Pete Townshend reveals the group's plans for 2003...

THE WHO have been approached to play festivals in 2003 – and PETE TOWNSHEND says his resolution for next year is to finish a new studio album.

Townshend has been writing songs for a new Who album, which he says could now be finished within a year. In the summer, the group were rocked by the death of bassist John Entwistle who was in Las Vegas on the eve of a massive tour.

Writing on his official website, Townshend said that next year may also see more live shows, as they are being “courted by charity show organisers,” as well as “receiving tempting offers to play festivals.”

Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis asked the group to play at last year’s event, although it is unclear if he is interested in booking them for the 2003 festival.

Elsewhere in the posting, he revealed his studio plans. He wrote: “I am urging that we ‘keep our eye on the ball’. What is the ball in question?

“I think it must be to try to write some good pieces (I hesitate to say ‘songs’ in case people think I have ceased to be pretentious) for a new album. I believe it is a tough time to write new music. Even younger musicians I speak to feel burdened by what has gone before.

“Anyway, I have never written quickly. I don’t know how long it will take. Expect some new music to arrive in about a year, maybe later. But if I write 15 good pieces, and 10 of them make it to a new CD, we will probably find that only 2 or 3 of them will stand comparison on stage with our old hits. So – doubtful as I am that we will sell over a million records ever again – it will be a lot of work to achieve little when we look back at our first 18 years.

“I think it will be worth the time spent. I am very keen too to see Roger find some creative outlet on this future Who recording. He is full of ideas, passion and energy – he bears quite a disturbed and serious view of the world at the moment. If only I can persuade him to watch that ball.”