Thursday, April 26, 2018

Toyah Willcox at the 229 Club

229 Great Portland Street, London. Thursday 26-April-2018.

The "Acoustic, Up Close and Personal" tour.

This is the third time I have seen Toyah. The first was way back in 1983 when she appeared at the Young Vic in the play Trafford Tanzi. The second time was in 2003 in the musical Calamity Jane which got an indifferent review from The Guardian. This time we were here for her own music.

Alerted by SongKick to this gig, we ordered our tickets. When they arrived there were no seat numbers and we were a bit concerned that it was standing room only. As it turned out we needn’t have worried. There was seating it was just unnumbered, first come first served. We were able to get reasonable seats not too far back.

Toyah earlier posted a picture of the dress she was going to wear and indeed that is what she did wear. The static picture does not do her figure nor decolletage justice she is in great shape and looking lovely.

In the lights the outfit was a very sparkly rainbow affair.

The line up was:

  • Toyah Willcox: vocals
  • Chris Wong: acoustic guitar and backing vocals
  • Colin Hinds: acoustic guitar and backing vocals
  • Mike Nichols: double bass

One thing I like about live gigs is when the artist chats a bit about each song and gives you some background about how they came to write it or some context about the time when it was written. Toyah did this with every song which made it a much more interesting concert.

Unsurprisingly she did the well-known hit singles as well as a number of other tracks from her back catalogue which as usual you could just tell that many of the loyal audience members knew off by heart. She also did a couple of surprising covers. The first was “These boots were made for walking” by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood, one of my dad’s favourite songs. The other was “Echo Beach” better known in the version by Martha and the Muffins which was very pleasant listen.

One thing I noticed about some of audiences, maybe it is the older demographic, is it they are much more respectful of the artist and pay greater attention. There was no sea of iPhones, everybody was actually focused on the music and enjoying the live atmosphere. The one exception was when Toyah invited us to come up to the stage and take selfies with her she came up to the front of the stage and posed for pictures.

An excellent concert from an iconic artiste.

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