Welcome to the first Tellurian letter.
I hope you all had a good Christmas and are having a brilliant ’87.
I spent Christmas finishing my new album. I had one day off, Christmas Day to be with my family. While you were recovering from overeating I was singing my heart out in Abbey Road. My aim was to finish the album by New Year’s Day, reason being I’d suddenly, out of the blue, been asked to play Sally Bowles in the musical Cabaret but more of that later.
I in fact finished the album in mid-January, after Cabaret had opened on the twelfth. It took a few sessions working through the night to complete the guitar and vocal work.
The album is called Desire, it’s scheduled release is approximately the end of May or the beginning of June, with the single out on April 13th; these will be on the E.G. label, marketed by Virgin. The name of the first single is Echo Beach, it’s a famous song.
The overall sound of the album is quite rough at the edges, the songs are very eighties, simple and honest. My husband, Robert Fripp plays on most of the tracks and we had Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones guesting on a few of the tracks too.
The week before Christmas I was asked to attend an audition in the West End. I hate auditions, they are terrifying. But I always do as many as possible for the experience. The audition was for Sally Bowles in Cabaret. I turned up at the theatre without music to sing and without having seen the script, so I didn’t have a good start. What’s more I was shaking from head to toe. I managed to stumble my way through two scenes and two songs from the show. I thought that was it, they would say “thank you and goodbye” but it wasn’t to be, I was asked to see the show, and if I liked it, I could have the part.
This thew me into turmoil. I was in the middle of my first album in two years, and had planned after Christmas to tour Europe with hubby.
I went to see the show and I loved it. Wayne Sleep was amazing as well as the whole production being rich. To cut a long story short, I said yes to doing the part, and started rehearsals that week as well as putting vocals down on the album.
I had up until January 12th to learn the show. On January 5th I came down with flu and missed my last week of rehearsals. The result was that on the opening night I went on and barely knew my lines. On that day, Britain was covered in snow, so hardly any of the audience could make it to the theatre. A blessing in disguise.
It is now almost two months on from that fateful week and the show is now a massive hit. I adore it, and can’t wait to get on stage each evening. It takes me about two hours to get ready for the show, I like to be left completely alone to get into the character and forget about Toyah the singer.
My accent has to be very English, and my body posture has to be completely different from anyone in the Eighties. Women in the Thirties liked their backs to be slumped forwards, very bad for you, and they smoked non-stop. I do hope you will all get a chance to see the show. I am in it until August. If not, I hope I will see you and you’ll see me on Top of the Pops.
Thank you for the Christmas and Valentine cards.
See you soon… be loud, proud, heard.
Love Toyah x
First published in ‘Tellurian One’