The band celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2014
Roger Daltrey says he will reunite with his The Who bandmate Pete Townshend this year to make a new album.
Speaking to NME as he announced the line-up for this March’s annual series of Teenage Cancer Trust gigs, curated by Daltrey, he revealed that Townshend has been working on new material.
“Pete’s got hundreds of songs,” he said. “so the only question is whether we get around to it, but he wants to make an album and I’m always ready and raring to go. We’ll see. I never know what I’m doing next, it’s about what comes through my letterbox tomorrow, but I don’t see why we wouldn’t. My voice is still in good shape. The hearing isn’t so great, but the voice is fine.”
The album would be The Who’s 12th, their first since 2006’s ‘Endless Wire’. Daltrey, who has curated the Teenage Cancer Trust’s annual concerts at the Royal Albert Hall since 2000, said he and Townshend won’t be performing at the gigs this year as they have done during the past 14 years. Asked if the gap in the schedule on Friday March 29 could be a slot for them, he said: “No, it’s definitely not us. We have someone, but we can’t announce them until this band has announced something else first.”
He did, however, say he may take to the stage with former Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson, with whom he’s recently recorded an album. He said: “It’s a tricky one. Wilko and I have got a show on February 25, but as I’m sure you know Wilko has terminal pancreatic cancer so we can’t make plans for things like that. His tumour is like a grapefruit and getting bigger by the day, but I will say if he’s still with us, and let’s hope he is, we will do something. It’ll only be a quick support slot, but we’ll be there.”
Of the pair’s album, ‘Going Back Home’, which will be released on March 10, Daltrey said: “We’ve been trying to make this album for about four years and it kept not happening for one reason or another, but when he was diagnosed, I said, ‘Wilko, whatever you want me to sing, let’s do it’. And it’s a great record, really good songs, and it was fabulous making it, so refreshing. It’s going back to what I did in the early ’60s with fast, three-minute R&B songs. No bullshit, just good songs.”
Asked if he will mark The Who’s 50th anniversary, Daltrey said: “I don’t know. Possibly it’ll be this album. I haven’t thought about it, to be honest. We didn’t think it was going to last the week, let alone 50 years. We were The Who, we used to break up after every show.”
The Cure are among the line-up for the run of gigs in March. They last played for the Teenage Cancer Trust in 2006, although getting them back wasn’t an easy task. “Robert Smith doesn’t answer his emails!” joked Daltrey. “He’s hard to get hold of, but I remember them playing in 2006 and they did a three-hour set which was just magical. Robert lives around the corner from me, although I’ve never seen him, nor have his neighbours. I think he must only come out at night.”
Ed Sheeran, OneRepublic and Paolo Nutini have also been announced as performers at the week-long series, while the comedy night will see stand-up from Jason Manford, John Bishop, Micky Flanagan and more.