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Washington Willy - Royal Albert Hall, London, 30/3/2010

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 29 / 4 / 2010

Washington Willy - Royal Albert Hall, London, 30/3/2010


The Who recently played a gig at the Royal Albert Hall for Roger Daltrey's Teenage Cancer Trust benefit gig, Anthony Strutt watches them play 'Quadrophenia' at it with a range of special guests to still impressive effect

Tonight was the final in a series of shows at the Royal Albert Hall celebrating ten years of Roger Daltrey's Teenage Cancer Trust benefits where the artists donate their time for free. This year saw shows by Depeche Mode playing their smallest show in over a decade and which sold out in seconds; a reunion show by the Specials, minus their founder Jerry Damners who wanted nothing to do with this reunion fever, and Suede who also played the 100 club for the Trust as well. Tonight is the last night and this is the one place you can be guaranteed that The Who will play. It may, however, well be the last time as Pete Townshend's ear infection is coming back, which may stop the band again, now renamed the Two by the media. For me growing up in the 1970s, the only UK bands of the previous decade worth any salt to my then young ears were the Beatles, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, and the Who, whom were among my first experiences of seeing a band live, I also met the band in Lewisham before they played the Odeon there back in 1981. The show was totally dreadful and there was no encore that night. Jump forward some 30 years for this performance of 'Quadrophenia' and Roger Daltrey looks superb for his growing years, while Pete looks like an elderly school teacher about to tell us the pupils how it is meant to be done. 'Quadrophenia' was a big film back in 1979 and to be honest it works better in that format, but to truly feel and see the experience you need the experience of seeing both Daltery and Townshend recalling their Mod days in this setting. It is a story about Jimmy, a fucked up lad who was a mod when it was fashionable in the 1960s. Sadly there are some people tonight who are still mods despite being in at least their late 40s plus. They look cool, but only in a backwards, haven't you moved on way. Jimmy himself is played out in film form, while the band whom number fifteen tonight and include Zak Starkey on drums and Rabbit Bundrick on keyboards, are extended with extra guest vocalists which include Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder taking the part of the Godfather. Tom Meighan from Leicester's Kasabian plays the part of Ace Face which was played by Sting in the film. Both do justice in the way they act and the parts they play in this Peter's second rock opera after 'Tommy'. It is hard work but an enjoyable trip inside the brain of a true rock 'n' roll genius that we truly need more of. God bless the Who. Long may you reign!

Picture Gallery:-
Washington Willy - Royal Albert Hall, London, 30/3/2010

Washington Willy - Royal Albert Hall, London, 30/3/2010

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