BBC RADIO LEICESTER
WITH TONY WADSWORTH
BBC RADIO LEICESTER
WITH TONY WADSWORTH
TONY WADSWORTH: Morning Toyah!
TOYAH: (on the phone) Hello! How are you doing?
TONY: Not too bad for an old married man!
TONY: Is that your sort of music? (Tony played Dire Straits “Walk Of Life” just before Toyah came on) I guess it’s not, is it?
TOYAH: I appreciate it. I think all music –it kind of transcends time doesn’t it? It keeps going.
TONY: I suppose, yeah. And yours is keeping on going! After what – three decades? Dare I say it!?
TOYAH: 32 years!
TONY: 32 years! Goodness sake!
TOYAH: I know! Who would’ve thought it?
TONY: Have you got a picture in the attic or something?
TOYAH: I’ve got many!
TONY (laughs): And they’re ones that age! You seem to be ageless!
TOYAH: The pact with the devil helps as well!
TONY (cracks up laughing): What’s the secret of your success, Toyah?
TOYAH: In this country - which I think is very different to any other country I’ve ever worked in – you just keep going. And you don’t take notice of the critics! You just keep your foot on the accelerator and never take it off.
TONY: Good girl. And of course it pays to be, you know - a person of many parts as indeed you are now?
TOYAH: I suppose so. I mean I mainly I’m a singer and happy for the last ten years but I’ve had many guises and many careers. But luckily, here I am in my mid-fifties and I’m having a fantastic singing career!
TONY: And that’s great isn’t it?
TOYAH: It’s really really good because I’m not going to be able to sing after about 60 – I think the voice will change and I’m really making the most of it now.
TONY: Are you telling me, is this a scoop? Are you going to say that you’re going to retire when you’re 60?
TOYAH: No, I’ll never retire –
TOYAH: I actually – I love my work so every day is like a holiday so I’ve got no intention of ever retiring. I have a very satisfying kind of work experience. I probably move into writing and acting a bit more in my sixties.
TONY: My dad said to me many moons ago, he said "if you enjoy your job you’ll never work."
TOYAH: That’s it!
TONY: And that’s what you’ve just said really, isn’t it?
TOYAH: It’s totally it. And why retire? I would be bored to death. So no, that would actually scare the living daylights out of me! (they both laugh)
TONY: So what have you been up to since you and I last chatted about a year ago?
TOYAH: I’ve been touring solidly - I’m touring all this year. This year is the 30th anniversary of a platinum album I had out called The Changeling which was produced by Steve Lillywhite at the time he was working with U2. So I’m just touring all over the place doing that. But I’m coming to your area –
TONY: You are indeed!
TOYAH: Yeah, your neck of the woods which I’m really looking forward to on the 14th July. I’m actually coming to compere and host The Rock and Bike Festival.
TONY: I don’t know how you can do that?
TOYAH: Well, I must admit it’s intriguing because I like to have a script and when you compere you’re kind of really relying on your own personality. But it’s a three day event and it’s happening at Elvaston Castle showground. Massive event! Bikes coming from all over Europe for this. And one of the many jobs on the day I’m there, which is the Saturday – I’m judging the bike competition.
It’s going to fantastic because I am a motorbike enthusiast! I did want one at one point but my husband said if I ever bought one he’d get one too (Tony laughs) and there is no bigger deterrent than that! I’m also going to be singing a couple of songs with the legends called The Sweet. I’m coming onto to do their encore with them and there’s lots of fantastic things going on and I must say - motorbikes are for everyone.
When I was there last year, (below) - doing exactly the same thing, there were as many women there as men and children were having a fantastic time. So this is a really good family event with lots of exciting things going on. Like the first time at this one they’ve got archery, they’ve got a wall of death! Now I remember seeing one of those when I was a child, where the bikes go round and round. It’s just – it’s so exciting!
TONY: You know when I said I don’t know how you can do that, when you said you’re going to come along and compere?
TONY: The Rock and Bike Fest … what I was half expecting you to say was that you were just going compere and not perform? And then you went onto say that you’ll do a couple numbers with Sweet?
TOYAH: Yeah, well –
TONY: Makes sense now you see?
TOYAH: It does make sense –
TONY: Because as a performer, you know, to go along to a music festival and not perform – I would personally find it extremely frustrating!
TOYAH: It would be a form of torture!
TONY: Exactly that!
TOYAH: But also the music that’s on over the three days – it’s really classic heavy rock. You’ve got The Quireboys, as I’ve said you’ve got The Sweet, who just have the most amazing back catalogue and there’s three days of really good heavy rock music.
TONY: That’s funny – in a sense just putting the rock music to one side for a moment, you know, let’s talk about glam rock and The Sweet and your type of punk music sort … exact antithesis of one and another?
TOYAH: I think so but I think time marries everything. You know when The Sweet were staring out I was a teenager but still appreciated what they did with the rock riff. The 70’s is responsible for the rock we have today.
And people like The Sweet, even Marc Bolan have created incredible rock riffs that inspire generation after generation. And I think time kind of dissolves the barriers and you can put quite diverse rock acts together.
TONY: Right. Will you husband be there with you?
TOYAH: I have to kind of book appointments to see my husband!
TONY: Yeah –
TOYAH: I’m afraid he won’t be there with me but that means I can appreciate the bikers more!
TONY: But your minders will be? I understand you had an interesting time up north?
TOYAH: (laughs) The Workington festival?
TONY: You know what I mean!
TOYAH: Oh, it was fabulous! I’m 54 so I’m eternally grateful for any attention I get! But boy – if there any single women out there – get to Workington in West Cumbria, I mean the men (Tony laughs) really appreciate the women! I was saved by the police in the end, (below) it was fabulous!
TONY: Were you really?! Oh my goodness gracious me!
TOYAH: I have never had my backside pinched so much! (Tony laughs)
TONY: Alright, and I understand now you’re on a Walk Of Fame? Is that right?
TOYAH: I know! I got the call this week which is absolutely delightful. I’m going to be the first star on the Walk Of Fame in my home town which is King’s Heath in Birmingham. So we’re unveiling that on the …
I’m just going to look in my diary – oh gosh, the following Monday, the 16th of July after the Rock and Bike Festival. I’m unveiling that and we’re announcing this weekend that I’m actually doing a concert in King’s Heath that evening. So it’s all getting really really exciting.
TONY: I’m going to throw a googly at you just before we conclude our conversation –
TOYAH: Thank you!
TONY: If that’s alright, I like to keep interesting! Talking of Walks Of Fame and things like that, Leicester’s Engelbert (Humperdinck), he’s got his name on three Walks Of Fame!
TOYAH: And so he should!
TONY: Yep. And I was with him – he said namedropping – in Azerbaijan for the Eurovision Song Contest.
TOYAH: Oh, I’m so jealous!
TONY: You say that but we didn’t come up very high up the list did we?
TOYAH: It’s political.
TOYAH: He had a fantastic song, I wasn’t happy with the sound mix on the night but I was actually at Workington putting my make-up on, watching the Eurovision that night. The sound mix wasn’t good enough but it was a fantastic song and he deserved to come at least second or third.
TONY: I think that too but then I’m probably biased because you know … Leicester bloke like me! Let me just ask you this question though and this is really what I’m coming round to: if you were approached and asked to represent the UK in next year’s Eurovision …
TOYAH: No way!
TONY: You wouldn’t?!
TOYAH: No, because it’s so … corrupt is too strong a word but they are so playing a political vote. England - well, the UK the best place in the world for music. Look at our heritage at what we do, look who we’ve influenced worldwide and those … you’ve really got me on my soap box now!
TOYAH: European voters will never do us justice! Because we’re not in the Euro, because we stand on our own and because we are fantastic! That said I did think that 80% of the songs that night were utterly stunning!
TOYAH: It was such a good event. But they will never do us the justice we deserve.
TONY: So should we withdraw?
TOYAH: No! No, because we’re still brilliant! And everybody knows we’re brilliant! And everyone knows it’s a pathetic school ground fight!
TONY: Nicely put! I shall pass that onto His Nibs. (Toyah laughs) Well, all the best then, lovely to talk to you again Toyah! So it’s the Rock and Bike Festival and you’re going to be there on the 14th?
TOYAH: I’m going to be there on the 14th, the sun will be shining all day and it’s going to be lots and lots of family fun! And really interesting things there to discover.
TONY: I always enjoy our chats. Thank you so much for your time.
TOYAH: Thank you!