OTWAY OR THE HIGHWAY
Self-styled ‘Rock n’ Roll’s Greatest Failure’ JOHN OTWAY will play his 5,000th gig next week.
The veteran of the pub and college circuit during the 70s and 80s, Otway has gone on to sell-out the London Palladium and the Royal Albert Hall thanks to his ever-loyal fanbase. Now he’s set to headline Shepherds Bush Empire on Saturday 2 April.
“Perhaps I’ve not even succeeded at being rock and roll’s greatest failure,” ponders Otway, who turns 70 this year. “Enthusiasm and misplaced belief can take you a long way. I’ve had two UK hit singles more than Led Zeppelin, performed more than five times the number of gigs The Beatles managed and starred in more lemonade commercials than Arianna Grande and Taylor Swift put together. I’ve appeared at Glastonbury Festival more times than Beyonce and even headlined both the Royal Albert Hall and London Palladium which David Bowie failed to do. Now I’m to celebrate my 5,000th gig, a number none of those stars have reached.”
Emerging out of the Home Counties folk scene in the early 70s, his chaotic performances alongside cohort Wild Willy Barrett endeared him to punk audiences and promoters earning the pair a five-album deal with Polydor, resulting in numerous TV and radio appearances and a hit single, ‘Cor Baby That’s Really Free’, in 1977. Becoming a reliable afternoon draw at festivals over the years, he achieved a Top 10 hit with ‘Bunsen Burner’ in 2002.
Tickets for the Shepherds Bush show, which will feature a full band, are available here.
Also touring in support of Wilko Johnson, a full list of Otway’s gigs can be found on his website.