THE ORIGINAL PRINCESS OF PUNK
From punk princess to high priestess of TV, Toyah Willcox is a uniquely gifted performer. Charismatic, outspoken and impossible to categorise, she is one of Britain's iconic household names - an award-winning rock legend as well as a much-loved actress and music composer. In a career spanning thirty years Toyah has had thirteen top 40 singles, recorded twenty albums, written two books, appeared in over forty stage plays, made ten feature films and presented such diverse television programmes as The Good Sex Guide Late, Watchdog and Songs Of Praise.
It all began in her hometown Birmingham in 1977 when film director Derek Jarman offered her the role of 'Mad' in seminal punk epic Jubilee.
She continued to gain strong roles, appearing alongside Katherine Hepburn in the film, The Corn is Green, as well as playing 'Monkey' in the legendary Quadrophenia.
She teamed up with Jarman again to play Miranda in his innovative version of The Tempest, which won her a nomination as Best Newcomer at the 1980 Evening Standard Awards.
By this time Toyah's band was gaining critical success with the debut single Victims of the Riddle (no.1 in the independent charts) and six track EP Sheep Farming in Barnet.
Her first album, The Blue Meaning, became a Top 40 hit. A TV Documentary "Toyah", an accompanying live album Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! - as well as hit singles It's A Mystery, I Want to Be Free, Brave New World and Be Proud, Be Loud, Be Heard plus the platinum albums Anthem and The Changeling - confirmed her status as one of the most significant talents of the Eighties.
In 1982 she won the Best Female Singer at the Rock & Pop Awards. In 2002 Toyah proved her staying power selling out eleven stadium gigs for the Here and Now Tour.
Musically, Toyah has remained fresh, uncompromising and ground-breaking. In 2007 she signed a new worldwide publishing deal with Zomba Music. Alongside this Toyah began a collaboration with Bill Rieflin (REM) and Chris Wong on the band project, The Humans.
Toyah continues to be seen on film with her recently completed starring role in the British film Power of Three, a light-hearted feel-good comedy that follows the adventures of 3 friends who pool their strengths when the going gets tough.
Toyah still maintains her multi-faceted and vibrant career.
Saturday 27th Stone Valley Festival South, Hillside Farm, Ware, Herts
Friday 18th Torchlight Festival, Walesby, Newark
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Photography By Paul Leather Photography © 2015