The Who marked the 50th anniversary of their landmark concert at Leeds University by playing a special acoustic gig at the tiny Pryzm club in London on Friday evening. The set was similar to the one they played at the hall earlier in the week, but it did contain the first performance of The Who Sell Out‘s “Tattoo” since 2008. The song was also part of their set at Leeds back in 1970.
“My wife has tattoos of dogs and fairies and various things,” Pete Townshend told the crowd before playing the song. “The other day, she said ‘my back aches’ [and I was like] ‘there’s a fucking tattoo!’ I hadn’t seen. That shows how often we have sex. Anyway, apparently we’re playing ‘Tattoo.’”
The Who have been playing with locals orchestras over the past year, but these were special shows where Daltrey and Townshend were joined only by bassist Phil Spalding, guitarist/vocalist Simon Townshend, background signer Billy Nicholls and percussionist Jody Linscott. The shows featured the first performances of “Break The News” and “She Rocked My World” from their new LP Who.
Former Who audio engineer Bob Pridden, who worked with the group continuously from 1966 to 2016, recently spoke to Rolling Stone about recording Live at Leeds. “That’s when they were on fire,” he said. “The were working all the time and just on top of their game. As a unit of just four people, a band couldn’t be any better.”
The Who will return to the road on March 16th for a tour of European arenas. They come to America in late April for a seven-city run that wraps up with a mini residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.