Toyah Ann Willcox was born in Birmingham on May 18, 1958, and trained as an actress at the Old Rep Drama School. She was launched as an anti-establishment figure when she appeared in two cutting-edge films in the late '70s: Jubilee, the punk rock movie directed by Derek Jarmen in which she played a character named Mad, and the Who's mod film version of their early-'70s rock opera album Quadrophenia, in which she played the equally bizarrely named character, Monkey. She moved on to front a punk rock band named Toyah, which featured Joel Bogen on guitar, Mark Henry on bass, Steve Bray on drums, Peter Bush on keyboards, and Toyah herself on vocals, cutting a very striking visual image at this time with bright orange hair with pink tips. They signed to the independent label Safari Records (a route that many punk bands in the late '70s took as they found the major record companies reluctant to take chances) and released their debut album, Sheep Farming in Barnet, produced by Steve James and Keith Hale. Originally this was just a six-track EP but was later expanded to a full album release.