Toyah celebrates landmark anniversary in Southampton and Shoreham

Toyah Willcox goes back to her roots as she celebrates the 30th anniversary of her platinum-selling album Anthem.

She takes in the Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham, on her latest tour - From Sheep Farming To Anthem: Classics Revisited (Saturday, October 15, 8pm).

She’s also at The Brook in Southampton on Thursday, October 13 (tickets are £15 on 023 8055 5366 or via, doors open 8:00pm, on-stage 9:00pm).

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Toyah has had 13 top 40 singles, recorded 20 albums, written two books, appeared in over 40 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 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 (number one in the independent charts) and six-track EP Sheep Farming in Barnet. Her first album, The Blue Meaning, became a top 40 hit.

The first single she ever bought was T Rex’s Ride A White Swan: “I just loved the femininity

of Marc Bolan. And then Bowie came along. They definitely influenced me and then came the punk era.

“From my point of view, I could not give you a recipe for what punk was all about, but I was a girl from Birmingham, I was short in height and I was not particularly attractive, not particularly academic. And then punk came along and embraced everyone.

“For me, punk was about acceptance for all. It was about being independent. What really came out was all the types of people there. At punk things you would have disabled people there not afraid of being bullied. You had the gays coming out. It allowed gay people to come to the surface, and you had all the races on the dance floor. It was the first thing I ever experienced that encompassed everything.”

Box office: 01273 464440. Tickets £15, all standing.