John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett
Pigeonhole this duo at your peril, John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett are back on the road with their aptly named Final Straw Tour which makes it’s way to Wickham Festival 2021. Still going after 40 years and still loved for their total in-yer-face originality, the contrast between the dead pan humour of Barrett and mad onstage antics of Otway are hilarious to watch. John’s lyrical genius and Willy’s outstanding musicianship (he seems to play almost every stringed instrument known to man, plus a few hybrids of his own making!) almost become an added extra.
Ever keen to add a new dimension to the show, Willy says he is going back to their roots with a new addition to his array of instruments, which he calls the Les Dawson Thumb. The idea stems from the guitar made by Willy’s dad in 1965 from an old guitar neck and a scaffold plank, which became affectionately known as the Les Dawson (a satirical reference to the much loved Gibson Les Paul) and was used on many of the early tracks, including Really Free.
For any Otway/Barrett virgins out there who don’t know what to expect, be prepared for everything from bare-chested theremin playing to wah wah wheelie bin as the duo jump from one hit and 40 near misses to another: An amazing and irreverent performance by two master entertainers.
Be sure not to miss this tour as Willy has hinted that it is “time gentlemen please” for his involvement in the turbulent duo’s existence in order to pursue a long-time interest in a more musical twilight and further experimental projects over his remaining years.