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AAA Music | 25 July 2024

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Wilko Johnson – Live @ London KOKO

| On 13, Mar 2013

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A wonderful night. Wilko Johnson says farewell to London!!!

Last night of Wilko Johnson london residency on his farewell tour!!!

Everyone by now knows the story behind Wilko Johnsons two Sold Out nights at the London Koko and tickets going for a lot of money on eBay and a lot of debate about touts selling on tickets for this show and stopping proper fans going. This being the last of those two special nights theres a certain electricity in the air.

After his two support bands the stage is dimly lit and with no change in light or any indication Wilko and his men walk onto the stage plug in, nod to each other and rip straight into Dr. Feelgood classic ‘All through the City’ the place erupts! Playing between two and three solo songs and hold the set together by throwing in either aDr. Feelgood fav or a classic cover. The three piece don’t stop for breath, theres no in between song chatter just the ringing of feedback Wilko quickly shouts “thank you!” then they blast straight into the next track.

He is backed by bass playing legend Norman Watt-Roy and the drumming all rounder Dylan Howe. They are tighter then tom thumps arse. Wilko might look different in his ripe old age but his energy, charisma and all round presence has not changed a bit  to his 70’s heyday. When not singing or when he blasts into a solo he bolts back and forth aiming his guitar, not standing still for a mini second so made my life hard when getting photo’s. I think this showed he goes all out when he is on stage and puts his soul into the music.

A highlight was when they were joined onstage by an awesome accordion player,  he does one number with them before the four blast into a brilliant rendition of ‘Wooley Bully’ at this point it’s apparent that you are present at the best party on earth that night.

After a lengthy Blues number Wilko announces he is going to finish where he began and closes with a couple of Dr. Feelgood songs climaxing with the brilliant ‘She does it Right’ the place is going nuts. He says smiling “god bless you all! thank you and goodbye” and swiftly exits to come back on to depart us with a cover of ChuckBerry’s “Goodbye johnny b goode” which during the chorus he waves to the audience and we wave back.

Theres not a sense of doom or gloom, no sentimental speech. Theres joy and happiness throughout and Wilko doesn’t stop smiling. He is ending things on his terms and no one can ask for better then that. A truly magical, special night that people are going to remember forever tonight we witnessed a little bit of history.

Joe Denby