TOYAH’S BLOG: MARCH 2019

Category: Toyah's Blog

HELLO THERE!

At last the news is out!

Not only is there a limited edition purple colour vinyl of IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON QUEEN to be released for Record Store Day, with a new track DANCE IN THE HURRICANE opening the original album but also a double CD with the 11 tracks on the vinyl and another 4 additional new tracks split into two Acts across 2 CDs plus a 24 page booklet.

You can pre-order the various formats here …. except the limited vinyl which you hve to get in Record Shop son RECORD STORE DAY on Sat 13 April.

AND a beautiful video for SENSATIONAL. There are three tracks from CRIMSON QUEEN being released as singles….we will surprise you with those!

All of the tracks have had live drums added and been remixed and re-mastered. WHO LET THE BEAST OUT has been extended and piano added which is joyous.

DANCE IN HURRICANE is a brand new song, only finished in January 2019. It’s my fave all time song. It took a while to develop. Originally only the intro and 4 bars of drums existed but I persisted that those 4 bars were the song and eventually in December I had the backing track I could write the first draft of the lyric to.

When singing it for the first time in the studio to Simon I just couldn’t get through it, it was too emotional for me and the first verse “I held your little soul” is the first and only take of that line, Simon insisting it is kept even though I am crying.

The artwork for all the items is stunning. The initial photo shoot by Dean Stockings was in October 2018, wHere we also covered a promotional shoot with KING CRIMSON because THE HUMANS Vs KING CRIMSON with GET IN YOUR CAR is in the schedule for their releases soon. So on the same day as shooting my album cover material I was photographed with the Crimson band and Bill Rieflin ….. my fellow Human.

Initially my shoot was looking sedate and I wanted a suggestion of rebelliousness so I introduced the concept that falling off the Crimson Queen’s throne is liberating and the only way to gain true personal power. Pedestals are always troubled by expectation. Thus the story on the cover was born. It’s not about a fallen queen but it’s about a liberated queen. Dean Stockings has taken it so much further with incredible background graphics. This is one of my most favourite image stories to date. Sean Chapman created the brilliant “fallen” silver crown that sits on my shoulders, believe it or not it’s made from porridge oats compressed onto wire.

The brand new video for SENSATIONAL was shot over two days.  The first day was in the Cotswolds with Simon’s son Joe staring.

I cut out paper crowns from local newspapers lying around and Joe’s very muddy football became the shining orb in our hands.

It has always been important to me that the song was addressed to a child about to embark on the future. There is a “truth” that too many children are denied and that truth is they are all Sensational no matter what influences try to distract them from that.

Joe has never been filmed before and he was fantastic, he totally understood the process and within an hour was singing the lyrics to the camera. (We also wanted a girl but timing and circumstance didn’t make this possible).

The film location had three miniature black sheep roaming around who wanted to play with us so they had a starring role too, spontaneously leaping into the picture and head butting us occasionally whilst trying to eat our clothes.

Both Simon and I are very, very grateful to Demon, who single handedly are keeping my legacy alive, not only by releasing CRIMSON QUEEN as a new album but also actively looking to release my archive……more on this later in the year.

It’s fantastic to be part of a record company again because the team around us supports what we are aiming to do. We have press/ marketing/ radio promotion and it’s taken a huge weight off my shoulders. It’s busy and it helps that I play live so much, covering so much territory because the regions are how I broke in the first place 40 years ago. I deliberately went to the regional towns and cities to build national interest. This year is one of the busiest live performance years I have ever had and it means I can promote around the UK and Europe.

Currently my days are filled with press interviews.

It has been hugely rewarding talking to Classic Pop who really put their research in.  They talked to both Simon and I as respected artists. Same with www.SuperDeluxeEdition.com, a brilliant morning spent with the team.  Talking to The Guardian was a lot of fun too. There are some tongue in cheek answers there.

Yet STILL, in the case of certain hugely successful publications read by millions of women worldwide, I find myself after 42 years of success professionally and personally, fending off the usual gender specific/gender victim questions. I am startled and amazed some of the questions asked perpetuate the concept of women as victims.

I like to think I am now old enough and wise enough not to feed negative stereotypes but it is disheartening when a journalist has a photo in front of them of TOYAH WILLCOX and PAUL MCCARTNEY together, were the female star in the picture is being awarded by the male star in the picture for a lifetime of hard, groundbreaking work that the only question the journalist wants to ask is “ So you don’t see your husband much does that worry you that he might be unfaithful?” REALLY, after coming up to 33 years of marriage? Forget the fact I am 12 years younger, on the road, looking and sounding AMAZING and have an album coming out of self penned music.

The live shows in the past 4 weeks have been soooooooooooo good.

Opening the year at The Arc Stockton-On-Tees with the snow falling fast outside the audience were fabulous and the set caught the excitement/tension of punk moving into the 80s and of course into the new tracks off CRIMSON QUEEN.

Then we where rammed into a tiny space in Doncaster, heaving to the roof, which just made the evening even better……felt like being in a uni again.

HALIFAX  Square Chapel Arts Centre blew me away. I am thrilled to see how much care and money has gone into the town to preserve it’s architectural heritage and also into the arts. A lot of movies shoot in Halifax so I am familiar with it but it has evolved suddenly and it has power and beauty as you drive down the valley into the town, I loved it.

And as for LEEDS……I had no idea what was coming as I drove into the car park of the Brudenell Social Club. My first impressions where “why here?” Then I walked into the venue and discovered it was one of the best venues ever! State of the art system, great cube room, fab lighting and the show sold out and people begging to get tickets outside.

It was pure NECTAR. I recommend every band play there because it was real. 

Great people, great community and great sound……  just don’t stay at the Double Tree by Hilton Leeds. Very sweet staff who very sweetly refused us access to our rooms even though the bill had been paid in advance and was evident on the system but the computer said NO.

Eventually after two hours of persistent protest we had rooms for the night!

 

Last night I was out at dinner with Simon, Fripp and Mrs. Darlow when Simon told a story I had long forgotten. I was the first artist to record his song Slave To The Rhythm. I’d completely forgotten. It must have been in the mid 80s. It was originally written for another very high profile artist who passed on it because they wanted to write the lyrics, but the song was complete and found its way to Grace Jones….  sometimes things work out for the better!

But Simon having told this story has started a chain of events that could lead to something very interesting in the future!!!!!??????

Enjoy all that’s about to come.

BE LOUD, BE PROUD, BE HEARD
LOVE TOYAH
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