Toyah, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

There is so much to like, to love about Toyah Wilcox that she really does get inside the soul of those who have been touched by her aura of rebellion, her sense of searching for a truth and her physical spirit. For many she embodies an age where the first signs of female dominance in her craft come forth, not with the handshake of patriarchal consent but with determination and drive of the post war feminine guile, wit and strength that carried the country past its outdated Victorian lies and into one of colour, of Punk, of resplendent anarchy and into a thankfully socially more entertaining age.

Toyah Wilcox blazes that trail, even now after being involved in music and film across five different decades, she has a spirit in which cannot be broken, which cannot be defied and for those fortunate enough to truly remember the 80s, Toyah was one of the reasons the music moved away from the downtrodden beige spectacle and into fighting back against expected and misbegotten conformity.

The cheer for Ms. Wilcox as she took to the Philharmonic Hall stage as part of an 80s package which included Paul Young and Liverpool heroes China Crisis, was one that would have deafened the local vicinity of King’s Heath, the suburb of Birmingham to which Ms. Wilcox is undoubtedly the most recognisable name to be associated with it, however inside the Philharmonic Hall, it boomed and resonated with a grandeur of wealth, of mystery and belonging; this is after one of the women to whom the late 70s and early 80s drudgery was firmly swept aside in a blaze of enigmatic cool.

Toyah didn’t just take her hits to the crowd, this was a songwriter once again determined to show just what makes an uncontrollable force tick , what can be created when you have drive and wonderful sphinx like charm written deeply into your D.N.A.

With songs such as Rebel Run, Thunder In The Mountains, Brave New World, the fantastic It’s A Mystery, the devastating I Want To Be Free and a sublime version of Martha and the Muffins’ Echo Beach all lined up with colour and verve, Toyah Wilcox and the tour band were able to transport many in the audience back to a time when defying convention was frowned upon and for those who never saw the emerging artist as she stuck a precious couple of fingers up to supposed archaic institutions of thought, she taught them it does not matter what people think, it is after all your life, so live it with flourish and passion.

One of the absolute heroes of the 80s, Toyah Wilcox once more showed Liverpool that Birmingham has a place in the world of pop history.

Ian D. Hall