18 Upcoming Events
United Kingdom18 Events
- Feb 11 2021Feb112021Find ticketsThu 19:30Playhouse, Whitley Bay - Whitley BayWilko Johnson
- Apr 10 2021Apr102021Find ticketsUntil Apr 11 2021O2 Academy Sheffield - SheffieldHRH Blues VI - Weekend Tickets
- Feb 03 2022Feb032022Thu 19:30Portsmouth New Theatre Royal - PortsmouthWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayFind ticketsPortsmouth New Theatre Royal - PortsmouthWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayFeb 03 202219:30Find tickets
- Feb 04 2022Feb042022Find ticketsFri 19:30Wyvern Theatre - SwindonWilko Johnson + Special Guest John Otway
- Feb 05 2022Feb052022Find ticketsSat 19:30The Cresset - PeterboroughWilko Johnson
- Feb 10 2022Feb102022Thu 19:30Floral Pavilion Theatre - MerseysideWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayFind ticketsFloral Pavilion Theatre - MerseysideWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayFeb 10 202219:30Find tickets
- Feb 11 2022Feb112022Find ticketsFri 19:00Apex - Bury St EdmundsWilko Johnson + Special Guest John Otway
- Feb 12 2022Feb122022Find ticketsSat 19:00De La Warr Pavilion - Bexhill on SeaWilko Johnson
- Feb 18 2022Feb182022Find ticketsFri 19:30Saint Luke's - GlasgowWilko JohnsonOn partner site
- Feb 19 2022Feb192022Find ticketsSat 19:00RNCM Theatre - ManchesterWilko Johnson + Special Guest John Otway
- Feb 24 2022Feb242022Find ticketsThu 18:45Cheltenham Town Hall - CheltenhamWilko Johnson
- Feb 25 2022Feb252022Fri 19:00Town Hall Birmingham - BirminghamWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayFind ticketsTown Hall Birmingham - BirminghamWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayFeb 25 202219:00Find tickets
- Feb 26 2022Feb262022Sat 19:00Albert Hall, Nottingham - NottinghamWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayLow AvailabilityFind ticketsAlbert Hall, Nottingham - NottinghamWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayFeb 26 202219:00Find tickets
- Apr 22 2022Apr222022Fri 19:30Worthing Assembly Hall - WorthingWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayFind ticketsWorthing Assembly Hall - WorthingWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayApr 22 202219:30Find tickets
- Apr 23 2022Apr232022Find ticketsSat 19:30Lighthouse - PooleWilko Johnson + Special Guest John Otway
- Apr 28 2022Apr282022Thu 19:00Islington Assembly Hall - LondonWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayFind ticketsIslington Assembly Hall - LondonWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayApr 28 202219:00Find tickets
- Apr 29 2022Apr292022Fri 19:30Shrewsbury Theatre Severn - ShrewsburyWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayFind ticketsShrewsbury Theatre Severn - ShrewsburyWilko Johnson + Special Guest John OtwayApr 29 202219:30Find tickets
- Apr 30 2022Apr302022Find ticketsSat 19:00Wycombe Swan Theatre - High WycombeWilko Johnson
About Wilko Johnson
The former Dr Feelgood guitarist & Blockhead Wilko Johnson has recently been in the news for lots of non-music reasons. "I'm supposed to be dead now." So said Wilko in a recent interview, having been diagnosed in late 2012 with terminal pancreatic cancer. But despite the doctors' worst predictions he continued to perform and present himself with vigour and a new zest for life.
The man from Canvey Island, who studied English at Newcastle University before doing a bit of travelling, could have been a retired teacher by now, sucking on a pipe and whittling away at his pension. But no, Wilko was lured into music by the dark magic spun by his first Telecaster, bought from a music store in Southend, Essex, soon after becoming the strutting, grimacing, six-string rhythmic powerhouse behind Lee Brilleaux in Dr Feelgood.
Feel good? Audiences certainly did in the mid '70s as Wilko duck-walked his way across countless stages and venues in the UK, with Dr Feelgood in the vanguard of the pub rock movement, performing the gutsy down-to-earth rock and roll that was a welcome antidote to the faltering prog-rock era.
Heavily influenced by legendary guitarist Mick Green from '60s rockers Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, Wilko employs a finger-style, chop-chord strumming action. This allows for chords and lead to be played at the same time, giving a fluency and a distinctive sound very unlike the cleaner swat of a pick.
With this economic sound, coupled with that black-suited, scowling look, and the yards he covered across the stage pausing only to twist the guitar lead out from under his feet, Wilko became one of the guitar heroes of the era. His influence was felt in bands up and down the country, and later in the emergent punk revolution (Joe Strummer of the Clash bought a Tele after seeing Wilko play).
Feelgood had four successful albums in Wilko's time, then followed a busy creative period playing in an early incarnation of the Wilko Johnson Band, the Solid Senders, before he joined Ian Dury's band The Blockheads, in 1980.
All through the '80s, '90s and into the new millennium he continued to gig in the UK, Europe and Japan. But it was when Julien Temple's award winning Oil City Confidential came out in 2009, with Wilko emerging as the film's star, that the world once again sat up and paid attention to his extraordinary talent. In 2010 when Roger Daltrey and Wilko found themselves sitting together at an awards ceremony talking about raucous old school British rhythm & blues. “It turned out we both loved Johnny Kidd & The Pirates,” says Roger, name-checking the turn-of-‘60s creators of Shakin’ All Over and Please Don’t Touch. “They’d been a big influence on both our bands. That heavy power trio sound, backing up a singer; it’s a British institution. No-one does that better than us.”
They decided on the spot it would be a great idea to collaborate together on an album but both being busy men, the idea drifted away. When The Who finished a sold-out world tour Daltrey was delighted to discover that Wilko was still well enough to fulfil their ambition of making an album together. “Roger jumped up and said, ‘Let’s do it,’” says Johnson. “He knew this lovely little studio called Yellow Fish in Uckfield. Unfortunate name for a place, but a great studio.”
Because of the seriousness of Wilko’s prognosses, the album was recorded last November in a week, using Wilko’s crack touring band of Blockheads bassist Norman Watt-Roy and drummer Dylan Howe, with ex-Style Council and Dexy’s keyboardist Mick Talbot also guesting. Wilko credits the producer, Dave Eringa, with pulling it all together in such a short time. “Everyone got on famously,” says Johnson, “it was a great atmosphere.”
The album mostly featured re-makes of vintage Wilko gems, including the Feelgoods’ All Through The City, Keep It Out Of Sight and Going Back Home – the latter co-written in 1975 with Johnny Kidd & The Pirates’ guitarist Mick Green – plus Everybody’s Carrying A Gun, originally recorded by his post-Feelgoods group The Solid Senders, and the solo ‘80s rockers Ice On The Motorway and I’m Going To Keep It To Myself. There is also a hidden gem, the heart-wrenching ballad Turned 21, which has never been properly released or performed live. In April 2014 doctor’s discovered that Wilko’s pancreatic cancer was a rare, much less aggressive, form and carried out a pioneering 10 hour operation that may have saved his life. Wilko is currently recuperating at home in Essex.