But before that, we bring Who frontman Roger Daltrey on the road with his Who Was I? show, in venues such as Brighton and Portsmouth this fall – a special evening of Who classics, rarities, solo hits and Q&A for fans.
“I have to sing,” he said. As easy as that.
“I did a few shows during the breaks between closings for the Teenage Cancer Trust, and did a few car festivals. I haven’t done anything, but I need to sing older than I am. The vocal cords are muscles. You have to use them. The Who had been scheduled for release next spring, but that hiatus was going to be too much.
Hence the Who was I? tour, a great way to end a tough year.
“It was pretty horrible for everyone really, but I was blessed. I live on a farm and the rhythm of the land doesn’t change for nothing, not even for a pandemic. I’ve been so lucky compared to some people, people living with two kids in a high-rise skyscraper with the idea of home schooling. If we are going to applaud people, we should also applaud people in situations like this. “
When the pandemic hit, Roger was lining up just a week of sold-out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer Trust: “We’ve had a full week sold out. We hope to be back next year. I don’t think things will change.
“It’s time (to go back there). Totally time. I am concerned about the industry.
“It is important to get our road teams back to work. Without these guys the hallways would become silent.
“It’s also clear that live music is an important part of all of our lives, something to free us from the groundhog days that life has become. This pandemic made me realize how much singing is such an important part of me and it determined me to get back on stage ASAP.
“On this tour, I want to take the audience on a musical journey through my singing career with a show of songs and sounds that explores and surprises. I look forward to having a closer contact with my audience than festivals and arenas allow, allowing time for discussion.
The show will feature a mix of music and conversation, built around Roger’s musical journey, and encompasses almost every style imaginable – including blues, rock, country, soul, and metal.
During the evening, he will dig into his back catalog by drawing on his nine solo albums, his album with Wilko Johnson and even reinterpreting some classics and rarities of the Who.
Performance has always been key for Roger: “The Who has always been a live band. Who’s Next is an album that we played live for a long time before recording it. All the other albums were created in the studio, and we never really captured that feeling live. “
Even so, The Who’s story has seen astonishing success over the decades.
“I think you have to put a lot of that down to the quality of the writing and the musicality of Pete Townshend. The Who are an acquired taste. It’s not the kind of pop music you like at night out. It’s incredibly demanding to listen to. It’s music that demands that you focus on the lyrics, that you feel it.
The joy is that he always brings together new audiences: “We now have audiences that could be 80 or eight. Now you have people bringing their grandchildren to see The Who, and I always thought it wouldn’t be great if rock music could do that down through the generations.
This will certainly be the case on the last tour, the opportunity to appreciate Roger’s music in a little more intimate way.
“Most of our careers we’ve played in huge arenas, huge stadiums, whether it’s 25,000 or even half a million in Woodstock and 600,000 on the Isle of Wight. But really, it never mattered how much. You play the same whether it’s ten people or ten million people. It doesn’t change anything.
“But what it gives me is a change to explore my solo career a bit more. That’s why I called him Who was I? There is so much of my solo career that I used to do as a hobby and have always been very casual. My main goal has always been to be the singer of The Who. There was a lot of my solo career that I completely wiped out. I didn’t want to be like Rod Stewart and The Faces. I just wanted to be part of the Who.
But the opportunity is there now, different songs to relive, different sounds and also Who songs performed in different ways.
So how is he going to make the choices?
“I’m definitely not going to choose anything until we’re in the rehearsal studios. That’s when we’re really going to work on it. You instinctively know that and the songs will change every night anyway, I’m sure.
The tour will begin in November with a date at the Brighton Center on Wednesday November 17th before concluding with the Portsmouth Guildhall on Wednesday December 1st and the Bournemouth International Center on Thursday December 2nd.
Then it will be the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in March.
“And then The Who will be released in America in the spring of next year. We’ll go do the whole tour that we canceled. And we can do festivals. And then we’ll go back in October.
“And then we’ll have our swan song in the UK in maybe 2023.”
” We have to be realistic ! I will be 79 years old.
Barely an age that stops the Stones, though?
“Yes, you have to give it to them. “
Especially since the death of their drummer Charlie Watts, a good friend of the late great drummer of the Who, Keith Moon, who died at the age of 32 in September 1978.
“I don’t think Keith was ever going to make any old bones. He was an incredible character. I have never met a character who comes close to Keith Moon. He was the funniest, the saddest, the most cruel. He could be the most generous person. He could be the most selfish person. He was just huge in everything, and when he was funny he just made you laugh until it hurt.