Released just as Toyah’s eponymous band were on the cusp of top five pop fame, this 1981 live album was recorded at Wolverhampton’s Lafayette Club in June 1980. Part of Cherry Red’s ongoing run of Toyah reissues, Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! is a lovingly repackaged historical artefact, interesting today mostly as a document of that liminal period when the experimental ethos of post-punk was being tamed and codified into a slicker, softer, more commercial new-wave aesthetic.
Although much of the music now sounds toothless and dated, tracks like Love Me or Visions still have an agreeably discordant, angular, squawking energy, with hints of reggae and prog rock that place them at least in the same exploratory sonic terrain as PiL or the Banshees.
The previously unreleased Ghosts also has an enjoyably adrenalised powerpop bite, while Ieya is one of Toyah’s strongest early songs, a whooshingly dramatic synth-rock epic that gains extra clout from the gnarly crunch of this analogue-era live recording.
On its original release the album was promoted with a tie-in TV documentary profile of Toyah, which is included as a DVD in this reissue package, in which the flame-haired actor-singer proves to be every bit as gauche and pretentious as any 22-year-old with grandiose showbiz ambitions can be.