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Ahead of their celebratory performance at Wembley Stadium next month, The Who announced an exclusive pop-up shop in Soho, London and we went to the launch.
With Roger Daltrey himself making an appearance, The Who @52 pop-up was the epitome of rock ‘n’ roll, adorned with rare memorabilia, including an exclusive Pinball Wizard 7″ vinyl, plus merchandise and an in-store exclusive ticket offer for the forthcoming Wembley Stadium show.
Who was there?
The shop buzzed with excitement as people chatted, posed for photos, sipped cocktails and mocktails, surrounded by classic live shots of the band with plenty of red, white and blue iconography.
American illusionist David Blaine was in attendance, wowing invited guests with card tricks, along with stars of The History Network’s Vikings, Stranger Things star Charlie Heaton – who did have a go on the pinball machine – and an insta-famous Pug named Lily.
What did we learn at The Who pop-up?
Daltrey did a fan Q&A and a radio interview hosted by Claire Sturgess where he discussed the 50th Anniversary of iconic rock opera Tommy, what it was like to work with a symphonic orchestra on the special edition record, his memories from Woodstock, his work with the Teenage Cancer Trust and of course the band’s return to Wembley after 40 years this summer.
When discussing their upcoming 12th studio album at the pop-up launch, which he dubbed their best album since 1973’s Quadrophenia, Daltrey stated that despite initial scepticism, he’s now changed his mind and is “incredibly optimistic” about the release.
“When I first heard the songs I was very sceptical as I didn’t think I could do it,” he explained. “I thought Pete had written a really great solo album and I said to him, ‘Pete, what do you need to do this for? Release it as a solo album, it’s great.’ But he said he wanted it to be a Who album.”
He continued, “So I took the songs away and I listened to them and listened to them some more, and I had some ideas. [Pete] let me have a bit of freedom with changing a few things, changing the tenses of songs and other little things. And he gave me complete melodic freedom. And I gotta tell you that after being very sceptical I’m now incredibly optimistic. I think we’ve made our best album since Quadrophenia.”
“Pete hasn’t lost it, he’s still a fabulous songwriter and he’s still got that cutting edge, man,” he finished.
The shop is open to the general public from 10:00 until 18:00 on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 June 2019.
The Who’s Moving On! show at Wembley Stadium will see Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey joined by symphonic accompaniment on Saturday 6 July for a huge one-off show.
They’ll be supported by very special guest Eddie Vedder, plus Kaiser Chiefs, Imelda May, and Connor Selby.
Earlier this year the legendary duo recently visited Wembley Stadium to chat about things to come when they take to the stage at the iconic London venue.
On stage, the line-up will be rounded out by familiar Who players featuring guitarist and backup singer Simon Townshend, keyboardist Loren Gold, bassist Jon Button and drummer Zak Starkey.
Commenting on what Who fans can expect from the Moving On! tour, Pete Townshend said: “Roger christened this tour Moving On! I love it. It is what both of us want to do. Move on, with new music, classic Who music, all performed in new and exciting ways. Taking risks, nothing to lose.”
Roger Daltrey added: “Be aware Who fans! Just because it’s The Who with an orchestra, in no way will it compromise the way Pete and I deliver our music. This will be full throttle Who with horns and bells on.”
The Who are one of the top three greatest rock legacies in music history. Emerging in the mid-1960s, their brash style and poignant storytelling garnered them one of music’s most passionate followings and the band was eventually inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Having sold more than 100 million records worldwide, with 17 Top Ten albums – including the 1969 ground-breaking rock opera Tommy – their anthemic back catalogue of hits includes I Can’t Explain, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Baba O’Riley, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Who Are You and You Better You Bet.
The Moving On! tour will give fans the opportunity to hear plenty of these classic tracks live once again, alongside what promises to be incredible new music from the new album.
Here is the date:
6 July 2019 – Wembley Stadium, London
Remaining tickets for the show are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk