Roger Daltrey is back on the road touring the UK with his solo band and admits it’s a world away from the Who‘s recent dates. While chatting to England’s Portsmouth News, Daltrey explained, “The Who is a whole different kettle of fish and of course at the moment we’re touring with a full orchestra, so it’s full-blown Who — but because I say we’ve got an orchestra, it doesn’t mean the power of the music is watered down in any way whatsoever, if anything it’s even more powerful.”
He went on to say, “That’s what so great about this — for the last 50 years we’ve been playing to enormous audiences in enormous arenas, stadiums, outdoor festivals with half a million people there. It’s going to be great with smaller audiences. It’s something I used to do in the old days, we all did, and it’s great to be reminded of the journey you’ve been on, and that’s what the title of the show is all about, because ‘Who Was I?'”
Daltrey takes several liberal dips into his solo career — which although scoring the singer several major hits — was nothing that ever was done with an eye in replacing the Who: “There’s so much when I listen back to the solo albums I did — it was basically a hobby, something to do while the Who weren’t touring. I never had any intention of doing a Rod Stewart and the Faces, having this huge solo career, I was trying to keep it down if anything! I only ever wanted to be the singer of the Who.”
Daltrey said he feels confident in reimagining the Who’s classics on the road: “I’m going to try and do that to turn your head around a bit with different sounds so that you hear the songs again for the first time. They will be THE songs. Like I did a version of ‘Baba O’Riley’ and it was done with just a squeezebox, fiddle and mandolin, acoustic guitar and piano and a boom-box — and it sounded amazing! The sounds are so different, but the song is so familiar it just gives it a lift. There’s something about it. I don’t want to go up on this solo show and pretend I’m the Who without Pete Townshend — there’s no point in that at all, so let’s try and do something a bit different.”
Roger Daltrey’s solo “Who Was I” tour plays tonight (June 24th) in Oxford, England’s New Theatre Oxford.
- Roger Daltrey‘s new touring ensemble includes Pete Townshend‘s bother, longtime Who sideman, Simon Townshend and Simon’s son Ben Townshend on drums.
- Rounding out the band is Who associate Billy Nichols on backing vocals, British keyboard veteran Geriant Watkins, percussionist Jody Linscott, John Hogg on bass, Doug Boyle on guitar, Steve Weston on harmonica — and Who orchestral tour veteran, violinist Katie Jacoby.
DID YOU KNOW????
- Roger Daltrey released his first solo album, Daltrey, on April 20th, 1973, The set, which featured Daltrey’s first solo hit with “Giving It All Away” in the UK, hit Number Six in Britain but stalled at Number 45 in the States.
- The album was created with the intent of spotlight the songwriting of Daltrey’s friends David Courtney and Leo Sayer.
CHECK IT OUT: Roger Daltrey on June 22nd, 2022 performing “Young Man Blues” live in Brighton, England: