Musician, songwriter, actress and author, Toyah Willcox is one of Birmingham’s best known contemporaries.
And on Monday July 16th, Toyah will be the first person celebrated on King Heath’s Walk of Fame, with her memorial star being presented on York Road – before a one off concert at the Hare & Hounds.
Born in Kings Heath, growing up in the family house on Grove Road, Toyah Willcox is a self confessed enemy of convention.
Reportedly suffering bullying at school, due to her limp (from a spine defect at birth) and lisp, Toyah turned the tables one day, when she ‘got into class, picked up chair and threw it at the main bully.’
After school, Toyah worked to pay her way through drama school; where a chance referral saw her as ‘Sue’ – in Tony Bicat’s short play ‘Glitter’.
From there Toyah was picked for a place at the National Theatre, where she met Derek Jarman – first appearing as ‘Mad’ in his seminal punk film, ‘Jubilee’.
Forming her first band around the same time, the eponymous ‘Toyah’ were signed to a German imprint – Safari Records, in 1978.
Their debut single, ‘Victims of the Riddle’ reached No1 in the Independent charts, with the subsequent album – ‘The Blue Meaning’, entering the Top 40; spawning an ATV Documentary and accompanying live album.
Despite the original ‘Toyah’ line up disbanding, Willcox went on to release over 10 Top 40 singles and a further 21 studio albums, including the platinum selling ‘Anthem’.
Toyah Willcox has also written two books, appeared in over 40 stage plays and 10 feature films.
Toyah is currently planning ‘The Changeling Resurrection II’ tour this autumn, celebrating the 30th anniversary of her 1982 album.
Playing 12 dates across the UK, Toyah will be performing at the Birmingham Ballroom on 31st October.
For more on Toyah Willcox, visit http://www.toyahwillcox.com
For more info about Toyah’s Walk of Fame Concert, alongside other gigs at the Hare and Hounds, visit http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk