When the concert industry shut down in 2020, two musical heroes emerged to entertain us each week. The married couple of King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp and new wave singer Toyah Willcox blessed us with their “Sunday Lunch” series of cover songs, and the world has never been the same.
While lockdown had us, er, down, the frisky pair kept our spirits up, delivering fun renditions of iconic rock and metal songs (mostly from the kitchen in their UK home), complete with Toyah’s risqué outfits and Robert’s no-nonsense guitar playing (even if he has to appear in a silly get-up himself once in a while).
And even though the world has opened back up, the couple continues to entertain us each week with new “Sunday Lunch” performances. The YouTube series has turned into such a phenomenon that Toyah and Robert are taking the show on the road, booking a UK tour for the fall of 2023.
In honor of Toyah and Robert’s weekly gifts to the music world, here are Heavy Consequence‘s picks for the couple’s 10 best “Sunday Lunch” performances.
10. Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”
Toyah has made a few “Sunday Lunch” appearances as a cheerleader, none more eye-catching than in the couple’s performance of the Billy Idol hit “Rebel Yell.” With pom-poms in her hands, the singer displays the energy of a teenager as she jumps around and sings the ’80s rock anthem. More, more, more, indeed!
09. ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man”
While the playful pair’s rendition of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” was a treat for fans, it proved to be an even bigger treat for Robert, who got an eyeful when Toyah full-on flashed him throughout the performance. It even got the couple’s mysterious guitarist Sidney Jake to ask, “Do your parents behave like this?”
08. Sex Pistols’ “Pretty Vacant”
It’s fitting that Toyah covered Sex Pistols’ “Pretty Vacant,” as she was initially inspired by the ’70s punk movement to move to London, where she soon became a popular new wave singer herself. Wearing just a sheer wrap and body paint, Toyah nearly bared all for this one, as she and Robert both sported Mohawks, as the latter went from prog to punk.
07. The Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs”
Toyah and Robert literally turned the tables for their cover of “Venus in Furs.” With Toyah singing and dancing on a dining table, we see Robert’s perspective and reactions as he sips tea and admires his wife’s interpretative take on the Velvet Underground classic.
06. Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World”
It’s not all fun and games for Toyah and Robert, as they proved by taking a political stance at the start of the war in Ukraine. With Robert sporting the blue and yellow colors of the Ukraine flag, Toyah sang the Neil Young anthem “Rockin’ in the Free World,” a week after performing Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality” as a clear rebuke of Vladimir Putin.
05. Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane”
Toyah has displayed many a sultry costume throughout the “Sunday Lunch” run, even going full Catwoman during the couple’s cover of Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” If that wasn’t enough, she broke out a whip during the chorus, giving the performance a decidedly S&M vibe.
04. Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation”
After taking a month or so off in early 2023, Toyah and Robert returned to remind us that they don’t give a damn ’bout their reputation. Taking on the Joan Jett classic “Bad Reputation,” Toyah peppered Robert’s forehead with sticky notes with the word “bad” on them. And if the message wasn’t clear enough, a sign on the kitchen cabinets read, “Fripp bad, Toyah good.”
03. Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name”
Only covered by a sheer black wrap and red pasties, Toyah got her Zack de la Rocha on with an impassioned cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name.” All the while, Robert played Tom Morello’s riff like a man with a plan, as Toyah rubbed red paint all over her body. This couple will never do what you tell ’em, indeed!
02. Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”
This is the “Sunday Lunch” performance that first got our attention. Before the couple settled in their kitchen, they went on location for their early editions of the weekly series. While performing Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid,” Toyah sang and danced wildly behind bars as Robert played guitar outside the cell. This cover prompted Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi to tell Heavy Consequence, “I think they’ve gone mad, actually. I think this lockdown has drove them mental.”
01. Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”
Robert and Toyah truly went viral with their cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” With Toyah riding an exercise bike and wearing a skintight white shirt that left very little to the imagination, this “Sunday Lunch” performance blew up immediately, and has garnered more than 8 million views. It’s been one helluva ride ever since.