CONSIDERING she has been touring constantly for almost 40 years, you might think that Toyah Willcox would have had her fill of live dates.

But, as she prepares to bring her acoustic show to Colne Muni at the weekend, the singer admits that these intimate performances are something she particularly looks forward to.

"We absolutely adore doing the acoustic shows," she said. "Harmonically it's just so nice not to have the drums banging away in the background and the songs kind of have a life of their own.

"It's also great fun to tell the stories and it's good to find something new people haven't heard before."

During the shows Toyah shares stories about her remarkable career as well as playing acoustic version of some of her biggest hits and favourite songs.

"I always try to get a sense of the audience on the night and involve them in the show," she said, "so for instance, I'll try and localise the stories. Considering I've been touring so long the chances are I may have a story or two from previous visit to a venue or an area.

"Also the songs are well structured and do take you on a journey.

"There isn't one song in the set I dread doing acoustically. I've chosen ones we love and want to do and it sounds strange to say but acoustically I feel more like a singer doing an acoustic show. Because everything is so stripped down I can take my voice into areas that would be lost with an electric band due to the volume. It's very satisfying show to do."

Singer, author, actress - you name it Toyah has done it during her career.

Recently she's been involved with a new musical Crime and Punishment which used songs from her most recent album In the Court of the Crimson Queen as a soundtrack for a steam punk version of Dostoevsky's classic novel. She also wrote three new songs for the production.

"It's been a new learning curve for me," she said, "and I love that.

"I've never had the sense of having achieved everything, of being where I want to be.

"I wish I could in a way but I don't really understand the concept.

"I think that naturally we evolve and move on you've got to keep getting the message out there and keep challenging yourself.

"I've been around for 40 years and I have built up my audience and a fanbase and I have a show that tends to sell out, so I have something that new performers would die for but I can't take that for granted."

That work ethic and commitment to producing quality is what has kept Toyah at the top for song long but she remains modest about her achievements.

"It's what I do, I've never done anything else," she said. "It doesn't feel like a heavyweight job and it's always fascinating and a great honour to be involved in something. It's fun."

Toyah, Up Close and Personal tour, Colne Muni, Saturday, October 22. Details from 01282 661234.