I didn't like what I was hearing.

I was speaking to fellow Angel and Demon Bob on a payphone in a corridor at The Portland pub in Portland Road, Hove in spring 1985. He'd just played me Toyah's new single down the phone.

I didn't like it.

It was the chorus that did it. It sounded too poppy, too commercial. Too major key. The verses were OK. But the chorus... It was the kind of chorus I could have imagined Cyndi Lauper having in one of her songs and that didn't sit well with me. Bob and I spoke in hushed tones, it felt like the end of the world.  Listening to us, anyone would have thought that somebody had just died.

Whilst a lot of this extreme reaction was due to the glossy production and "chart hit" nature of the song, I'm sure part of it was down to a change in my own taste as well. I was now coming up for two years at university, two years out on my own, and had been exposed to a vast range of diverse influences.  In those days Sussex University had not one but two music venues on campus. Aside from the Mandela Hall where the larger bands played, student union building Falmer House also contained The Crypt, a small nightclub where not only had I DJed a couple of times but also had I seen such acts as Porky the Poet and Attila the Stockbroker not to mention Captain Sensible putting in a cameo appearance when Dolly Mixture played. In town were the Zap Club (where amongst others I'd watched Bone Orchard, NON and Tools You Can Trust) and The Escape where I'd seen Flesh for Lulu.

Positive Punk was now Goth and I was probably becoming a bit of a musical snob. Nevertheless, Don't Fall In Love, as the single was called,  was extremely polished and commercial, probably the most blatantly poppy thing Toyah had ever done.

Well of course I still bought it. On both seven and twelve inch in vinyl, plus poster sleeve.  I drew solace from the fact that the extra track on the twelve inch, Kiss the Devil, sounded a bit more like the Toyah of old. The thing was despite that fact that on the whole most of our little group weren't at all keen on this single, we were still loyal fans and fully prepared to support her in whatever endeavours she got involved in. Besides, this was the first single she'd released for nearly eighteen months. We all bought it and decided that we'd definitely still be turning up to say hello where we could at any TV shows she might appear on to promote it.

I'd taken it quite personally that she hadn't been on Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas back in December. Quite apart the charity single's important and historic purpose it had almost seemed like a party for all those early eighties bands with almost everyone who was anyone taking part. Why hadn't Bob Geldof asked Toyah to join in?

I didn't know it at the time, but apparently he had asked her and furthermore she'd been keen to take part. However, for reasons known only to themselves her management at the time had made a monumental error of judgement and said that they didn't want her involved in charity work.

The album Minx that followed Don't Fall in Love also felt like a bit of an error of judgement. Eddie called to say that he'd managed to get hold of an advance copy at  the Record and Tape Exchange in Notting Hill; needless to say me and a couple of others piled round to his place in double quick time to listen to it.

"It could have been worse."

Eddie's opinion reflected what some of us were feeling. Whilst containing some examples of what we thought were yet more glossy commodity-pop songs (including an ill advised cover of School's Out), the album was more than just a collection of Don't Fall In Love clones. Nevertheless, it didn't quite feel like Toyah. It seemed to me like some Major Label Suit's idea of Toyah, punk woman as business asset. The large number of cover versions included seemed to indicate a shift in attitude towards the albums, moving away from the idea of them as entities in themselves, individual works of art from the mind of Willcox, and towards the idea of them as marketable product.

Looking back I was somehow managing to be simultaneously naive and cynical. All record companies (indie cachet notwithstanding) operated like that and just because I didn't like the album, it didn't necessarily follow that it was all an Evil Plan masterminded by Major Label Man.

We were devoted fans though and so kept the faith.  I was still in correspondence with Toyah even if I was (probably) sending her far more letters than she had time to reply to.  For some reason I'd got the idea into my head that I wanted to be a comic book artist and decided that my first attempt would be The New Adventures of Toyah; her career re-imagined as that of a 21st century superhero in the year 2085...

Finally there was news of something she was appearing at that we could go along to. Pebble Mill at One. It was in Birmingham which was a fair old distance, but even so I hoped to make it on time.  As it turned out I was a little late and ended up being absent from something important. I knew I was probably going to miss the recording of the show itself, that much was clear. However, we hadn't been expecting to get in anyway and whilst it might have been nice to see Toyah arrive, getting from Brighton to Birmingham New Street in time for noon just wasn't going to happen on my temporal budget.

I rolled up at Pebble Mill just in time to see Toyah emerge from the studios. When she saw me her jaw dropped and she looked shocked.

"Oh no! Chris! Where were you? You missed it!"

It turned out that she'd recorded a special video for Don't Fall In Love outside Pebble Mill and had asked for the Angels and Demons to be included in it where they'd taken pride of place in the end sequence. I was gutted. This was the second time I'd seriously missed out (the first being the Love is the Law backing vocals two years previously). I think my disappointment must have showed on my face as Toyah did pay me a lot of attention in the few minutes before she had to depart. I'd brought along a copy of the initial pages of my comic which I gave to her. A small consolation prize was the fact that a photographer covering her appearance for the local paper used a snap which featured me prominently to illustrate the short item.

The academic year over, I was temporarily back in London for the summer and planning to go and visit Bob to watch Live Aid on TV. When I spoke to him on the phone a week or so before he had some exciting news. Apparently Toyah's old record label Safari had released an album of old material from the vaults, Mayhem. Bob sounded excited, I certainly was. It was  dream come true, the kind of thing we'd fantasised about, the fabled old days within our reach once more.

Needless to say, the first thing I wanted to do when I got to Bob's house was listen to it.

"What?" he seemed surprised," You didn't fall for that did you? I was joking. Come on, as if that was ever going to happen..."

I didn't know what to say and felt a crushing disappointment. We watched TV in silence for ten minutes, but I couldn't really concentrate on what was on the screen. Bob jumped up.

"Come on, do you want to listen to Mayhem then?"

Ah, a double bluff. I had indeed fallen for it. Luckily I was too excited to be annoyed.

My presence in London for a couple of months meant that at least I'd be more conveniently placed should Toyah make any more appearances to promote Minx and the singles that followed. One thing I'd noticed was that Tom no longer seemed to be in attendance when she did - a lot of the time she seemed to turn up only accompanied by Kate.  Perhaps they felt she no longer needed a bodyguard per se and that it was easier for E'G Management to pay for a driver.  So it was when I met Toyah by accident one afternoon in the West End.

I was also into Marc Almond whose solo career was now taking off after the demise of Soft Cell, and sometimes used to hang out with some of his fans - there was a little bit of crossover between the Angels and Demons and Marc's fans the Gutterhearts, even if the latter were more numerous. One afternoon one of them - Sam I think his name was - said that he'd heard that Morrissey was appearing on Radio One that evening and did we want to go up there and meet him?

I certainly did.  I thought the recently released Meat is Murder was fantastic and it had probably been instrumental in my recent conversion to vegetarianism. So it was that Sam, another boy and myself trouped up Regent Street to Portland Place to wait outside BBC Broadcasting House.

There didn't seem to be that many Smiths fans around, just two girls. Unusually we were permitted to wait inside reception and it was whilst sitting there that I spied Toyah and Kate emerge from the interior of the building.

"What are you doing here?" I asked as I jumped up and scurried over to them. Toyah looked round.

"What are you doing here?" she replied. I explained about Morrissey, and she revealed that she shared my admiration for Meat is Murder.

"I think they're going to be the biggest band in the world," she said, "Tell him I love the album, even though he'll probably just say piss off..." Sam and the others got Toyah's autograph and took a couple of pictures before she left.

"Why have you got such a big grin on your face?" one of the girls asked me.

Morrissey didn't show up.

I was to return to Broadcasting House again later that year in the company of the Angels and Demons as Toyah made a couple of appearances on Roundtable.  On one of these occasions whilst waiting outside I spotted a couple of my friends in the distance as they rounded All Soul's Church. I waved at them.  I hadn't seen Paul Gambaccini between me and them, but for some reason he thought I was waving at him and waved back. I felt obscurely embarrassed. I'm not sure why. I knew I was waving at my friends. He thought I was waving at him and seemed happy with that. Where's the embarrassment there? Nowhere as far as I can tell. However, I've always had a uneasy relationship with embarrassment and as a result have never forgiven Gambo for it.

1985 moved on into autumn and I returned to university for my final year, moving into a flat in Goldstone Road, Hove.  Toyah didn't seem to be around much. The third single from Minx had failed to dent the Top 40, and the tour we'd all been looking forward to didn't materialise.

One morning in a newsagent the cover of The Sun newspaper caught my eye. It was the headline that did it.

Toyah jilts her lover Tom.



Next time...

1986: In the final installment of this memoir, the Toyah universe changes shape...

A couple of months ago there was a brief discussion on Twitter as to why some people seemed to get more right wing as they got older. Was this, some asked, a natural result of the aging process and if so how did that explain Tony Benn?

I can only speak for myself of course, but I don't really think my political views have changed since adolescence. Like most rational people who grew up under the yoke of Thatcherism I am still what you would call leftish, although in politics, as in other spheres of life, I am loathe to label myself. I just know what I dislike, and it is by exploring what you dislike that you find out what political stripe you really are. What makes your blood boil?

One thing that really makes me furious is when people expect to be treated better than others because they consider themselves more important. It's the Don't you know who I am? syndrome. This has always wound me up and still does to this day. Years ago when I worked in London I recall one of the clients of the establishment I was employed by at the time becoming almost apoplectic and red faced with fury because the telephone in the room he hired wasn't entirely working to his satisfaction. Didn't we know who he was? No, and I don't remember his name now either, just his behaviour. He was some self important academic type or other. A shithead.

Why does this anger me so much? On some level I must actually believe that all people are created equal, and that respect is not automatically granted because of an imagined status or caste, but has to be earned by achievement and behaviour. Throwing a tantrum because you're not getting what you feel you deserve automatically disqualifies you from respect.

You could call this view a left wing one. It's a kind of instinctive socialism (with a small s) which feels more unconscious and automatic than the kind of principles that people pay a subscription fee for. For example I once had first hand experience of  Don't you know who I am? syndrome being employed by the entourage of a politician famous for her left-wing stance. It was at a gig where I was selling merchandise for the band; this politician's PA became very snotty when I expected her to actually pay for a CD. Was I so stupid as not to know who she was? Of course she should get it for free! Who did I think I was?

Perhaps it was just the PA being overzealous, but this behaviour didn't sit well with me at all. The politician concerned still enjoys a thoroughly left-wing reputation to this day.

Something else that makes my blood boil is hypocrisy. People espousing views not because they feel in their guts that they're right, but because it's trendy to do so. Left-wing views are trendy, so in order to appear part of the in-crowd some people express them very loudly.

But instinctively you know they're lying. You can feel it in your bones. At a festival in the nineties I overheard two politico-punks engaging in a game of socialist one-upmanship. "Well, I've been on the picket line with the Liverpool Dockers!" "Well I've protested at Greenham Common!" "Well I've done this..." "Well I've done that..." "Well I've done the other..." and so on ad nauseam.

They may as well have been talking about how many Chumbawumba gigs they'd been to.

Perhaps this explains why some people become more right wing when they get older. Its because they never were left wing but wore these beliefs like a costume to fit into a subculture. When they grew up they didn't care as much and so let their true right wing selves out into the open. Shedding their posturing was merely the mental equivalent of getting a sensible haircut.

They've just become honest.

Ironically 1984 would see less Toyah than I'd ever had for a very long time. I was hoping that her release from the five year contract with erstwhile record label Safari and signing to Portrait Records would result in more music quite soon - after all she'd been releasing albums at a rate of one or two a year since 1979, surely any record label worth its salt would be keen to take their new signing for a spin around the charts? If nothing else I felt it was high time that the music journalists gave her another chance; by the close of play in 1983 virtually everyone in the music press had their knives out for her, even Smash Hits.

This was a problem. As self-styled arbiters of coolness, the music papers often dictated what people "should" like, meaning that in an attempt to appear with-it people would stop liking whatever it was that the NME, Melody Maker and Sounds had decided was on the way out at the moment, whatever its merits. If enough people stopped liking it, the popularity would fall in real terms and the music papers would congratulate themselves on having the foresight to predict such falls from grace whereas in fact a lot of the time they'd caused them. Sometimes bands managed to achieve longevity by exploiting the rivalry between the publications (were you an NME band or a Melody Maker band?) but even so music journalists wielded a lot of power back in those days. Or so it seemed to me at the time.

Perhaps a new album from Toyah on a new label would help the magazines and weeklies see past their what's hot and what's not attitude? Unfortunately, as it turned out, aside from the K-Tel compilation LP, there'd be no music from Toyah at all in 1984. Quite what her new record label was playing at I had no idea, but in the meantime I'd have to find something else to listen to.

I was in the right place for it. I was a first year undergraduate at a university where they still put numerous bands on and where there was a flourishing student radio station which I got involved with straight away, although it should be noted that I didn't just bore my listeners with two hours of non-stop Toyah. For a little while now my tastes had been drifting away from what was in the Top 40 and I'd been experimenting with alternative bands and their records. Liking Soft Cell had certainly helped - their unconventional approach, dark themes and artistic side projects had exposed me to such bands as their labelmates The The and Foetus.

The bands playing at the university - from Killing Joke to Spear of Destiny via China Crisis and Amazulu - helped broaden my horizons, as did the musical tastes of my neighbours in York House hall of residence. I taped my copy of The The's Soul Mining for them and they reciprocated with stuff like Psychedelic Furs, Joy Division and the original incarnation of Ultravox.

And there was new music coming along all the time as well. One band we all started to get excited about were The Smiths. They'd been on Top of the Pops in recent months; their lead singer was fascinating - a bizarre bequiffed gangling geek in NHS specs who was a million miles from both the recently departed New Romantic icons and the dull blue denim pop stars who'd taken their place. Me and my fellow York Housers all bought tickets for their gig down the road at Brighton Polytechnic. The band's debut album came out only a week beforehand, so we all had to spend hours listening to it in order to familiarise ourselves with the songs (even so they threw a couple of unfamiliar numbers into the mix including one rather amusingly called Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now).The gig itself was great. At the end the people running the Polytechnic told the band that they had to stop playing as their allotted time was up. The band refused and came back on for several more encores even though the house lights were now up. Remembering my regrets at not documenting the Toyah gigs the previous autumn, I'd borrowed a camera and took some pictures. A few of them even came out.

I was surprised but very pleased when Toyah wrote to me again at university - this time out of the blue and not in response to anything I'd sent her. I bought a wonderful crystal ball the other day, she wrote, it weighs a ton. Some of the girls have started following the Eurythmics a lot thank god, it gives me some peace and quiet for a change!

It was true. In the absence of Toyah gigs or even any appearances at TV or Radio studios outside which we could wait some of the girls - mainly Linda, Alison and Abi and occasionally Hayley had taken to going to as many dates on the Touch tour as they could manage and getting to know Annie Lennox into the bargain. I had yet to find a full time distraction to occupy me during Toyah's sabbatical. The Smiths were good but gave off a bit of an aloof aura, and besides they were all men. In my mind a band could only really be interesting if there were women involved in some way.

It wasn't long before I found another band to like. The previous December The Tube had screened a Hull music special. A filmed segment had presenter Jools Holland using a public urinal whilst uttering the cryptic words "...maybe I'll be lucky enough to see Indians in Moscow?" What did this mean? Was it an expression meaning something very unlikely?

No, it meant this. Indians in Moscow were a synth-punk band fronted by Adele, a crazy looking girl with tangled blond hair and a line in darkly humorous lyrics. Pete and Stuart provided the synthesised accompaniment and even the drums bashed by Rich were electronic.

I liked the video and had already bought the single when one afternoon in early 1984 I popped into the student radio station only to find a poster and a couple of records on the table. It turned out the band had been there only ten minutes before hoping to drum up an audience for their show that evening at The Ship in Lewes Road. That was just down the road (almost opposite where I'd seen The Smiths) so I popped down there on the bus.

It was a great show, all of the other songs just as memorable and quirky as Naughty Miranda. I was pleased to hear that they were going to be playing the following night as well at The Old Vic in town. The next day when I turned up, one of the first people I saw was singer Adele sitting at the bar. Despite my natural shyness I struck up a conversation with her and we spent the whole of the rest of the evening talking (aside from the time she was actually performing onstage).

My adventures with Indians in Moscow are worthy of a whole memoir themselves, despite the fact that they lasted barely eight months - the band split up at the end of August. I came out of this time with more exposure to travelling around the country to see a band play (this time hitch-hiking a lot of the way), further insight into the machinations of the music industry and (perhaps most important of all in retrospect) the experience running the band's fan club. I also knew some of my fellow Angels and Demons a lot better, as Bob, Lee and Kev had all joined me in following the band around the country and almost all of the rest of the ensemble had been to at least one of the London gigs at some point. I'd also settled on one of my signature "looks" during the time, having gone from the awkward-schoolboy-with-clumsily-dyed-black hair to the spiky peroxide Billy Idol-ish "do". I felt a lot better for it.

Finally Toyah reappeared on our radar. She was appearing on Pop Quiz at the BBC Television Centre, so we duly trouped along to White City and hung around outside the gates. Eventually she turned up in a car with Tom and Kate... and with blue hair. This was a first. We didn't have tickets for the show this time so had to watch it on TV. Amongst her co-stars on this occasion were Paul Young, Drummie Zeb and Gary Glitter.

It was good to see her again, albeit briefly. Despite my dalliance with other bands she still held pride of place in my mind.

1984 rumbled on and the pop charts quaked at the onslaught of Frankie Goes To Hollywood. My own two tribes of University friends plus Angels and Demons collided on one memorable occasion when the latter came down to stay with me for one night. Rosie, the girl in the room next to mine in York House, never spoke to me again.

My second university year began in October 1984 when I moved out of halls and into shared flat in Portland Road in Hove, my flatmates four girls. This meant that my Toyah posters drew sharp criticism from the various associated boyfriends who frequented the flat over the year flexing their cool, but I seem to remember quite a crowd in front of the TV when The Ebony Tower was finally broadcast.

Christmas came and with it another appearance on Pop Quiz, on this occasion held at the TV Theatre in Shepherds Bush Green. We had tickets now so after seeing Toyah on arrival (her hair now in short orange spikes) we all watched the show from seats somewhere near the back. This time Toyah shared the show with such luminaries as Meatloaf, Noddy Holder, Nasher from Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Roger Taylor from Queen and Green Gartside. It was all rather cheesy to be honest, but afterwards we all gathered in the alleyway to say hi to Toyah.

It felt a long way from the previous Christmas at the Marquee - the Eighties had so much more time in them than modern decades. Toyah seemed genuinely pleased to see us and stayed chatting for a while despite the cold. I'd entered a proto-goth phase, my short spiky hair now black, and I'd acquired a second hand leather jacket. It was obviously a look that worked at the time, because as she left, Toyah remarked, "Doesn't Chris Limb look hunky!"

Perhaps the word "hunky" wasn't the one I'd have chosen but even so - it was a marvellous Christmas present.

Next time...

"Tomorrow's a memory we finally receive". Toyah finally returns to the fray with a new album that isn't entirely to everyone's taste...

Today marks an anniversary of sorts. Whilst I first set up this blog in 2006, it was exactly one year ago today that I resolved to start blogging on a regular basis. It's true that I haven't blogged every single day since then, but I am happy to report that when the posting frequency did fall, it was always a conscious decision. I wrote something every single day from 17 August 2009 until 15 September 2009. I then did so every other day from 17 September 2009 to 14 February 2010. Ever since then I've been writing on an approximately weekly basis. Sometimes entries will appear more frequently than that, but never less.

So what have I learned from this Experiment with the Air Pump? Well for a start I seem to have discovered that in general people are more interested in my reminiscences about Doctor Who and Toyah than they are in my musings on the nature of time, space, death and reality. However, I've also learned that said musings can be very useful brain training; thought experiments that allow me to exercise my deductive faculties and come to conclusions that hitherto I hadn't considered. All good stuff anyway for someone whose primary fear is losing his marbles.

Dreams and the mind have also been popular topics, no doubt I'll be revisiting those in due course. I just have to be careful that I don't start repeating myself. That annoys people. People, that's another recurring theme. What is it with people and how can considering the antics of a fictional West Midlands caveman shed any light on the matter?

Has it worked?

The primary purpose of this blog as stated 365 days ago was to get my creative juices flowing and get on with that damned novel. It's worked after a fashion; I now have a single coherent chunk of novel written (at least the first half) which I didn't have in August 2009. Furthermore, for some reason now that everything in the book behind me is done (in first draft anyway) I am now finding it easier to forge ahead on to the novel's conclusion.

One thing that does seem to have fallen by the wayside a little is the attempt to get into Good Habits. In particular the one of splurging at least 500 words forth from my brain first thing in the morning before doing anything else. One of the reasons this stopped happening was because the blog entries started to take on a life of their own and required thought, research and more judicious editing. Perhaps I should return to a more rough and ready modus operandi? Of course what I really want to do now is get the novel finished, so if I can resurrect my early morning 500 words they should be used to get Genie through the Wooden Labyrinth, down onto the central plain of Dis, up and out of the hereafter. I think it's time to make myself a promise.

On 17 August 2011 the first draft of my novel will be long finished.

"There was a group of kids who started to call themselves the Angels and Demons who'd wait outside the stage door every night from me arriving at about five to me leaving at about eleven. Every night for five months. They'd wait at the door, getting pissed as newts. They'd nick tables from local restaurants and have street parties. No end of phone calls from the police complaining about them. They now have reunions every two weeks at the pub across the road. I got very inspired by them. Most of 'Love is the Law' was provoked by them."

Toyah interview by Mick Mercer in Zig Zag, February 1984
As has been documented elsewhere, I went off to university. It was quite odd really. There I was having just made a load of new friends in the Angels and Demons (we'd already started having our reunions at various central London pubs every weekend after Tanzi had finished) and all of a sudden I had to leave all that behind and begin a new life as a student in Brighton.

Or perhaps not. London and Brighton were only 49 minutes apart by train (strangely this journey time has gone up to 53 minutes in the intervening years) and with a Young Person's Railcard a ticket was only £2.90 return.

Toyah had been a bit less accessible that we were used to throughout the autumn. In September, Hayley, me and a couple of others had been up to BBC Oxford Road in Manchester to see her record a TV show with Mark Curry. By this point Toyah had taken on the services of a new PA/Manager (I never could work out which), Kate. Kate was earnest and efficient but did at least seem to take us Angels and Demons seriously; this was not only pleasant but felt like a departure from usual record company policy.  I suspect that Toyah'd had something to do with this; she'd brought Kate along to the Mermaid Theatre one day during Tanzi to meet all of us and Kate had asked us all questions, seemingly quite interested in us and our relationship with her new charge.

Whilst Toyah was recording her interview we sat in the BBC  Oxford Road foyer with Kate and Tom watching Top of the Pops.  We felt oddly grown up. Tom seemed really into the video of Genesis's "Mama" (the song where Phil Collins sounds like he's being sick), whereas Kate seemed to enjoy UB40's "Red Red Wine" more and knelt up in her chair dancing...

After our trip to Manchester, October and November felt like bleak Toyahless months, although she did write to me at university. Meanwhile the Angels and Demons' reunions continued uninterrupted.
There was a tour coming up to support the newly released Love is the Law. Toyah reappeared with her hair dyed black (which was in fact her natural colour) with purple highlights and paid a repeat visit to Harty towards the year's end; this time with all of us in the front row.

Afterwards Harty quipped "You wouldn't think Toyah would be old enough to have so many children!"

What goes on tour...
The tour was upon us. I planned to go to 8 out of the 19 gigs, perhaps not as impressive as it could have been but not a bad start. Newly empowered by the Midland Bank account I'd opened as an undergraduate student, I'd sent off cheques and stamped addressed envelopes to a variety of venues across the UK. Now I just had to work out how to get to them. As for what to do after the gigs, well I recklessly decided I'd make it up as as I went along. Something would turn up.

The first one I had a ticket for was easy, I thought. Margate. That was in Kent. I was in Sussex. Shouldn't be that difficult to get to, I imagined. I decided to go by train and not via London.

Perhaps this was a mistake as the journey ended up taking all afternoon and I had to change at least three times. Still I'd left in plenty of time and even though it was already dark by the time I rolled up at the Winter Gardens, everyone was still outside. One or two of us had already braved the wilds of Loughborough, Blackburn, Halifax and other far flung destinations but for the bulk this was where the tour began.

As soon as the doors opened we made a beeline for the front, the best standing room in the house. However, by the time the support group - Jonathan Perkins' Silver Spurs - had been and gone I was dying for a piss. I wondered it it was possible to set my kidneys working in reverse. Perhaps not. In the end I don't know how I managed it but somehow struggled through the crowd to the toilets and back to my spot in the middle, elbows on the stage.

For the first time I was aware of Toyah had employed the services of a backing singer, Miriam. For some reason this didn't sit right with me, although to be honest even from where I was standing it was difficult to hear her. Besides, any misgivings I might have had about this new line up were dispelled by the quality of the show itself.

As diehard fans we had started to develop our own folklore and received wisdom around Toyah's songs; the "old material" (in other words anything pre-It's a Mystery) was held in particularly high esteem. This was partly because it was more raw and alternative but largely I suspect because the average Top of the Pops watching casual fan didn't know about it. Imagine our delight though when the new set started with Elusive Stranger and Our Movie, two tracks from 1979's Sheep Farming in Barnet. Tracks unheard live for years! It was just like the old days, we all thought (despite all of us being too young to have been going to gigs in the "old days").

After the show, the other (older) Chris introduced some of us to this girl who had a car and her own flat in Sittingbourne; she ended up giving a handful of us a lift back there and we all sat up for hours. It only occurred to me the following morning waking up hungover in her living room that she and The Other Chris had designs on each other, a fact confirmed by the fact that when me and the others left for the station, he remained behind.

Hammersmith Odeon again. Guildford Civic Hall. It was at the latter that we spotted someone wandering around with "Angels and Demons" written on the back of their jacket. Someone we didn't know. Someone who had obviously seen Toyah mention us in an interview and was chancing their arm.

Eddie immediately started joking how it was weird that we didn't remember our old friend what's-their-name. Lee however went over to them, asked a few questions, explained the situation and told them to take the jacket off.

They complied, oddly. In the cold light of adulthood this whole thing sounds ridiculous, but back then we were incensed that someone was pretending to be one of us; them disrobing on a cold December evening once they'd had the facts pointed out to them seemed only right and proper. Still, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Other little gangs started to spring up, all named after Toyah songs. The Urban Tribesmen. The Warboys. The Elusive Strangers.

The next couple of gigs were in Middlesborough and Newcastle - a bit far for me (nearly Scotland!) but I'd made plans to attend all the dates after that. I caught the National Express coach up to Liverpool and met up with Lunar outside the Royal Court. I was early enough to see Toyah when she arrived as well. She said we could leave our rucksacks in the coach's luggage compartments to save us lugging them into the venue.

The gig was rather spoilt by a brace of belligerent Scouse lads who spent the first half of the show gobbing at Toyah. Eventually she lost her temper but rather than storming off she channeled her anger into a very aggressive (and impressive) version of Angel and Me singing the lyrics directly into the faces of the spitting boys. They responded by chanting You're shit! You're shit! at her between songs.

Tom suddenly popped up from behind the barrier like a jack-in-the-box and grabbed the lead shitty-gobster by the lapels.

"Who's shit?" he asked quietly. The shitty-gobster brothers were persuaded to vacate their position at the front of the stage and moved back. I could still hear them whining at each other for several minutes.

"Ah'm just gonna twat a few 'eads."

A few seconds later I felt an unbelievably hard clout on the top of my head. I'd been twatted. Luckily I have a very hard skull, so I turned round to see where the blow had originated (as if I didn't know). There, about three bodies or so away through the crush was one of the shitty-gobsters starting at me with a ridiculously clichéd Yeah? You startin'? Come and 'ave a go then! stance complete with weasel sneer and spindly finger gestures. It didn't make sense. He'd hit me. Why was he acting as if I'd started it?

Fortunately it was very difficult to move in the crowd. I ignored him and received a second twat for my trouble. Lunar managed to slide though the throng and within a couple of songs ended up directly behind the twatter. He leaned his elbows on the idiot's shoulders and looked over at me with an Is this the guy? expression. I responded with a silent Yes.

Lunar was very tall. He still is. As soon as they saw who was looming over them, the troublemakers disappeared.

Toyah had obviously had enough and departed without playing an encore. Outside afterwards Lunar and I were alarmed to discover that the coach had already driven off. With our rucksacks. Luckily a friendly local fan Chris Wilkinson, whom we knew through the fan club, said we could crash on his floor. We were grateful for a roof over our heads - but good grief it was cold without our sleeping-bags!

The next day we set off for Manchester, again via coach. I was wondering how we were going to find Toyah and the band - the Manchester Apollo gig was the following night so all we could do was hope that we'd be able to track them down. As it happened it was easier than we thought. Manchester Coach Station was in the city centre, slap bang next door to the ornate Britannia Hotel and as we walked out into Portland Street who should we spot but Joel Bogen, Toyah's guitarist and songwriting partner.

Apparently Toyah was off doing an interview with Piccadilly Radio. We explained our predicament and Joel told us that the driver had gone off and parked the coach somewhere and that we should hang around here until he got back. As we chatted we noticed a couple of girls hanging around outside the main entrance - from their attire obviously waiting for Paul Young who was also in town that day. Shortly after that Mr Young himself turned up; Lunar and I were shocked by the way he completely ignored his fans and just swept past them into the hotel, obviously in a bit of hurry to lay his hat somewhere.

As if to emphasise the difference between our idol and this newcomer, Joel suggested we come and wait inside and took us upstairs to the landing. At one point Tom emerged from a lift and from the expression on his face looked as if he was about to explode; luckily Joel was still on hand to explain that we were just waiting for the driver.

We eventually retrieved our rucksacks from the coach in a car park behind Manchester Piccadilly station and spent the night in a quiet corner of the coach station, strangely comforted by the thought that Toyah was in the building next door. The following night after the gig we slept here again, having failed to locate any friendly locals upon whom we could prevail for some floor space. And then it was off to Sheffield. I was starting to feel a bit spaced out by this point due to lack of sleep and the coach ride across the moors was a delirious semi-conscious journey.

Sheffield City Hall. By now there was a danger that all the gigs would start to blur into one. Even Toyah seemed a bit zoned out when she turned up and said hello at the stage door. Joel meanwhile had started referring to Lunar as "Lulu". I do remember the show being a good one though, although afterwards the prospect of a third night out in the open was less than pleasant. As it turned out we didn't get any sleep at all - having just bedded down for the night in Sheffield coach station we were awakened buy three or four local teens who seemed a little perturbed to find us there and suggested (politely, mind) that we go elsewhere. They obviously had other plans for the place that evening. Lunar and I wandered the streets and eventually ended up in an all night cafe where we spent the remaining hours until daylight making an egg sandwich and several cups of tea last as long as we could.

Once on the coach I slept all the way to Crawley. Despite the fact that I must have changed at Victoria Coach Station, I don't remember the interruption to the journey.

By the time we arrived at Crawley Leisure Centre it was already dark again. Lunar and I rejoined the rest of the tribe all of whom were energetic and perky. Disappointingly a lot of them didn't seem that interested in hearing of our experiences in The North although Hayley was curious and listened to my recounting of the tale paying particular attention to the bits with Toyah in them.

Security at the Leisure Centre left a bit to be desired. A handful of us discovered a doorway which led to a darkened staircase at the top of which was a glass fronted room looking down on the auditorium in which Toyah was currently soundchecking.

It was weird. She was just wandering slowly around the stage in a coat, singing Rebel Run in a low voice. A million miles away from the hyperactive bounce! bounce! bounce! bounce! of her usual performance.  She looked frightening and serious.  In a way we were peering behind the curtain at the mechanism of the music business, the checking of the sound divorced from the light and fury of the actual performance and were disconcerted by what we'd discovered.

Next she rehearsed The Vow with the added instrumentation of a saxophone, borrowed along with the musician controlling it from the Silver Spurs support band. It sounded great like this and Toyah could be heard cursing the fact that they hadn't thought to include a sax on the original recording.

Eventually we were caught by a member of the Leisure Centre personnel. They didn't seem that cross though and merely escorted us back to the public area where we waited for the gig proper. After the show out in the car park Toyah spent a few minutes leaning out the window of her coach joking with us before driving off.

The following day was the last date of the main tour at Reading Hexagon. Reading wasn't too far from London, so once again most of us made it. This was notable for the Silver Spurs joining Toyah onstage for an encore of I Want To be Free along with our fellow Angel and Demon Abi. She'd been starting to suffer from barrier crush and had been dragged to safety by the bouncers. Recovering in the wings, she'd been spotted by Silver Spurs frontman Jonathan "Perky" Perkins who'd dragged her onstage with him for the encore much to Tom's chagrin. Apparently Perky had also attempted to take her backstage to the party afterwards but Tom had put his foot down and she'd been unceremoniously dumped outside the stage door.

A secret postscript
We'd learned at Reading that two more "secret" dates at The Marquee were to follow a few days later, a Christmas party, a thank you to the fans from Toyah who'd had a great year. Afraid that it would sell out in seconds we all trouped down there the next day and bought our precious tickets. It was going to be great. It was going to be even more like the mythical "old days" that none of us had actually experienced.

Admittedly, it did feel very different, hot and sweaty. This incarnation of The Marquee, in Wardour Street, had a much lower stage than we'd been used to and it was more difficult to remain upright with the pressure of the crowd bearing down on you from behind.  The first night I found myself next to fellow Angel and Demon Bob who rather unexpectedly asked me if I was gay. Somewhat out of the blue.  Apparently there had been some debate about this amongst some of the male members of our group, and Bob had been the one who'd drawn the short straw and had to ask me. The debate about my sexuality settled (I was straight even though I might have appeared a little feminine and camp at times) we settled down to enjoy the show.

The second night felt even wilder.  "Are you pissed already?" asked Toyah when she turned up to find us colliding out of control in the alleyway by the stage door. During the show Toyah seemed to have readjusted to playing at smaller venues and it felt like the best gig of the whole tour. Afterwards we all hung around in the bar, including, for some of the time, Toyah and the band plus Jonathan Perkins and the normally serious Kate who was obviously very drunk and started being oddly flirty and affectionate with me (and others) in a way that felt a bit... inappropriate. Eventually they all disappeared backstage again to continue the party and we made our way outside to do the same.

A couple of us got arrested.  When Toyah eventually emerged in the small hours she looked spaced out and tired. We didn't know it at the time, but it was the end of an era.  A handful of us trouped back to Abi's flat (she lived relatively nearby) and crashed out. It had been a great tour. Hopefully the next one would be even better.

We had no idea there wouldn't even be another tour for ten years.

Next time...
"Like everyone you said there'd be so much more to 1984". In a temporary absence of Toyah the Angels and Demons have to find other ways to pass their time.

I don't have any wisdom teeth.

I didn't have them taken out or anything, they're just not there and never were.  I am a mutant.  One of the first things some people say upon hearing about this unusual state of affairs is usually a hilarious variant on the "Why am I not surprised?" gag - the implication being that I'm a bit daft and lack wisdom.

Of course that's all a bit arse over front and back to tit. As we all know very well they're called "wisdom" because they appear later in life when (presumably) one has accumulated some.  They're not called "wisdom" because their appearance imparts it, nor because their eruption makes you stagger about calling for Mr Grimsdale (unless that's your dentist's name).

Age and wisdom used to be inextricably linked. Not so much nowadays. Anyone who hates Thugg the Caveman and his illuminating antics should skip to the end of the next bit.

In Thugg's day reaching the ripe old age of 35 was something to be proud of.  It meant that you'd been able to avoid the attention of the tigers and bears, hadn't fallen foul of cave-foot or spear-mouth and had steered clear of getting into fights with younger would-be alpha males.

Successfully getting old also usually indicated that you'd exercised great courage, resourcefulness and cunning and such qualities earned the respect of the younger, less experienced members of the tribe.  After all you could teach them so much. If they followed your advice they too might be able to reach their mid thirties relatively unscathed.

Like many old people in this time, Old Buggar had become something of a guru, a shaman for Thugg's tribe.  He was now 38 and knew virtually everything there was to know.  Nine times out of ten if someone had a problem, Old Buggar would be able to solve it. From a purely selfish point of view, he was a very valuable resource and needed to be kept safe.  Those tribes lucky enough to be in possession of an Old Buggar survived, sometimes flourishing. Consequently, as was so often the way with these things, evolution did its work and people started to cherish and respect their old folk out of pure instinct.

It's an instinct we still have today. The problem is that quite often instincts aren't good for us any more. Some remnants of Thugg's programming make us overeat, others are responsible for racism and intolerance. Whilst back before the ice age anyone who was selfish and stupid would have simply met an premature end, in the 21st Century they just don't die that often. Now is a much safer place than then. What's more some of them seem to think that the world owes them respect and deference purely because they've been alive for more years than other people, even if they've squandered that time.  Personally I don't think having been born in an earlier decade than me is a skill worthy of admiration. Anyone can do it whether they're a saint or a serial killer.

Respect has to be earned, whatever your age, gender or race.

I'm not saying everyone has to be able to perform open heart surgery, write the definitive text on modern Marxism or direct a successful revival of Balzac's Le Père Goriot in the West End.  Just treating other people with the courtesy with which you'd like to be treated would be enough.

And I am sure there are a lot of people around just like that. I just don't seem to meet any of them.  I get the mad old curmudgeons.

Which is probably why I'm turning into one.