Toyah live Brighton, Support Currls – 7 October 2022, Concorde 2.
Toyah Is a four times Brit Award nominated English musician, singer, songwriter, actress, producer and author. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Willcox has had 8 Top 40 singles, released over 20 albums, written two books, appeared in over 40 stage plays and 10 feature films, and voiced and presented numerous television shows.
As a singer, actress and TV presenter, Toyah is in a world beating class of her own, she is, in the words of ABBA, a super trouper. If you dont belive me, sit down with a coffee and have a run through her history on her Wikipedia page! Extraordinary.
Toyah: The Band.
The last time I was lucky to photograph Toyah was when she visited Worthing to warm up her album ‘Posh Pop’. This LP put Toyah back in the Top 30 for the first time since 1984. The time before that was Brighton in November 2019 when she played chalk to promote her 2019 charting album ‘In The Court Of The Crimson Queen‘. A new line up of new faces apart from Mike Nichols (bass). Two guitars, drums, bass and keys and Toyah, gave us a full on auditory explosion of sound. This is a classy five-piece band, working with Toyah they helped make the evening snappy and definitely uplifting.
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There is so much to like, to love about Toyah!
With fabulous songs such as Rebel Run, Thunder In The Mountains – the set opener tonight, all leading up to the finale of the fantastic, the all out blast of I Want To Be Free.
Squeezed into the set was ‘Neon Womb’ and I was happy to see it there on the set list tonight. Trust me, it is still loaded with angst and pure punk rock attitude. Toyah actually did stop and chat to the crowd from time to time. Echo beach was played at full tilt after Toyah reflected she didn’t really remember much about the success of that single as she was newly married and partaking in other activities! Hilarious stuff. The night was filled with fun anecdotes and small interesting facts and snippets of this artists life.
I have to let you know that the sound generated by Toyah and her band was spot on. The mix covered all the ranges and allowed all the vocals and instruments to be heard clearly. Thank goodness no dreaded smoke and the lighting was refreshingly good tonight as we could see Toyah and the band. Well done lighting crew at Concorde 2 – more of that please!
This was a cracking show by any standards and by a real entertainer. She gave us everything on the stage tonight and did not stop dancing and spinning around at every opportunity and that voice is amazing, . The set tonight was a perfect mix of those well known hits, some new album tracks and a few other back catalogue favourites. As I said she also drops in a few stories and lets not forget she has a top band backing her, the guitar work and keyboards tonight were outstanding.
Toyah’s voice just seems to grow and it seems to just glow with vitality. She is one of the most engaging and captivating performers you could ever want to see. She looked fabulous tonight dressed in what she laughingly referred to as a duvet cover, of course her trademark orange hair has gone as her blonde reflected the light, it used to be styled in many different styles. Make no mistake that huge attitude we remember is still there in abundance and I guess its safe to claim she provided a soundtrack and influence for many growing up at that time.
The set consisted of a wide range from her career including thankfully all of her well-known hits. The set was brilliantly constructed, those Anthems started early on in the gig, hits such as Thunder in the Mountains, We Are, Pop Star and Echo Beach all played within the first 30 minutes. This was a great way to pull in the near capacity crowd into the set.
Toyah now knows what her fans want. She knows there no point in banging out the big hitters too quickly. There were a few tracks from the album we were there to celebrate for the release anniversary, Anthem. The stage backdrop was the image from that album cover. There were tracks from her last album “Posh Pop” and a couple of surprise “covers”. Toyah, mixed in some early tracks from her earlier works, Sheep Farming In Barnet. Clever stuff indeed. And there was still plenty more to come our way with It’s A Mystery and of course I Want To Be Free.
The set came to a close with I Want To Be Free and Leya. The covers included a track from Billy Idol who she mentioned she was about to tour with. She said they were going to play Rebel Yell tonight because if they played it on tour with Billy Idol – he might sack them! The other cover was an interesting version of Slave To The Rhythm. Both delivered perfectly, and actually Toyah, I think Billy might have given you a pat on the back.
Those big hits from back in the day, and the new material sounded great live and Toyah’s iconic voice sounds as good as ever. What a performer! The large audience just couldn’t get enough of Toyah and her band. I think it’s safe to report that everyone left Concorde 2 smiling having enjoyed this gig. My only observation was the merch stand. I would have gladly grabbed some vinyl, Anthem or an Anthem T shirt, but the desk was a bit short on content save for some signed photos, T shirts and booklets.
It seems to me there is a very close and special relationship between this artist and the fans. There seems to be a lot of love in the room from both sides of the barrier. What a show Toyah! Here’s to the next time.
Toyah can be found here online, make sure you go see her live for a great night out!
Support tonight was Currls.
Currls are an indy Garage Rock trio (now) from Brighton. They formed in 2017 and Currls have slowly but surely been making a name for themselves. They kind of mix it all up with some pop, punky and garage sounds. It is quite an addictive noise they put up. They have appeared on BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens Introducing show and also caught the attention of BBC Introducing’s Melita Dennett, who hunted them down after hearing them at The Great Escape Festival.
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Currls are definitely an outfit to watch out for. They put down a cool, but short set in Concorde 2 as guests of Toyah. They opened the set with a rocky little tune, Honey. The crowd for Currls was pretty large considering it was so early for them to play due to the Concorde 2 curfew.
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The acoustic guitar, bass and Cajon all worked well giving a good authentic sound, we had two of their soundcloud releases in the set, the first being the cool rockin’ Let Down. An infectious tune with a great chorus line. It was more of an acoustic show tonight, and so the songs sounded slightly different but still good, and had the crowd bumping along. We also had April Fool, a song packed with great lyrics and again that guitar hook pulled us in.
The sounds of guitar, bass and Cajon and sumptuous vocals combine to take complete command of the room. They pulled in a fabulous round of applause as the set closed, and deservedly so.
Currls as we discovered are an endearing outfit, and they are damn catchy too! This set was short, but oh so sweet. Currls are a joy and fun to watch and see play, and I think the Concorde 2 crowd we’re all the better for seeing them. They have a date at The Hope and Ruin in November, I seriously recommend you go see Currls live.
Keep up to date with Curlls here on Facebook.
Black Rabbit Productions
The crew at Concorde 2
Words and photos by Ian Bourn.
Black Rabbit Productions hosted the evening. They work hard promoting live music on the south coast. They are a promotion company with years of experience putting on music shows. Tonight was superb. They have some great gigs lined up! You can find Black Rabbit Productions on the WWW
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All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2022.
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