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The Railway presents:

John Otway

date_range 27/10/2022 query_builder 8:00 pm home Platform 1 account_box 18+ local_play Adv: £12.50local_play Door: £15.00
From the age of 9, John Otway knew he wanted to be a pop star. But even at that  young age, having listened to his sister's Beatles and Stones records, he knew he  would never be able to do what they


John Otway£12.50

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From the age of 9, John Otway knew he wanted to be a pop star. But even at that  young age, having listened to his sister’s Beatles and Stones records, he knew he  would never be able to do what they do. However, when his sister got the latest  Bob Dylan album, he knew there was a place for him and he set about learning  how to play guitar. 

Otway had to wait until 1977 and the rise of punk before his dream of fame and fortune  would finally become a reality. Having caught the eye of the producers of the BBC’s Old  Grey Whistle Test, Otway’s performance on that show would grab the attention of the  watching audience. Otway, ever the showman, decided to jump on to the amplifier of  his colleague during a performance of Bob Lind’s Cheryl’s Going Home. (Un)fortunately  for Otway, he misjudged his leap and sent Wild Willy Barrett’s amplifier tumbling as he  crashed down straddling the box under the amp.

The full force of the impact was absorbed by the most tender part of his body, but in  doing this one simple act of recklessness and his wanton disregard for his own safety,  Otway was the talk of everyone who watched that evening’s programme.

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 later, Otway was finally a star. It  would however, be his greatest success for some time.

Despite numerous attempts to get back into the charts, Otway would have to wait 25  years for his next taste of chart success. In the intervening years, Otway would become  an actor; write an autobiography (Cor Baby That’s Really Me: Rock and Roll’s Greatest  Failure); perform sold out shows at London’s Astoria and Royal Albert Hall; make  regular appearances at both Glastonbury and Edinburgh Festivals; and write the nation’s  seventh favourite lyric of all-time (beating Bob Dylan and Paul Simon in the process).

In 2002, Otway achieved what he desired the most – a second hit. A concerted publicity  campaign saw Otway reach number 9 with the disco pastiche Bunsen Burner and a  second appearance on Top of the Pops. Despite this success, a planned world tour  collapsed, but Otway continued to gig extensively around the UK either with his band,  as a duo with Wild Willy Barrett or solo. A follow-up autobiography was penned in 2010  and titled: I Did It Otway: Regrets I’ve Had a Few.

To celebrate his 60th birthday in 2012, Otway produced his debut movie titled Otway  the Movie: The Story of Rock n Roll’s Greatest Failure. A screening for producers was  held at London’s Leicester Square with the final scenes from the movie filmed on the  red carpet and edited into the film as the audience were watching. The film was then  taken to Cannes Film Festival and a 50-date tour of cinemas in both the UK and North  America. It was subsequently voted the 2nd best film of the year in a poll of its readers  conducted by The Guardian newspaper.Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Otway took his band to the Caribbean  island of Montserrat to record a new album. The album would be the first to be  recorded on the island by an international artist since The Rolling Stones recorded Steel  Wheels in 1989. Produced by Grammy-award winner Chris Birkett and recorded at  Olveston House – the former home of Sir George Martin, it was released to critical  acclaim in May 2017.

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