Punk pop legends Toyah Willcox and Hazel O'Connor team up for first Edinburgh gig together

ONE sips her tea while the other wants to be free.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 4:47 pm
Hazel O'Connor and Toyah Willcox

Two of the first ladies of punk have joined forces for their first ever joint tour, which comes to the Queen’s Hall later this year.

Innovators of post-punk and new-wave during their Eighties heydays, Toyah Willcox, 61, and Hazel O’Connor, 64, bring their Electric Ladies of the 80s Tour to the Capital in May.

Two of the most recognisable artists of the modern era, Toyah and Hazel have a combined back catalogue of around 60 albums as well as a number of television and film credits between them dating back to the late-Seventies. The pair initially met when auditioning for Breaking Glass in 1980, their careers ran somewhat parallel without actually crossing paths, until now.

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Toyah Willcox

Playing Kate in Breaking Glass proved a benchmark role for Hazel, winning her the Variety Club Award while the accompanying soundtrack saw her nominated for a BAFTA.

Ever prolific, Hazel continues to produce new sounds and recently released the acclaimed album, Hallelujah Moments.

She says, “Toyah and I, we just work together, although it’s taken us 40 years to do this. We finally get the opportunity to do it and it’s great; I always love watching her perform, she’s certainly the road map of my life and her music has always been a part of it.

“We know it’ll work as we’ve already rehearsed it as well so we’ll see what happens on the night but it’ll be a laugh and it’ll be four sisters together instead of the three I am now (with Sarah and Claire).”

Hazel O'Connor

Hazel currently performs with jazz saxophonist Clare Hirst who has worked with The Belle Stars, Communards and David Bowie, and pianist Sarah Fisher whose credits include Eurythmics and Sax In The City.

One of the most recognisable faces in UK pop culture, Toyah has clocked up an impressive 10 hit singles and eight hit albums, including the gold-selling Anthem and her most recent chart success, In The Court of the Crimson Queen. As an acclaimed actress, she has performed the world over including a role in the legendary Who film, Quadrophenia, in which she played the party animal, Monkey.

Eager to learn from Hazel and let their music flow as one, Toyah enthuses, “I’m wildly excited for this. I’m going to go out there and learn so much from her, Hazel’s timing and phasing is phenomenal, she can pull me into her rhythm. We’ll be doing some of our own repertoires, some original arrangements, and some new material. Expect it to be a very upbeat show, very musical and nostalgic, and above all, great to watch.”

Consisting of duets, and a few surprises, the pairs 14 date tour brings them to Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall on Saturday 2 May. With a full, electric band in tow, expect to hear classics such as Thunder In The Mountains, Eight Day, It’s A Mystery, Will You, I Want To Be Free, D-Days and many more.

Toyah last played the Capital in 2019 when she packed them into the Liquid Room while Hazel is a regular in the city having brought her Fringe show Beyond Breaking Glass here on numerous occasions.

Toyah Willcox & Hazel O’Connor: Electric Ladies of the 80s Tour, Queen’s Hall, Clerk Street, 2 May, 7.30pm, £29-£31, 0131-668 2019