TOYAH’S BLOG: SEP 2015

Category: Toyah's Blog

Ahhhhhhhh!

HELLO THERE!

Life has so many gears at the moment!
AAAAAAAAH! the movie has taken us all by surprise.

Even the Hollywood Reporter is writing that it is an important film with major new talent and heaps of social comment.

Having appeared in Q&A’s with Steve Oram I really like the way he gives nothing away other than the technicalities of how the film was made. If this film carries on creating the momentum we have seen so far I think all of us who have taken part have hugely different stories of perception to tell about the making of the film.

Steve announced at the premiere that he has destroyed the original script because we, the actors, were saying how funny it is and we want to do a dubbed version of the film.

All the reviews are picking up on the power of the film as a piece of social comment. The social comment situation was evident to all of us but not at all why the film was created, the social comment was completely accidental but thanks to the internet and freedom of communication we see a weirder world in reality than we ever knew 30 yrs ago. The really scary thing will be if AHHHHHHHH ever becomes the norm!

The premiere was so positive, so receptive, it was the hottest ticket in town and it was very clear Oram has a huge following who love his off side take on the world.

We are now experiencing future film showings being moved to larger venues because of demand.

VERY EXCITING TIMES!

August was one of the best months of my life, everything seems to be falling into place. Time has matured the band beautifully, the concerts have been out of this world and festival season makes 37years of hard work well worth it as we looked out over 20,000 people most days.  What a joy.

Because of an ear infection I developed after a bad cold in April this summer I have started to use “in ear systems” and it has radically changed how I sing for the better.

My ears became over sensitive to the drums, agony actually, at the Southampton Mayfair in May this reached the stage of “unbearable and how are we going to deal with it”, so “in –ears” seemed to be the solution where I can block the drums out almost completely and only have my voice….it’s worked!

It’s fabulous! I can’t tell you how the volume on stage can be a form of torture, especially when I never liked volume in the first place. Now I am isolated with my voice and I can sing with feeling again….heaven!

There have been moments when I sweat so much the in-ears pop right out, or I get my hands tied up in the wires, or when my bra strap holding the radio pack in place breaks. Every thing new brings new challenges but what the heck!

Towards the end of August I have been submerged in writing the outro song for the movie EXTREMIS.

I have a fabulous cameo scene in this film, I am over the moon with it, it is very emotional and bleak  and when the director Steve Stone asked me to write and perform the outro song my heart jumped out of my mouth.

So for the past couple of weeks I have penned three drafts and finally I had a huge break through last week when I stripped the instramentation right down to just vocal rhythmic support beneath the main vocal. Now I am ready to bring Simon Darlow in to help finish the arrangement, it is a love song to a father and has been so rewarding to be immersed in.

 king crimson_rehearsal

KING CRIMSON opened this week too, their UK tour runs through September, then I have hubby home for three weeks before he ventures to Canada and Japan.  I was going to Japan but work commitments are now keeping me in the UK……..MY DIARY HAS GONE THROUGH THE ROOF!

The Crimson show is epic and wonderful HUMAN Bill Rieflin is in the band as well, he is amazing, spiky, humorous and lightening sharp.

Last Sunday the wonderful K. Bush came to see the run through and she was blown away. We laughed so much in Fripp’s dressing room over the fact that last year she created one of the greatest stage shows of all time and still has a 20yr old mobile phone….adorable.

Bill and I have scheduled HUMANS 4 to start in the early spring of next year. We know what we want, the sound we want, the energy we want….it will be yet another fabulous twist in the evolution of THE HUMANS.

 This week alon484141190e I am recording LIVE WITH…. TOYAH for VINTAGE TV, Vintage are filming a mini-version of the acoustic show. I have a pilot for a new Chanel 4 drama with Jamie Winston, three concerts coming up, a photo shoot in Hull, AAAAAAAAH! screenings with Q&As.  I also start LIES WE TELL, this is a very small role for me, I was originally offered a larger character but I had too many concert commitments, so I said I want to be involved so offer me a character that fits in my diary!

All this and on the street outside my London home last week I bumped into a school friend I haven’t seen for 40 years and I am trying really hard to meet up and catch up.

Crazy, crazy, crazy.

Lastly I have learned major lessons in the past four weeks. A man came up to me after a brilliant show in Eastbourne and he said “ I came to see you in London 5 years ago expecting to hear soulful, emotive singing and all I got was shouting.” This made me really think, what did he mean by shouting?

Then it occurred for me, for years, decades, I have had to try and hear myself above the drums. The audience can always hear me through the PA but I could never hear “me” on stage because I was deafened every night but the intolerable volume of the bass drum and snare, so since this comment I have taken the physical effort I usually put through my vocal chords “down” and found the tonality I had 37 years ago, and thanks to in-ears I can hear myself for the first time in a decade, my timing, tuning, tonality is spot in.

Then another throw away comment, again from a man, had me fuming this week. After playing Aylesbury Vale Park, which was a huge success, someone in the business said to me “that was fantastic, you were great, you dressed like a serious singer. All those costume changes you used to do had no credibility at all.”

And I asked what costume changes? He said “at Rewind”, and I thought and thought about this, because firstly this person asked me to loan my costumes to a museum, secondly I don’t do costume changes at Rewind there isn’t time, his perception was inaccurate.

The only time I ever did costume changes was in 4 years ago I believe, on the request of promoters for something different and also to celebrate the great Melissa Caplan who later was exhibited in the V&A.

Fripp was witness to this comment and we both agreed what you wear doesn’t effect what comes out of your mouth but it does effect how those around you perceive their own status…I was celebrating a great designer who changed the face of fashion and who has influenced what the young are wearing today, he was watching something equivalent to going shopping with the wife.

I will stick to my own beliefs and be myself.

Men what are they good for? Well in my life great fun, hugely vulgar humour, fab musicianship and friendship……but never never expect them to be interested in what you are wearing.

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD
LOVE TOYAH
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