The easy part of this is telling you that THE WHO are coming to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on their rescheduled tour. As for the rest, where on earth do we begin to even list the incredible achievements the band have had over the last 50 plus years?

THE WHO are undoubtedly one of the greatest rock legacies in music history having sold over 100 million records world including 9 US & 10 UK top ten albums and 14 UK top ten singles. They are and always have been a ‘live band‘ anyone who’s seen them knows thats what they do best. They’ve played over well over 2000 gigs, including Woodstock, Monterey Pop, Glastonbury (twice), Hyde Park (four times), The Isle Of Wight (three times), Desert Trip, Shea Stadium, The Superbowl half time show and Live Aid to name but a very few. If you need a little reminder, here’s a few………

The band is in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, the UK Music Hall Of Fame and has lifetime achievement awards from The Brits and The Grammys and in 2008 were the first rock band ever to be awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors.

So when did it all begin?

Emerging in the mid-1960s as a new and incendiary force in rock n’ roll, their brash style and poignant storytelling garnered them one of music’s most passionate followings, with the legendary foursome blazing a searing new template for rock, punk, and everything after.

THE WHO have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, placing 27 top-forty singles in the United States and United Kingdom and earning 17 Top Ten albums, including the 1969 groundbreaking rock opera Tommy, 1971’s pummeling Live At Leeds, 1973’s Quadrophenia and 1978’s Who Are You.  The Who debuted in 1964 with a trio of anthems “I Can’t Explain,” “The Kids Are Alright” and “My Generation.” Since then they have delivered to the world hits such as “Baba O’Riley,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” “Pinball Wizard,” Who Are You,” and,” You Better You Bet.”

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I think we should take a few seconds to mention the band’s charity contributions. They played a concert in January 2011 to raise money for trials of a new cancer treatment called PDT. In December 2012 they performed at the Hurricane Sandy Benefit in New York. Of course, they are best know for the terrific efforts they give to the TEENAGE CANCER TRUST, not only here but America too.

The Trust have a campaign running at the moment called JABS FOR LADS. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus with many different types. Some of these are linked to certain types of cancers. That’s why there’s a vaccine available to help protect people against getting the virus. Girls have been offered this vaccine since 2008.

That’s changing in the UK this school year. For the first time, some boys will be offered the vaccine too. This is an important step forward to help protect more people against cancers related to HPV – whatever your gender. But only boys aged 11-13 this school year, and all boys this age in future years, will be offered the vaccine. That means a million boys in school will miss out on this protection from the vaccination, unless they can pay £150. The trust are campaigning for ALL BOYS to be offered the vaccine. To find out more go here JABS.

Unbelievably, Fifty-five years after they made their first recordings, THE WHO is back with their first new album in thirteen years entitled WHO released last November and is preceded by BALL AND CHAIN, which is available on all streaming services now. The eleven-track album was mostly recorded in London and Los Angeles during Spring and Summer 2019 and was co-produced by Pete Townshend & D. Sardy (who has worked with Noel Gallagher, Oasis, LCD Soundsystem, Gorillaz) with vocal production by Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Roger Daltrey, Wilko Johnson). 

Singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend are joined on the album by long-time Who drummer Zak Starkey, bassist Pino Palladino along with contributions from Simon Townshend, Benmont Tench, Carla Azar, Joey Waronker and Gordon Giltrap.

The artwork for WHO was unveiled in New York at the opening of the brand new eight-storey Pace contemporary art gallery where the band also performed a short acoustic set. The album cover has been created by famed pop artist, Sir Peter Blake who first met the band in 1964 at a taping of the legendary TV show Ready Steady Go. Sir Peter designed and contributed a painting to the sleeve of The Who’s album Face Dances in 1981.

The songs on WHO cover a myriad of subjects including the Grenfell Tower fire, musical theft, spirituality, reincarnation, the power of memory and ‘an old rock star that has lost his marbles’. Singer Roger Daltrey rates it amongst their strongest. He told us……

“I think we’ve made our best album since Quadrophenia in 1973, Pete hasn’t lost it, he’s still a fabulous songwriter, and he’s still got that cutting edge”. 

Pete Townshend said….

“This album is almost all new songs written last year, with just two exceptions. There is no theme, no concept, no story, just a set of songs that I (and my brother Simon) wrote to give Roger Daltrey some inspiration, challenges and scope for his newly revived singing voice. Roger and I are both old men now, by any measure, so I’ve tried to stay away from romance, but also from nostalgia if I can. I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.”.

If you’ve never see THE WHO live they are definitely one of your ‘must see’ bands and to have them here in South Wales is a real bonus. They get to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on their rescheduled tour dates on Saturday 27th March 2021, which is almost a year to the day when we should have seen them. To get tickets and details go here THE WHO

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