FORMERLY REMEMBER THE EIGHTIES.COM
TOYAH INTERVIEW [2006]

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE HITMAKERS TOUR IN THE FIRST PLACE?

They just asked me! It was as simple as that and they seem a nice team of people who seem completely behind the whole idea... they weren't coming to me in a sort of lackadaisical way, they were into the music and they had really thought about the artists they wanted to put together and they just seemed rock solid.

That's what really attracted me to it, the fact that everyone is so solid and I trust that and I can relax into it and it means we're not going out just to earn money but we're also going out to do what we love and that's really important to me, to be going out not to patronise but to make people go 'WOW'!

BRILLIANT! AND I GUESS THAT GOING INTO A SITUATION WITH THAT SORT OF ATTITUDE AND THAT SORT OF SPIRIT IS GOING TO MAKE IT A MUCH STRONGER SHOW...

Oh absolutely, and also my audience is getting younger and younger... this whole eighties thing is kind of the equivalent to what the sixties were when I was a kid; it means so much to new generations and when I play I want to go out there and not be self-deprecating but to say 'yes, this is what you could do, this is what it was all about when it was possible for you to have a band and tour the country and earn a living, THIS is what the music is all about'. I'm quite passionate about that!

IT'S A VERY VARIED BILL MUSICALLY...

It is, but that is what was so great about the eighties, there was just so much going on... there were just so many interesting things going on and this bill does capture that, I'm very much at the beginning of the eighties and it's quite a nice chronological order that we do onstage with the sound becoming so much more defined once ABC started working with Trevor Horn... so I think there is a really nice style curve going on throughout the evening.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME YOU MET MARTIN FRY AND HOWARD JONES?

I think it must have been on the Here & Now tour... we've all done the Here & Now tours which were phenomenally popular and were incredible fun - I think that was the first time that I had met any of them, but it was quite a relaxed atmosphere and we were able to have quite a lot of social time and it was just really, really nice.

The whole thing about being on a bill with other artists is that it's not such a strain, at least I find that! I really enjoy sharing a bill with other people because you just feel you can get on with being you, rather than being someone who has to solve all the problems, who has to deal with the ticket sales and just has to get involved with everything except just being a creative musician...

IT MUST BE REALLY NICE TO BE IN THAT BUBBLE FOR A WHILE?

It's really nice and it kind of puts me back in love with music again! For me music has become more about accountants than about music and my big problem with the music industry at the moment is that it's just not about spontaneity anymore, so to kind of be with a group of like-minded people and be in that bubble is a really nice place to be and it reminds you of just why you did it in the first place...

WHEN I SPOKE TO MARTIN FRY HE SAID SOMETHING VERY SIMILAR - HE SAID HOW NICE IT WAS TO BE ABLE TO STAND ONSTAGE IN 2006 WITH TWO OTHER ARTSTS WHO, LIKE HIM, RESPECY AND ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR PAST BUT ARE ALSO STILL WORKING AND DEVELOPING AND MOVING FORWARD...

Well that's exactly it, Martin is still very much involved with the present, I am, and in a way Howard has never gone away... he has toured constantly, so I do think we are well chosen and apart from the fantastic respect for the music we're going to bring to the evening I think we're well chosen because we are all proactive in the present day and we're known for newer things which I think puts another dimension onto it all.

WHAT SORT OF A SET WILL YOU BE PERFORMING? WILL IT BE A HITS SET OR WILL THERE BE NEW THINGS HAPPENING AS WELL?

I'll be doing other people's stuff alongside my own... I want to put in some real 'get off your seat and have a good time' material because I'm the first person on and I want to try and get people geared up for the rest of the night, so I'm not really looking at this as any kind of stepping stone for new material, it's about the eighties... I do have some new stuff but at this stage it's too early to say if I'll do any of it... we're still a couple of months away!

WHO WILL BE IN YOUR BAND FOR THESE SHOWS?

It'll be my guitarist Chris Wong, Andy Noble on keyboards, Barry Brewer on drums and Tim Rose on bass so we're very much a rock band!

WOULD IT BE RIGHT TO SAY THAT BEING THE FIRST ARTIST ON IS THE HARDEST PLACE TO BE?

Actually I'm in complete disagreement and I think everyone else is in the harder positions!

I'm very confident about getting an audience up and going... it doesn't worry me at all and it does mean that I can take great comfort that at about ten o'clock when ABC are probably going into their last half-an-hour, I'll be at home in bed!

YOU TOUCHED ON THE FACT THAT THERE'S A POSSIBILITY OF NEW MATERIAL...

Well there is a lot going on at the moment, I'm writing on my own and I'm writing with the band but because I'm not solely a musician I do have to prioritise the higher profile stuff first, but I am always writing, although it's not necessarily right for The Hitmakers Tour! I'm writing to some of my husband's soundscapes and I'm also writing some funkadelic stuff with the band because they're all into funkadelia, but not really stuff that's right for the kind of audience I expect to see at Hitmakers... if I haven't got the right material then I'm not going to make them sit through it!

IS IT POSSIBLE THAT ANY OF THAT NEW MATERIAL GET RECORDED AT SOME POINT OR IS IT MORE A CASE OF MAYBE, MAYBE?

At the moment it's a 'maybe, maybe' because there's just too much going on...

TALKING OF WHICH, RIGHT NOW YOU'RE IN A PLAY -'THE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS' - IN NOTTINGHAM, AND THE SHOW OPENED LAST NIGHT, HOW DID IT ALL GO?

It was absolutely fabulous! We knew it was going well when everyone started getting a round of applause on every exit... now that only happens when the audience really likes something and that was lovely, really lovely!

But it is an amazing show, it's very minimalist... we're on a white stage with black dots, human beings are playing dogs, trees are boxes... it's completely Peter Brook and minimal, but it's so magical! It just takes your breath away because that whole pantomime element has been completely erased because of the minimalism, it's just added a whole new dimension to it and it's just lovely!

HOW WAS IT TO PULL ON THE CLOAK OF CRUELA DE VIL?

Well I only had two weeks to pull the cloak on but I do have a very strong background of playing baddies so I can tap into that, and I'm hoping throughout the week that my Cruela might start to develop hidden depths, but it was brilliant last night - it all went down so well!

For the rest of the week we have sixteen-hundred people in for every show and you can hear a pin drop, and when you bear in mind that the age range is four to eighty, to be able to achieve that means that we're doing something right.

BY THE TIME THIS INTERVIEW GOES ONLINE THE SHOW WILL HAVE FINISHED IN NOTTINGHAM BUT IS THERE ANY CHANCE YOU'LL TAKE IT ELSEWHERE?

Well there's talk about it touring next year, but this is all for this year... I'm not sure if it will be possible for me to be involved, I just don't know because I've got a lot of telly coming up so I'll just have to wait and see.

DESPITE YOUR LOVE OF PLAYING THE BADDIE ROLES YOU'RE GOING TO BE PLAYING A GOODIE IN PANTOMIME THIS YEAR AREN'T YOU...

Yes in Brighton... I love playing panto and I do prefer to play the villain, but the producers begged me to go to Brighton on the proviso that Simon Callow is directing and appearing in it too... but he hasn't committed to it yet! That said we have been working on him incredibly hard!

WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE COMING UP?

I'll be featuring on 'Masterchef At Large' throughout September... which is a reality competition where celebrities have to prove they can cook but what's been nice about it is that it's very, very hard work but very challenging - it's a bit like Hell's Kitchen but without the swearing!

ON YOUR RECENT LIVE OUTINGS YOUR COSTUMES HAVE BEEN GETTING MORE AND MORE OUTRAGEOUS, IS IT TOO EARLY TO ASK WHAT YOU MIGHT BE WEARING FOR THE HITMAKERS TOUR?

Well I'm planning it now but I don't quite know what it is yet! I have my thinking cap on and my drawing board out and then I'll have the whole of August and September to get it made...

For the last month it's been nothing but 'The Hundred And One Dalmatians' so now is really the first moment to get my thinking cap on for the tour, but I'm thinking it might be something Japanese Kabuki at the moment - that's where my head's at, at the moment - kind of a space-cadet Kabuki... I don't know what it is but it's going to be interesting!

WHEN I WAS TALKING TO MARTIN FRY IN THE FIRST INTERVIEW FOR THIS MICRO-SITE HE WAS MUSING ON THE IDEA OF ALL THREE OF YOU COLLABORATING ON SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN PERFORM TOGETHER...

Oh gosh, I'm up for that!

WELL THE TRACK HE WAS TALKING ABOUT WAS 'SUFFRAGETTE CITY'...

Oh perfect, I love that! I'm really up for working with the others!

I DID TELL HIM THAT 'SWEET CHILD OF MINE' HAS BEEN IN YOUR LIVE SET FOR A WHILE AND HE WAS QUITE KEEN ON THAT AS AN IDEA..

Oh it's a great song! But you know what... this would really ruin my idea of getting home to bed early!

JULY 2006

© RememberTheEighties.com / ThisIsNotRetro.com – Not to be reproduced in any form without written permission. Link to the site but please don’t steal our content – thank you for your understanding and support!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO COMMENT?

You will need to log-in (on the right hand side of the page) to post a comment.

© 2002 - 2017. THIS IS NOT RETRO / REMEMBER THE EIGHTIES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.