Wilko Johnson struts and chops his way back to the De la Warr Pavilion

Norman Watt-Roy and Wilko Johnson
Norman Watt-Roy and Wilko Johnson

Former Dr Feelgood guitarist and hugely influential wide-eyed performer Wilko Johnson is back in Bexill for another night at the De la Warr Pavilion.

Canvey Island’s finest will also be joined by special guest Glenn Tilbrook, founder member and mainstay of British pop favourites Squeeze.

Following Wilko’s cancer recovery, the original Dr Feelgood guitarist has enjoyed a rousing return to the live arena recently, including a number 1 album with Roger Daltrey and playing a sold out show at The Royal Albert Hall to mark his 70th birthday.

Heavily influenced by Mick Green, Wilko employs a finger-style, chop-chord strumming action (the ‘stab’, as he describes it).

This allows for chords and lead to be played at the same time, giving a fluency and a distinctive sound very unlike the cleaner swat of a pick.

With this economic sound, coupled with that black-suited, scowling look, and the yards he covered across the stage pausing only to twist the guitar lead out from under his feet, Wilko became one of the guitar heroes of the era.

Paul Weller said of him: “Wilko may not be as famous as some other guitarists, but he’s right up there.”

Following a stint with Ian Dury & The Blockheads in the ‘80s, he eventually formed The Wilko Johnson Band with ex-Blockhead Norman Watt-Roy on bass.

Also featuring Dylan Howe on drums, the trio have become one of the most exciting r’n’b bands in the world today.

Tickets are priced £30 and available from www.dlwp.com

Bexhill’s independent record store Music’s Not Dead will be open in the Café Bar before the show and can buy a meal in advance of the gig and choose your menu options at the bar.