Gig review: WILKO JOHNSON – The Forum, Tunbridge Wells, 24 January 2014

Wilko Johnson, The Forum, Tunbridge Wells, 24 January 2014

Originally only planned for two nights to celebrate the Forum’s 21st birthday, Wilko Johnson added a third night due to the other two shows being sold out so quickly.

Roger Daltrey once sang that he hoped to die before he got old as if to say rock n roll was not meant for old people, it was used as a tool to distance young trendy kids away from their elderly parents.

When I was a young teenager I used to attend gigs at the Marquee, Soho with my friends, I was surrounded by leather clad teenage punks who may have held that same ambition.  But, nearly forty years later, here I am surrounded by leather clad elderly people in their sixties/seventies who now share the belief that being so old isn’t so bad after all.

Wilko Johnson, The Forum, Tunbridge Wells, 24 January 2014

Living on borrowed time Wilko effortlessly mesmerised the packed house with his own style of self-taught guitar playing and his unique jerky stage movements and facial expressions, he was on turbo speed as he went through the set list that included, ‘She Does It Right’,  ‘Back In The Night’, ‘Roxette’ and their own extended version of Chuck Berry’s ‘Bye Bye Johnny’.

Norman Watt-Roy, The Forum, Tunbridge Wells, 24 January 2014

Wilko was accompanied on stage by Dylan Howe on drums and life long friend and former Blockhead Norman Watt-Roy who played his bass guitar like an over-active 21 year old, his face contorting and fingers twisting up and down the strings.

Wilko Johnson, The Forum, Tunbridge Wells, 24 January 2014

It was a fantastic gig that I enjoyed so much that I wished it wouldn’t have come to an end and just kept on going.  After recording an album with Roger Daltrey Wilko will celebrate their collaboration with a special show at the Shepherds Bush Empire 25 February. It will be interesting to see if ‘My Generation’ is on the set list.

Review and photos by Darran Scott

DVD review (Live At Koko)

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