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TOYAH, The Assembly, Leamington
3 November 2011

Toyah, photo by Andrew Lock

This show was a real trip back to the 80's with headliner Toyah's set including the majority of her huge hit album Anthem first released in 1981(this being the year of its 30th anniversary) and in a value for money bill she had three support acts two of which would have been right at home in that era.

First up impressive solo artist Andi Fraggs with a set of electronic music at times in the style of Depeche Mode, the accompanying video footage used on the stage screen worked perfectly and really set the mood, cleverly the characters on the screen mouthed Andi's singing perfectly. He made countless costume changers and really put a lot of effort into his show performing amongst others his latest single 'Beautiful Feeling' and a well chosen cover of Kate Bush's 'Wow'.

A change of genre next with a lively set from four piece band Girls That Scream, a band with plenty of attitude who really got the crowd behind them, they mix glam and indie rock with various styles of music including electronic and dance which for me gives the band quite a unique sound.

Next to take the stage Mechanical Cabaret, a two piece band in the vein of Soft Cell but with a heavy Gothic element, this band again used the on stage screen to great effect, in a theatrical set vocalist Roi Robertson often crawled and prowled the stage and even draped himself over the edge to interact with the front row at times, the other half of the duo on synthesisers was Steve Bellamy.

The band's lyrics were quite risque and hard hitting and numbers performed included 'See Her Smile' and 'Disbehave', this set kept the evenings 80's vibe intact.

Making her entrance in one of her spectacular Egyptian style Anthem era stage costumes, Toyah with immense energy danced, bounced and rocked through a set full of hits and album tracks including most of her classic album Anthem.

Toyah, photo by Andrew Lock

Set opener was a sparkling 'Good Morning Universe' followed by rocker 'War Boys' with its thundering tribal drumming, the pop magic of 'Bird in Flight' and then one of her all time anthems 'Thunder in the Mountians'.

Without stopping for breath, except for her two costume changes Toyah and her band kept up an incredible pace and other highlights included her 1987 cover version of the Martha and the Muffins smash hit 'Echo Beach', and two Anthem album tracks the sci-fi styled 'Jungles of Jupiter' and a pumped up 'Demolition Men'.

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