did the band. And that’s the only way it happened. And I don’t strip on stage either …

HOST: Disappointing!

TOYAH: Ah! (laughs) There’s a nasty little article in the Evening Star and it said “oh, she strips on stage and she’s like The Sex Pistols” and I was rather cross about that. I don’t like to being sensationalised, I don’t think there’s anything there to sensationalise on! Not as much as that anyway.

HOST: I must say, having met … You look like a little lady to be having fights on stage, are you are good fighter?




TOYAH: From background, yeah. You’ve got to consider that I’ve just lost 3 stone in weight. And I could just sit on someone and break their back before. I mean I’m very little now. Erm, when I was at school … not so much at school but when I went home from school, I went to a private school, I had a very snotty uniform, there’s a lot of class consciousness in Birmingham and the kids used to call us snobs purely because we wore hats, things like that.

I used to hate them, I didn’t ask to go to private school and I wasn’t provoking them but there was a lot of that class enemy thing up in Birmingham. And I just used to get into a lot of kiddie fights as it were. But I’m in no way weak, I studied ballet, physical training of all sorts, I’ve done judo and all that.

HOST: But how on earth, I wonder, did you manage to jump from being Birmingham’s answer to Belle DePirell (?) to an actress?

TOYAH: What, acting wise? It all started acting. I was like going around Birmingham with a shaved head and a very pointed fringe, I had a very weird haircut. And I was seen by some director who was doing a play on BBC 2 and he said "would I go down to London and read for him?" Read the script. And I went down and got the part. And I happen to sing in it as well. And I wrote the music.

HOST: That was “Glitter”, wasn’t it? How old were you then when that happened?

TOYAH: I think I was 18. I did that with Noel Edmonds and Phil Daniels. When it actually got be shown I was invited by the National Theatre to appear in “The Tales From The Vienna Woods”. And that’s when ... the ball just started rolling from there on. After the National I did about five films or seven films, I can’t remember. That’s been over the space of the last two years. And also I got the band together while I was at the National.

HOST: What’s next in your career? When will we see an album from you?

TOYAH: Oh, erm … phew! Well, the single is out, I think! Or should be pretty soon.

HOST: And what’s that called?

TOYAH: Victims Of The Riddle. It’s got a very heavy cover but it’s just about human (?) The album I'm working on desperately. I don’t like albums being overpriced. Just for good quality. I couldn’t afford an album, I don’t even buy them these days, if I was a kid I wouldn’t afford that price for an album. And I’m working on the price being very low. Giving the kiddies a chance. And that should be out within three weeks and everyone will know what I’ve been working on.

“SONG: Victims Of The Riddle”

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You can also listen to the interview HERE

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