Back in 1969, when the IW Festival was staged at Wootton The Who performed a selection of their hits to a Festival crowd which included some of The Beatles who were staying on the Island to catch the event. On the 17 August that year The Who had performed at Woodstock. Their performance sealed their reputation as a legendary rock band and later that month on the 30 August and back in the UK, The Who appeared at the 2nd Isle Of Wight Festival.
By June 1970 The Who, once again in the USA, played two shows of ‘Tommy’ at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. The long US tour that followed visited sports arenas for the first time and then on the 29th August it was back to the Isle of Wight where The Who appeared at the third, and at that time final, Isle Of Wight Festival which was held on Afton Down, Freshwater and saw an estimated crowd of 500,000+.
This 1970 Festival was immortalised in Murray Lerner’s well known ‘Message to Love’ documentary film and for their third appearance, in 2004,at the now ‘New IW Festival’ they headlined, the same year that David Bowie also headlined in his last ever UK live performance.
In 2004 The Who stole the show at Seaclose Park with a power-packed two hours15minutes performance which left the crowd wanting more. They were stupendous. They were masters of the stage building up a fine rapport with the crowd beginning the set with their first 1965 hit ‘I Can’t Explain.’ At the end of the show the multitude of departing music fans made their way from Seaclose Park singing ‘Who Are You’ which is chronicled as having been written by Pete Townshend following a drunken encounter with members of The Sex Pistols. In 2004 Roger Daltrey commented how small the crowd seemed compared to 1970.
Now, British rock icons The Who are heading back to Seaclose Park for the fourth time to headline the 2016 Festival.
Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and their band, which includes Zak Starkey, Pino Palladino and Simon Townshend, will be bringing their globally successful Hits 50! Tour to the Island for their only UK festival performance of 2016 on Saturday 11th June. We are told that hits will include ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, ‘Baba O’Reilly’, ‘The Seeker’, ‘Pinball Wizard’, ‘Who Are You’ and ‘My Generation.’
Richard Ashcroft is confirmed as special guest to The Who on the day, performing tracks from his new solo album ‘These People’.
Festival boss John Giddings says: “The Who are part of the fabric of The Isle of Wight Festival, and it’s great to welcome them back to the island as part of their ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations. We’re proud to have a line up of home-grown headliners to help celebrate our own 15th anniversary and ensure that this year delivers yet another unforgettable weekend of music.”
The Who and Richard Ashcroft join a ‘Best of British’ line up which includes headliners Queen + Adam Lambert, Stereophonics and Faithless, on the same weekend as the Queen’s Official 90th birthday.-so some party in the park.
The Who have sold over 100 million records since forming in 1964. Despite a healthy roster of chart hits The Who never recorded a number 1 single. Both ‘I’m a Boy’ and ‘My Generation’ stalled at number 2. They brought together four different personalities and in effect produced a musical hurricane. Each of them was a pioneer. Wildman drummer Keith Moon beat his kit with a chaotic elegance; stoic bassist John Entwistle held down the centre with the melodic virtuosity of a solo guitarist; intellectual Pete Townshend punctuated the epic universality of his songs with the windmill slamming of his fingers across his guitar strings; and Roger Daltrey roared above it all with an impossibly virile macho swagger. They exploded conventional rhythm and blues structures, challenged pop music conventions, and redefined what was possible on stage, in the recording studio, and on vinyl. Deep into their 50th year, the band is still going strong, winning rave reviews.
They have had 14 Top 10 single hits and 14 Top 10 Albums with ‘Who’s Next’ boasting; ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ and ‘Baba O’Reilly’ reaching the peak position.
Richard Ashcroft is set to release his fourth solo album ‘These People’ in May, marking his first new album in six years. The BRIT and Ivor Novello winning artist was frontman of The Verve during the 90’s, producing hits such as ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ and ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’, before becoming a successful solo act in his own right. His first solo single ‘A Song For The Lovers’ peaked at No. 3 in the UK singles charts with the album ‘Alone With Everybody’ going to No. 1.