THREE decades after diminutive singer Toyah burst on to the mainstream with her crazy hair, post-punk outfits and strong, often mysterious, songs, she is back. Tonight Toyah is appearing at Bridport’s Electric Palace to perform all of her 1982 album The Changeling as well as songs from the live Warrior Rock album from the same year.

Changeling is credited as the album that gave the Goth movement a kick-start and although Goth music and style of dress is unfortunately much derided these days, Toyah is a staunch defender of the black nail varnish and velvet brigade.

“I won’t hear anything against Goths. A few years ago I toured with a musical called Vampires Rock and it had a massive support from people into Gothic music.

“Changeling is interesting because there is a huge revival in and respect for 80s music and the generations that come out to see us range from people in their 20s through to 40s and even in their 60s. It’s great to play to such mixed audiences.

“When I was growing up, people loved the 60s music but then we moved on to the present time. What’s really interesting about today is that the new generation loves music of 30 years ago and I think that’s incredible.”

Changeling, which includes the songs Brave New World, Run Wild Run Free and Life in the Trees, came out at a difficult time for Toyah. She was at the height of her fame and living inside a ’protective bubble’ created by her management.

“I couldn’t go out and there was this constant pressure to be creative, but I can’t be creative if I’m stuck in a bubble. I wanted to write something of depth and substance – and it was Changeling. I don’t remember it as a happy time or of going home at the end of the day thinking ‘yes, I’ve nailed that’ and I hadn’t gone back to it until this year.

“I wondered what it would be like to perform it again and how it would go down and when we performed it in Brighton we could have sold out the whole week.

“It went absolutely crazy and brought home to me just what the album means to people – there was one woman who said she listens to it on the way to work every day!”

Today Toyah, who has several non-musical projects in the pipeline including a ‘talking heads’ documentary on love and marriage for BBC4, says she is more grounded and happy and relieved she does not have the pressures of today’s young stars.

She also enjoys her status as a recognised part of Britain’s musical heritage.

“It’s something I’m really proud of, being part of the fabric of people’s lives. So many people have said Changeling gives them an identity.

“It has a big gay following and it made me realise that it’s actually an album about being a bit left-of-field and not fitting in – and that everyone realised this except for me!”

Toyah is at the Electric Palace, Bridport on October 26. Call 01305 424901 for full details and bookings.