TOYAH’S BLOG: MAY 2014

10013861_10152782476503677_8962096342262848869_n

HELLO THERE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April was dominated by AMERICA. Learning THE HUMANS set whilst touring the TOYAH BAND and TOYAH ACOUSTIC was interesting. It taught me to keep my brain cells agile.

I am determined to keep testing myself with learning something new everyday, even if it’s the spelling of a town I pass through whist on my way to a venue, a town I might never visit again or drive through again. It is worth learning all the same.There is value in doing this, my hubby says I am the only person he knows who can drive anywhere in the UK with out sat nav or a map. Come the apocalypse I will know where the towns and cities are. Next I want to learn how to travel by using the position of the sun and the stars.THE HUMANS in the USA was a phenomenal success.

Robert and I flew to San Francisco first. This was a trip planned last July 2013, to meet my sister as her fleet arrived from racing in the Pacific. But bad weather and an injury set them back by 5 days in China, so we never got to see her, instead I left a package behind waiting for her………full of chocolate bars! The picture is my sister in SF diving into the chocolate whilst still on land.

We stayed with Robert’s sister Pat, who only the other week had flown to the UK to see me in Wimbourne. Every morning Robert and I would rise with the dawn and start to learn our sets for the tour and Pat would bring us fantastic fruit/kale/yogurt smoothies.

On arrival in Seattle I joined THE HUMANS who had already had two days rehearsal and programming and within an hour we were running our intended set and it was great, every song made sense and added to the experience. The new material from STRANGE TALES was just the best! It was pure joy to be back together again. I have missed working with Bill Rieflin so much.

At lunch on the Friday, we were in a small backwater of west Seattle when Bill pointed out a Mexican bar he innocently walked into being inquisitive once where he was immediately frog marched out and told never to return…he realised something “bad” was going down.

I then had the weekend off because Bill and Robert needed to rehearse Slow Music with Peter Buck so I set off exploring Seattle on my own.

For me Seattle isn’t like any other place in the USA. In comparison I found the meandering, loud mouth street attitude of the San Francisco people really eye-opening and headache inducing. It’s as if they cannot walk at a normal pace in a straight line without shouting audibly over the traffic. Whereas in Seattle there is a silence, people move more directly and never invade your space with noise. I think this is why I love to go there to write, there is so much mystery it opens up my mind to fantasy and possibility. There is water wherever you look and it really takes you back to how it must have felt living there 500 years ago as a tribal community. AND now it is this space age automaton with down and outs on every corner who probably all have university degrees and people silently maneuvering from building to building… I could people watch all day!

By Sunday I was pretty bloody nervous…OK I was crawling up the wall! I can’t remember butterflies in the stomach quite so bad. We all arrived at the TRIPLE DOOR to set up at the same time. There were going to be 9 musicians on stage during the night.

The venue was just perfect, a 1930s cabaret venue with dinning tables and waitress service. Both nights in Seattle were sold out which added to the excitement. People had flown in from all over the place to see not only Slow Music but THE HUMANS and myself too. Fans waited outside with their entire collection of TOYAH albums to be signed, with bunches of flowers and gifts. It was very moving.

It was slightly nerve-wracking back stage as the only women performer, not only was I trying to get changed discreetly in a quiet corner but I was also trying to do so without famous musicians walking in on me. Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) innocently walked into the room whilst I was “sans” dress…I ran away and said to Peter Buck “ there’s a strange man in my room and he’s asking for you!”

This was THE HUMANS first live performance in three years. We walked on stage and what I experienced was thrilling. The audience totally flipped from the first number onwards…they loved the concept of bass driven songs. By the third song GET IN YOUR CAR we were surfing the tidal wave of knowing this was “happening”. Standing ovations, cheers, rounds of applause after tricky vocals such as PSYCHOPATH filled our ears. It was pure joy!

We had great audiences every night and a lot of fabulous musicians came to watch……Death Cab For Cutie, Pearl Jam, REM members……all being keen supporters of THE HUMANS where there to cheer us on. It was JUST GREAT!

As with all things fun the time flew by and no sooner had we arrived than we were back at the airport and returning home. A new experience has started to happen to me and I cannot fathom why. People are mistaking me for a child. I am sure I am not that small, and I am certain I am not shrinking…..in fact the opposite.

At Seattle airport security, a man waved me over to the x-ray machine with “ come here little girl! That’s a pretty summer dress you have on!”

I could hear Robert hooting with laughter behind me. As I have a hip replacement, when travelling in the USA I have to produce a card to declare I have metal in my body. On holding this up to the security man he said “ and what do we have here?”

“My hip replacement identity card.”

Stunned silence. Followed by a red face…his. Some people must have really bad eyesight because I have the face and the body of a middle aged women! This other photo of me by Robert in a shoe shop might also explain though why Americans think i am a child. 🙂

toyah_shoes

Now back in England it is great to be gigging through a very busy summer.In fact for the next 5 months it will be non stop. There are festivals, concerts, films and TV.
It is fast becoming a blur, but a very enjoyable one!

See you out there.

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD
LOVE TOYAH

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Photograph Credits
Top: Kitty Margolis
Row 1 | 1: Harold Hingle / 3-4: Robert Fripp
Row 2 | 1-3: Robert Fripp / 4: Robert Cartilage
Bottom: Robert Fripp