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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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80s punk star Toyah Wilcox will headline Workington festival

Singing star Toyah Wilcox will headline Workington’s Decades town centre music festival later this year.


The 1980s self-styled punk princess, best known for chart hit It’s A Mystery, will perform at the event between May 25 and 27.

Toyah’s career spans 30 years and she has had 13 top 40 singles, recorded 20 albums, presented TV programmes and appeared on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here!

She recently starred in the West End rock show Vampires Rock.

The Decades festival will be based around 12 pubs and clubs on the town centre “circuit” and will celebrate music from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Set up by Paul McGee, landlord of the Red House, and run by Maryport Festivals Limited, it promises a weekend of musical nostalgia.

The 1960s chart toppers The Fortunes will also be a headline act. Their hits included You’ve Got Your Troubles and Here It Comes Again.

Band member Michael Smitham’s father was a Whitehaven miner. Although Michael was born in Warwickshire, he returned to Whitehaven with his family when he was about four and said he had a wonderful childhood “with the whole of the Lake District as a playground”.

Other acts lined up include the New Amen Corner, an update on the 1960s band which had hits with Bend Me, Shape Me and If Paradise Was Half as Nice, plus 90s singer Baby D, and The Kasuals (Jesamine).

Paul said: “There is a wide genre of music from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

“Every other town has a festival going on and we felt it was Workington’s turn.”

Decades will be run along similar lines to the Maryport Blues Festival’s town trail, with acts playing in pubs and people buying entry wristbands. The wristbands will be on sale soon.

The Curwen Arms, The Well, Yankees, Padua’s, Chasers, Miners Arms, The Circuit Bar, The Vine Bar, British Legion, The Red House and Dukes will take part, with Bar 32 to be confirmed.

Club Ice will have a ticketed weekend and will feature some of the biggest bands.

Paul said: “I hope local people and those from further afield will embrace this festival.”

Decades is being organised by Maryport Festivals, which runs the Maryport Blues Festival. All payments will be ploughed back into the blues event.

Work is continuing to book bands, and Paul has set up PK Enterprises Cumbria with other landlords.

He added: “We don’t want this to be a one-off.”

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