Well the new Wilko Johnson/Roger Daltrey album was released today and is available on Spotify, so it looks like I sorted out that embedding thing just in time!
I have listened to it all the way through a couple of times and I reckon that it is, on balance, a good thing. I think that my opinion of Wilko is pretty well known and as an Essex boy quite predictable. My feelings about Roger Daltrey are a bit more mixed. As a performer he is very impressive. When I watched the concert film of Tommy I could not believe his energy and stamina, especially that bit in the second half where he runs on the spot for an entire song and still has breath to belt out the song. The trouble is that there is something about him that just looks wrong. He is probably a really decent bloke but there is a sort of cruel look about him. Also I was never that keen on his voice, just on the way he performs live.
So I wasn’t sure what to expect from this album, but it all works out very well. Wilko’s weak point has really been his voice. There is an appealing quality to it but it he doesn’t really have the vocal power or presence of Lee Brilleaux and in live show the vocals are rather overpowered by the music. No such trouble with Daltrey of course, and the addition of keyboards and harmonica fill the sound out even more. The combination of a fuller sound and different vocal phrasing gives a new dimansion to old favourites like Sneaking Suspicion, Going Back Home and All Through The City.
The one-off concert in London is available in its entirety on YouTube, and with any luck it was filmed properly for DVD release. Good as the recording is it is nowhere near as good as seeing it being played, when you get hypnotised by Wilko and try to work out how one person can seem to be playing two guitar parts at once. In the meantime, why not give your ears a treat and have a listen to the album?