Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey reunited with their friend and old band mate Kenney Jones to help raise money and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK. Kenney was diagnosed with the disease last year. The Rock n Horsepower benefit concert was held at the Hurtwood Park Polo Club in Ewhurst Green on June 14, and was the first time they had performed together since Kenney left the band in 1988. Billed as The Who, Pete and Roger played with Kenney and a large house band that included Nik Kershaw (guitar), Dave Bronze (bass), Josh Phillips (keyboards), Jim Cregan (guitar), Sam Tanner (keyboards), Karl Van den Bossche (percussion) and Fabbagirls (backing vocals). They were the closing act on an impressive bill that featured Jeff Beck, Procol Harum, Mike Rutherford, Mick Hucknall, Nik Kershaw, Vic Reeves, and a host of other special guests who came out to lend their support. A splendid time was had by all, and the event raised a lot of money for a very worthy cause!
Many thanks to everyone who helped out with photos, videos and reviews of the show!
Photo: Jon Pywell
Review by Dan DiCarlo
After getting to Hurtwood Park Polo Club, I took my spot in front of the stage and began the wait for the event to start. Looking at the programme I bought, I could see there were quite a few acts to get through. The weather which had been great recently, let us down and a couple of heavy downpours turned the field into a muddy, puddly mess. Luckily I took some shelter under the overhang of the stage roof.
The night kicked off at about 5pm with the Fabba girls, who performed a couple of Abba songs with saucy banter "Thank you for giving us the clap!" one of them called to the crowd as the applause began. After a quick change over, the girls came back as the Rock Chicks and would be house band backing singers for the rest of the night, as well as Nik Kershaw and others.
The crowd got something from Alvin Stardust, Nick Kershaw, Judie Tzuke. Mike Rutherford and Tim Howar performed some Genesis and Mike and The Mechanics songs. John Parr performed a nice acoustic version of Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" before playing his hit song "St Elmo's Fire", John Lodge performed some Moody Blues including "Knights In White Satin", Procol Harum with Geoff Whitehorn on guitar (Who played with The Who on the Quadrophenia shows in 1996) played a set of around 5 songs, including "Whiter Shade Of Pale", with Gary Brooker wearing a shirt he wore the same year the song was released, around 47 years ago.
Towards the end of the night the excitement built up. Molly Marriott (Steve Marriott's daughter) came out to sing a few tracks including "Three Button Hand Me Down" by the Faces (strangely it was house drummer Geoff Dunn who played on this and not Kenney Jones) Singer Sam Blue, did a fantastic job singing Small Faces tracks "Afterglow", All Or Nothing" and "Lazy Sunday" On the latter, he was joined on vocals by comedian Vic Reeves who had been introducing the acts all night.
Mick Hucknall then came out to perform Faces classic "Stay With Me" bringing with him, ex Formula One driver, Damon Hill, who played rhythm guitar. Mick then sang another Faces classic "Debris" before Jeff Beck joined him to play Little Wing, which was truly stunning. Jeff then played his instrumental version of "A Day In The Life" by the Beatles and then a version of Wild Thing. The only complaint was that Jeff wasn't on for long enough! As always he played with a virtuosity that few can pull off!
Then finally time for The Who. The set was short and sweet. I Can't Explain, Substitute, The Kids Are Alright, Pinball Wizard and 5.15. They all looked like they were having a great time, Roger was very impressed with the addition of the Rock Chicks backing singers (typical randy Roger!) Pete seemed in a fun mood. The middle of Substitute went awry as I think the house band went to play the breakdown like on the record, the Who having long since dispensed with that part of the song. Roger began singing the next verse over the intro and soon they were back in business. Before The Kids Are Alright, Pete explained he would be doing a short count in "Just to fuck you up" Roger joked to the house band. Pinball Wizard was as good as ever, again the house band seemed to be playing the studio version ending, Pete looked confused, eventually saying "That's enough of that" and ending the song in comic fashion. 5.15 was a blistering version complete with added backing vocals from the Rock Chicks. Pete extended the end of the song with a great jam and some brilliant lead fills, despite the house band probably not expecting it, it all held together brilliantly. At one point in the set Roger told everyone to go home and check their balls (I shouted "It's PROSTATE cancer, Rog!") Pete then said he could do it for us if we liked.
That was pretty much it, but most of the artists got back on stage to sing a version of "It's Only Rock n Roll" By the Stones. One of the highlights of the night was seeing Pete Townshend and Vic Reeves dancing and having a laugh together. They made an excellent comedy double act. Not every day you see that!
Review by Paul Linwood
The whole day had a weird "English country fair" feel to it and the WHO were another attraction on top of a polo match, fairground rides for the kids, stalls selling various bric-a-brac and furniture items and a collection of sports cars including many Ferraris etc. Being England in the summer time it had rained pretty heavily so by the time Chris and I had got there the grass was wet and squelchy under foot causing my car to skid in some exciting ways as we drove in! We deliberately missed the polo match and got there about 5 -ish. The music hadn't started and was running late. The polo ground is set in a very beautiful part of southern England (very very expensive place to live) with the North Downs in the background. Lots of big cars in evidence in addition to the fancy sports cars and a very nice crowd who were all there to enjoy themselves and support the great charity.
The music started with an Abba tribute band who were dropping puns in their act .. like thank you for giving us the clap etc .... followed by a variety of other musicians such as Nik Kershaw (who was big in the 80's), Alvin Stardust (big in the 70's), Judie Tzuke (famous for "stay with me til dawn"), with a great backing band who were really competent. Chris and I had wandered off to look at the cars at this point but we could hear these bands really clearly. We saw Paul Kelly who was showing some great Lamberettas he owns, plus beautiful John Davis pictures. We saw the tail end of Mike Rutherfords set which was included I Can't Dance and another Mike and the Mechanics song I recognized, and then John Parr did a really surprisingly great version of St Elmos fire (from one of those brat pack movies). More artists came and went. Chris and I joined the burger van queue which was conveniently located by the toilets.... during which time Steve Marriotts daughter was on stage sounding great, then Procul Harum came on stage.... the wait in the burger van queue continued..... the dinosaurs evolved and died out.... then we got some chips in the burger van queue.... the romans invaded followed by the saxons/ vikings/ normans.... and then we got served.
We got back to the stage area having to catch the tail end of Mick Hucknall singing Faces songs. I had heard someone else singing Lazy Sunday Afternoon when we eventually got served. Anyway.... here we are in a muddy field in Southern England and who is that on stage but..... JEFF BECK !!!!! being totally amazing. Mick Hucknall and he did Little Wing, then Jeff played an instrumental version of Day in the Life which is always good followed by Wild Thing with Mick back on vocals. Jeff left and the WHO came on. Kenney Jones had been on and off the drums during the day and his drum kit was kind of tucked away at the back of the stage so I found I had to seek him out to see if he was on the stage. We were quite far back and so he didn't appear in any of my pics.
The WHOs set was I Can't Explain, Substitute, TKAA, Pinball Wizard, 5:15. Roger fluffed Substitute a bit and 5:15 went to pieces a bit with Pete seemingly doing his own thing at one point. At the end of Pinball it sort of fizzled out with Pete kind of saying I think we'll leave it there rather than progressing further into Tommy (in the vid he says "we've had enough of that thank you"). Both Pete and Roger were in good humour - Roger saying he preferred his side of the stage (I think he said it was an improvement on Pino) as he was standing next to the Abba tribute girls who were doing backing vocals). Roger mentioned the importance of blokes going home and checking their balls (for signs of prostate cancer) or even better getting their lady to check their balls for them which prompted Pete to put on a camp voice offering to check guys balls (an example of Pete saying things that strike him as being funny at the time). Pete also spoke later on in a very complimentary way about Kenney .....
Pete returned to introduce the encore - mentioning how the house he lives in used to be owned by Ronnie Wood and in the basement is a recording studio in which was recorded.... It’s Only Rock and Roll. Pete, Kenney, Mick Hucknall, Alvin Stardust, Vic Reeves and others then proceeded with a version which wasn't the best but it was a great encore. Pete and Vic were having a ball larking around like two naughty kids at the end of the row, hugging and dancing and joking around only to realise half way through the sound guy had switched off their mike. It was a nice end to a nice friendly show. Jeff Beck was to my mind best musically but it wasn't about that it was about supporting Kenney and the charity.
It was great Roger and Pete (and all the other musicians) were there supporting a great charity. Music wise it wasn't the greatest ever WHO performance but it wasn't really a typical WHO audience with its English Country fair feel and with some of the nice people next to me quaffing champers in their beautiful (though by now slightly muddy) clothes. It was by no means a bad performance either - I don't want to give a bad impression! We saw loads of other great WHO mates during the day too - hi everyone !