Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Who Convention - Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush - Saturday 1st May

Having just about woken up following last night's epic journey home, we were off again - this time to Shepherds Bush for the Who Convention. I don't mind admitting I'm always slightly nervous about the word "convention" - it instills fear of nerdy trainspotter types who want to swap lists on their top five all-time Who songs which have been played live on all continents etc. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth - the crowd were just a group of genuine fans, here to meet each other and enjoy some tributes and the music.

We got there at 3.00pm - checked out the bar (of course) - £3.00 for a can of lager - h'mmm. Listened to "Irish Jack" telling stories about his time mingling with the Who in the 60's. Quite interesting for a while, but not the best sound to hear him.

Next up were "Who's Who", a tribute band I've seen a number of times. Here, they performed Quandrophenia in its entirety. Whilst that is a fine album (in the main), there are a couple of low points, and it did drag just a little bit. Still, the band were good and the drummer does a fine impersonation of Keith Moon.

We then used our "pass-outs" to pop down to the "Goldhawk" for a quick beer and to give my bad back a rest. Followed by a bit of food, we were back having just missed the start of Simon Townshend's set (with his band the Casbah Club). Simon was playing much of the stuff I'd heard him do recently at Balham and Twickenham, including the excellent, "oldie, but goodie", "The Way It Is".

Shortly after this, I feel a hand on my shoulder. I assume it is someone else returning after a visit to the bar / toilets, but as I step aside to let the person through I see he is a diminuative middle aged chap in glasses, carrying an overcoat and newspaper, looking more than familiar. "That doesn't half look like Roger Daltrey" I say to Richard. 10 seconds later, the swarming crowd and camera flashes confim I am right!

After another song or 2, Simon invites Roger on stage where he thanks us for our support (of the band and charity) and gives an update on the new Who album. It appears he doesn't understand the concept (who does?), but likes the music! Hope we do too. He needs to get back the Royal Albert Hall, so asks the crowd if there is anything else they want from him. "Sing us a song!" is the overwhelming reponse, which seems to suprise him! After discussion with Simon, he sings an excellent "Behind Blue Eyes" with newspaper tucked under his arm! "MORE!!", yell the crowd. Roger looks at his watch... "Sod it, OK!"... Simon suggests "Substitute" and this is delivered... awesome. Roger departs with "I'll send your regards to Pete" and our day is made.

Simon Townshend completes the set with the bizzarre "Sex Change" after which Richard and I spot "Gazza" (Gary Hurley, not Paul Gasgoigne!) and go to have a quick chat. He is hoarse (with either yelling or singing!).

We pop out for another few quick halves and some new pubs (I win at pool - Richard accuses me of cheating as he always does - presumably for potting more balls than him - again!) and return to see the final band of the night "The Wholigans". They hail from Florida and the singer sounds exactly like Roger Daltrey! My back is killing me by now, so I escape upstairs and grab a stool. Very impressed by the band, although they seem to have a bit of a problem with their bassist who is subjected to a few snide remarks and looks.

All over by half ten, so a quick dash to the 220 bus stop and back to Putney for the end of Match of The Day and a final beer in the "Larrick". Another tiring, but rewarding day.


Barry said...

I surfed in here and thought you may be interested to know we are coming back to Bush Hall November 19th.
See my blog.

YEAH it's blatant advertising , but that's what I do ;)

MatthewB2 said...


Thanks for that - that's good news - look forward to seeing you there!