ThURGHsday! #3 – Toyah Willcox

To be completely honest, Toyah Willcox‘s “Danced” was one of the songs from URGH! that I never really fell in love with, for whatever reason. That kind of surprises me because listening back, the bass tones sort of remind me of Rush from that same period, and I liked Rush. It just seems very repetitive after the beginning segment. I don’t feel like she did much singing after the initial minute. The styling & singing remind me of Gary Numan or David Bowie, but (in my opinion) it’s not as engaging as either of them were around this time.

Frankly, what I mostly remember of this song is her bouncing around as I fast-forwarded through this part of the video.

Where URGH! They Now?

Toyah has had a long music career, actually, and in the songs I sampled on iTunes, she sounded like Sinéad O’Connor at times – or, I guess I should say, Sinead sounded like Toyah in some of her early work. Pretty good electro pop, actually. Her music has always had an avant garde aspect to it. More recently she has formed the band The Humans with Bill Rieflin (he’s played with Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Lard, R.E.M. and others). They recently played a couple of shows in the US, along with her husband, Robert Fripp, on guitar. I really like the Humans stuff, it’s hard and arty – more Ministry like than her older 80’s stuff, but not as hard as Ministry. It’s not for everyone, but I dig it.

She also has a career as an actress. The movie Quadrophenia is the film I know best, but she’s also acted on a lot of TV programs. I’m just reporting what it says on her Wiki page now, so you can go read that, and maybe donate to the Wikimedia Foundation while you’re there. 🙂

(EDIT: Also find out about what Toyah is up to over at


Last ThURGHsday! – Wall of Voodoo, “Back In Flesh”


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October 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I love Toyah. In the early '80s, Ultravox was my band of choice, but Toyah was a close second. I remember complaining to my uncle about the crap that we'd submitted to the Eurovision Song Contest one year, and suggested we should have sent Toyah instead. he had a look of horror, and said something like "but we couldn't possibly have someone with bright orange hair representing the country". I remember that disconnect between his generation and mine quite vividly. I'm sure every generation has their counter cultural elements, but in my adolescence, Toyah represented that more than anyone else (more so even than The Sex Pistols). Of course, it helped that I liked the music, too. For whatever reason, I never got to see her live until a few years ago, but even all these years later, she's still a compelling act to watch.

-Your Older Brother, Samreply
October 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Wow, that's a pretty interesting comment about her being so counterculture. I can see/hear that now that I look back at her career. I found an interview on YouTube yesterday with her & Gary Numan and she was saying that she drove a lot of people off with her outward appearance back then, and she'd prefer that they listen to the music, because that comes first.

I think it's great that she's still pushing the envelope – I see her as having a similar sensibility to Helen Mirren. She could be "retired" or playing it safe – but when I think of "safe", I don't envision working with Bill Rieflin. 🙂

Thanks for the comment!

-Your Older Brother, Samreply
October 24, 2011 at 1:54 am

I've also noticed a few people coming here from – I appreciate the link, and you can also see what Toyah's currently up to there, with official messages from Toyah occasionally as well!

So thanks to !

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