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Chester Telford's Warehouse welcome John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett

Cult duo heading for Tower Wharf venue on March 22

John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett will be at Telford's Warehouse in Chester on March 22

Musical cult heroes John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett will be coming to Telford's Warehouse in Chester on Tuesday, March 22 as part of what they say may be the last ever tour.

The partnership of John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett was never going to be smooth. Willy was a musical prodigy having learned to play at the age of four and mastering the guitar, piano, banjo and fiddle by the time Otway gave his first performance - drinking a bottle of ink in one in the school playground, to an audience of 100 fellow schoolchildren who did not believe anyone would go to such ridiculous extremes just to get attention.

It was only because they lived a hundred yards apart - and that a fortune-teller had told Otway that he would achieve fame and success with a blonde haired musician - that they ever worked together in the first place.

The first place Otway and Barrett did not work together was their first gig - John was heckled off stage during his solo number and both Willy and the audience decided that it would be better if they did not do the rest of the show as a duo.

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They did, however, do some recording together but after falling out John put out the single himself, leaving Willy’s name off the label. That should have been the end of the duo but Pete Townshend heard the record and offered to produce the act - an offer neither party felt they could refuse.

With the hatchet temporarily buried John and Willy produced their first album. After appearance on the TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test, an amused punk audience bought enough copies of the single Really Free to give them their first hit.

Things did not go smoothly following this success. Otway unwisely chose to follow up the Otway/Barrett punk hit with a solo Otway orchestral ballad he had written for a girl he fancied - it was a flop so, to the annoyance of their record company, John and Willy split up again, the day their second album Deep and Meaningless was released.

In the past few years Otway and Barrett have reunited for a few short tours but they say this one could be their last.

Tickets are £13 in advance or £15 on the door. Call 01244 390 090 or visit www.telfordswarehouse.com for details.

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