Her latest album's just become her biggest in almost 25 years and Toyah's in the mood to celebrate.

The former punk marked 40 years in music with a series of anniversary shows last year and is back on the road this week just days after her revamped 15th solo album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen returned her to the charts.
Toyah, 60, admits she's been pleasantly surprised by the success of the re-recorded set, which also includes a clutch of new songs. "It's a good album but I don't think anyone would've been as brave to imagine it'd do as well as it's doing," she says. "It's been album of the week in many places so the reception's just been fabulous."

Crimson Queen ó which was originally released in 2009 ó has been substantially reworked by the It's A Mystery hit-maker and her co-writer Simon Darlow. "Our record company Demon gave me an opportunity to make the album that I'd originally wanted it to be," she explains.

"That allowed us to put in live drums and bass, and remaster and retexturize the whole album plus put new material in. We finished this at the end of January and as far as I'm concerned it's a new release because the majority of the people buying it now never knew it existed in the first place.

"Apart from the fact that I do about 60 to 70 live shows a year and they're all sold out, I think kind of what made the industry prick its ears up is I released a vinyl last year of my album Desire and it sold out in an hour. The new album has a very positive message about the fact that everyone has something to say no matter what age they are ó that our experience is something we give back."

Toyah says she's already working with Darlow on ideas for a follow-up. "I'm not under the pressure I used to be," she explains.

"I can do things in my own time, whereas in the '80s we were having to produce a new album twice a year and that's incredibly demanding if you're doing that while touring. I don't have a problem with writing ó I'm pretty prolific.
"I'm a lot more selective that I used to be and that's a good thing, but I'm used to having to write and hitting my time limits."

The singer's promising to deliver an "uplifting" hit-laden set at four Scottish gigs, and is looking forward to playing club-type venues with her four-piece band. "For acoustic shows I do theatres, with the band ó which has its roots in my punk background ó we want people standing and dancing, and also quite an intimate environment," she adds.
"We want the shows to be not only sold out we want a queue around the block waiting for return tickets. It's a very up and happy show. A lot of people shout their favourite songs towards me and it's a very friendly atmosphere with an enormous age span.

"We look out and we're seeing students now because thanks to Youtube people are discovering what we do and also we can have 80-year-olds in the audience. That means the audience is very respectful towards each other."
Toyah ó who'll be compËring at Rewind Scotland in July ó says performing tracks from Crimson Queen are a buzz. "It's very dance-orientated and I just absolutely love it when you look out on the audience," she adds.

"The diehard fans know the words to everything. It's astonishing, within an hour of releasing something to them on social media they know it by heart. Take the single Sensational, as soon as we start the riff they're just dancing and singing it back ó that's an absolute joy, I really love it.

"We added tubular bells and the drum has that kind of '70s Clash rawness and I really like that. It's a very brave decision we made, but it's so me."

* Toyah's Thunder In The Highlands tour stops at Edinburgh Liquid Room (April 25), Dundee Church (April 26), Inverness Ironworks (April 27) and Glasgow's Ivory Blacks (April 28).

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