Emmy-winning artist Toni Childs is currently on a three-month Australian tour, but already has her sights set on her next one – and believe us when we say you won’t want to miss either.
Toni’s 2019 Retrospective Tour celebrates 30 years since the launch of her debut album Union and stops at more than 50 locations, including a huge selection of off-the-beaten-track regional centres.
“This is a big three-month ‘nook and crannies’ tour which I love because I love taking in the regional areas,” Toni said.
“On this tour I’m playing old fan favourites in the first hour and then playing music from the future: my album Citizens of the Planet won’t be released officially until 2025, and It’s All a Beautiful Noise will be officially released next year.”
The release of It’s All a Beautiful Noise will be followed by another international tour of the US, Canada, Australia and Europe – but will feature a concert unlike any you’ve seen before.
“The It’s All a Beautiful Noise tour will be two hours of non-stop animation and very fun, immersive engagement.
“When you come to that show, you’re given one of six possible pollinator hats – like a ladybird, a butterfly, a bee – and each has an adjustable LED light that I can control from stage on the inside.”
Also inside each hat is a URL to a different environmental organisation, inviting audience members on an online treasure hunt after the performance. The culmination of this treasure hunt asks for the hats to be sent to one central physical location to form part of a large public art installation, ‘giving pollinators a voice.’
“I’m doing something out of the box but which I hope is super engaging and all because I want to support and have empathy for the bee. There’s a colony collapse happening around the planet at the moment and I’d love for the bee to become a protected species – if it’s protected, then all the pollinators and us are protected.”
Preparations for this experience are happening as Toni tours Australia now.
“I’m meeting with beekeepers around Australia while I’m touring because at the end of the It’s All a Beautiful Noise tour I want you to meet beekeepers of your region – they’re the real rockstars, they’re the first line of defence for the bee and I want to shine a light on them.
“It’s a very different kind of a show, but a stunningly beautiful one. All the profits from this tour pay for that one: the two-hour animation, the design and construction of the set, and the exoskeletal suit that I wear for the show being created by Anouk [Wipprecht] from the Netherlands – it’s part of the spirit that comes through the show and was part of the dream I had when I was 21 years old – I tell that story and I bring her to life.”
A powerful relationship with music is evident when speaking to Toni – a lot of her life experiences have come as a result of her connection with songs.
“It’s All a Beautiful Noise is written with my husband Mik Lavage – who writes a lot of music for television documentaries and films – so his music can be quite vast and beautiful. I had a hard time connecting with it at the beginning but the spirit came through – and this spirit inspired me to sing a sunrise concert 10,000 feet high in the Himalayas with a 52-person trekking party, 24 of which were porters bringing up the sound systems and amps to actually do that concert over a 10-day trek across the Annapurna Trail.
“Music also inspired me to give an underwater concert for whales and dolphins – so I put on a bubble helmet and that one was actually closer to your neck of the woods, in Hervey Bay where we tested it and lead to creating a 360-degree museum installation as an education tool on how we need to look after the Great Barrier Reef.
“My music has really inspired so much in me – I have a song called Zimbabwe from my very first album, and it inspired me to go to Africa. With music I see something and … I go towards it!”
Whether you’re a fan of Toni’s big hits from years ago, are longing for brand new sounds, or want a spiritual experience unlike any other concert, her visit to Townsville will be something special.
“I had a 16-year-old ambition that my music would be respected by my peers for singing what is most difficult to say and that my music would stand the test of time which I think it has, so I couldn’t be happier – of course when you’re young you have that bright-eyed longing to be rich and famous, but as an adult your outlook certainly changes and it’s not because I want to be particularly famous but because this is what I was born to do – you don’t really know that until you live a life.”
Catch Toni Childs’ Retrospective Tour at The Ville Resort Casino on Thursday 20 June, with tickets available here. To read more on and contribute to Toni’s next It’s All a Beautiful Noise tour, click here.