The punks were out in full force for this one; proof that Toyah has a lasting appeal for the people who were teenagers when she was at her commercial peak in the early 1980s.
The Opera House venue was packed, and there was something very appropriate about Toyah playing for the punk gathering in Blackpool. She was always theatrical and maybe even ‘music theatre’ was her genre with a punk/new wave sense of style and fashion.
She bounced onstage and seemed delighted to be there performing to an appreciative crowd. She announced that the last time she was onstage in Blackpool it was in the musical Calamity Jane, and that made sense. Although she said that some young member of the crowd then was telling her to f@@@ herself or words to that effect. The punks were far more polite and she launched into We Are, a piece of sci-fi pop followed by Good Morning Universe. To me, Toyah possessed the energy that wasn’t present in Gary Numan and the other early electronic pop/crossover acts. In place of his composed seriousness she seemed to revel in a wild freedom. Her songs seemed perfect for a space age stage show, a piece of musical theatre like War of the Worlds featuring warrior women wearing stylish make-up. Maybe it’s time for that musical….the punks tonight seemed ready for it.
That said, the synth sweeps tonight threatened to overwhelm the sound. But if Toyah’s early success, and she was a star after all, seemed like a fluke, there was a packed theatre tonight who seemed to swoon in their leather jackets to her operatic/little girl shrieking voice. Teenage dreams are hard to beat. And as she danced in her tinfoil dress to the Martha and the Muffins’ song Echo Beach, the punks were basking in sci-fi nostalgia. But for me it was my nostalgia for the era was more MDC than Toyah.