Rock veteran Otway dubbed himself “rock’n’roll’s greatest failure” after many unsuccessful attempts to produce a second hit single to follow his 1977 classic (Cor Baby, That’s) Really Free with Wild Willy Barrett.
However, a mere quarter century later, he was back on Top of The Pops with the wonderful disco pastiche, ‘Bunsen Burner’ and back in the charts as a birthday present from his adoring and patient fans.
And, more recently, his “Beware Of The Flowers Cause I’m Sure They’re Going To Get You Yeah” voted the seventh greatest lyric of all time in a BBC poll.
But that, of course, was not enough.
A couple of years ago John realised that live footage from the many concerts over the years, plus many TV appearances - and a failed world tour attempt - would make an entertaining documentary film. So he made one. Initially expecting a couple of humble screenings for fans, the film premiered at the Odeon, Leicester Square, was shown at Cannes - and at prestigious UK film festivals including Cambridge during it's national tour.
2016 saw a remarkably successful Kickstarter appeal which raised over £40,000 for John Otway and the Big Band to record their first new album in many years on the island of Monserrat, whose famous studios hosted bands such as the Rolling Stones before being devastated by forces of nature, being a preferable option to Harlow.
Expect madcap mayhem and some scintillating stunts from a man old enough to know better…..and also to be surprised at just what a showman and musician really lies underneath the tomfoolery.
- ‘He’s a cabaret act masquerading as a rock act. He is gleeful, anecdotal, funny and life-enhancing.’ Canterbury Fayre Review.