Feb 10, 2018

Hello there,

I am now based at The Lyric Hammersmith and loving it. For the past 10 years I have travelled so much that London has only been in my life about 10 days of the year and it has changed, in a great way.

I love that with in a space of a mile you can have two different communities such as Chiswick and Shepherd’s Bush, all growing and moving and morphing on a daily basis.

This is the first time in 8 years I have been based in my London home for longer than 4 days in a row.

The Lyric is a a very different performance space to the Manchester Royal Exchange. It is a traditional theatre for starters which means the whole chaotic, anarchic quality of JUBILEE shines out. It looks like we are not only squatting in the space but in the process of destroying it.

Also because there is an intimacy within the space  we are able to put in nuances which are both provocative and broadening of the “queer” message.

One such nuance I suggested at a fight call this morning is that there should be homoerotic passes to the Queen, this has opened up an all new meaning to the relationship between the Queen and the girl gang and it’s exciting.

Last week I unveiled a wall plaque in Islington in honour of Derek Jarman. I don’t know what I was expecting but what happened was profoundly moving.

We arrived early to a council worked setting up a speaker and hanging the curtain over the plaque and not a soul in sight other than this, so we popped over to the pub opposite for a cuppa and within minutes about 70 people arrived and most of them I knew from Derek’s days in Butlers Wharf.

Keith Collins, Derek’s long time partner was speaking first and he was in tears and so moved by the event, understandably and as I looked around I saw Jenny Runacre, the original BOD in Jubilee the film and Gaye Black from The Adverts (who happened to be visiting a friend in the very building the plaque was attached to, when she looked out the window she saw me and ran out to join in)……it was a great punky turn out, held with huge warmth towards the memory of Derek.

Rehearsals are not too stressful which is allowing me to get a handle on new technology I was given at Christmas… fab iPad Pro plus link up keyboards. With new art apps installed and supper dooper editing equipment too.

I now have everything I need to broadcast out into the world, all I need now is to decide how much I want to share with the world.

Last year I made a decision only to be visible through my work as I am slightly unimpressed with the pressure women are under to be seen in posh dresses all the time and not a mention of their creative persons.

I turn 60 this year and I am fully aware I need to pull focus on what legacy I leave behind and I want it to be a creative legacy.

Many people are asking with there be a celebration concert. Well scores of gigs for 2018 have been announced with more added weekly so check out the GIGS page for those. I am sure something will happen but please keep in mind that Craig Astley and myself have spent the last 4.5 years planning a total re-assessement / repackage of all my back catalogue. Broadly, the plans for this include 3 box sets but potentially 8 releases in total over course of couple of years. The idea was to have kicked this off this year with some really exciting sets but Safari suddenly announced they were selling the catalogue….I cannot tell you the anger I am harbouring over this, it is a place I cannot go, there are women out there who have been physically abused and they deserve justice, lets hope the next step will involve women getting creative justice too.

So my plans for my 60th year have been greatly dislodged. But I am sure something will happen. Stay tuned for more information.  There are some confirmed things on their way. News on that soon.

It is 40 years this coming May since I recorded my first ever demos but next year is 40 years since the first Toyah single was released.

view from the Royal Box at The Lyric

In January I shot a wonderful music pilot for LA, ironically the producer is in LA but the series is intended for UK and Europe. I have no idea how the pilot will be edited  but we shot it as live and it was brilliant…..can’t tell you anymore about it….too hot a subject presently.

But hopefully we will have news of a possible commission soon, it would involve a lot of programme making.

This month I have worked with a lot of friends Glen Matlock, Slim Jim of the Stray Cats, Barbara Dickson, Ralph Mctell , Keith Duffy, Brian McFadden plus Jeremy Vine and Johnny Walker. It is always rewarding to have time with other artists, to find out what they are up to and what is irking them. Their lives always take me by surprise. With Barbara, Ralph, Glen, Slim Jim there was a stoic focus on touring and with Keith and Brian who where about to tour Australia they were planning where they could play golf around the world. Jeremy Vine was keen to chat about Sheep Farming In Barnet which took me totally by surprise…it is in his record collection….great taste Jeremy!

The band played their first show of the year last Saturday and we were awesome, I cannot wait for the other shows to come along.

People still ask me if I get nervous. Funnily enough less so because performance is so natural to me now.

But two weeks ago I played a sell out acoustic show in my home town and I can truthfully say I new everyone in the auditorium and it was slightly terrifying.

There was Mike Nichols on double bass, Wong and Colin on the two guitars and myself….it was a stunning show.

Now when I shop in Asda people no longer say “ It’s A Mystery” instead they say “I couldn’t get a ticket and I hear it was the best show ever.” YEP… modesty here.

Roll on JUBILEE, Roll on 2018……its gonna be good.

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