Please note Under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult and seated on the balcony upstairs. To check availability of seated tickets, please contact our Box Office on 01744 735 436.
Waterloo Street, WA101PX St Helens
Starts Thursday, 15/05/14 13:00
John Otway is an English singer-songwriter who has built a sizeable cult audience through extensive touring, a surreal sense of humour and a self-deprecating underdog persona.
Otway teamed up with Wild Willy Barrett in 1972 and the pair released their first single. Gypsy/Misty Mountain was a dedication to the fortune teller who had assured Otway that fame and stardom was just around the corner. The single would be the first of a string of flops, but it did capture the attention of The Who's Pete Townshend who offered to produce a number of tracks for the duo.
Despite Townshend's involvement, the duo remained on the fringes of the music scene, but continued to gain a live following with their frenetic, raucous and often chaotic performances in the pubs and clubs around the UK. Otway had to wait until 1977 and the rise of punk before his dream of fame and fortune would finally become a reality.
Not only did he see a surge in his audiences, sales of Otway's sixth single, the half-spoken love song Really Free increased dramatically and reached number 27 in the UK Singles Chart. An appearance on the BBC's flagship music programme Top of the Pops, where Otway & Barrett were introduced by Elton John came later and Otway was finally a star. It would however be his greatest success for some time.
In 1980, after DK 50-80 reached number 45, Otway & Barrett's often fraught relationship came to an end as the pair decided enough was enough.
Although no-one wanted to listen to Otway on record, the live show remained as chaotic as ever and the possibility of physical injury meant that his audiences remained loyal. By the mid-1980s, Otway had appeared as a special guest in the final episode of the BBC comedy The Young Ones and constantly touring, clocking up around 150 shows a year.
In 2009, he was re-united with Wild Willy Barrett for The Incompatible Otway and Barrett UK tour, the duo now perform together regularly and even recorded a new album in 2011 called 40-Odd Years of Otway and Barrett consisting of re-workings of old songs and a new, previously unrecorded song The Snowflake Effect. Their latest tour is set to be a unique musical experience, blending old songs with more recent material.
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