Guitar hero and medical wonder Wilko Johnson has announced a new series of live dates in the UK for the spring. Fresh from the huge success of his ‘Going Back Home’ collaboration with The Who’s Roger Daltrey, and from the remarkable news that he was not dying of cancer as he had earlier been diagnosed, Johnson will play a number of shows including one at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire in April.
The run begins with a March 6 show at Cambridge Junction, for which tickets went on sale last Friday (23). This is a benefit gig for Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where Wilko received his life-saving treatment for pancreatic cancer. Ticket buyers are being encouraged to make a donation to Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust.
Johnson then plays at the Ritz in Manchester on March 18, the 02 ABC in Glasgow (20) and the Shepherds Bush date on April 26. Tickets for these gigs go on sale on Tuesday (27) at 9am at gigsandtours.com and Ticketmaster.
Wilko’s regular band members for these and his other recent shows come from fine rock heritage. Bassist Norman Watt-Roy is known and loved for his longtime association with Ian Dury and the Blockheads, among other work, while drummer Dylan Howe, who’s also played with the Blockheads, is the son of Yes guitarist Steve Howe.
Johnson returned to the stage last November, also at the Empire, when he made a guest appearance with the Strypes on a version of ‘The Kids Are Alright,’ during the all-star celebration of The Who’s music in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.