The legendary Wilko Johnson's farewell tour... thanks for the memories

19th March 2013

We British are not renowned for showing our emotions in public. Somehow we all get embarrassed with the realities of life. We don't talk about or face up to the simple truths... we are conceived, we live out our term, we die.

I have pondered on what to say about the weekends gig that I was privileged to photograph. Without a doubt it touched the heart of more than a few in the audience. I spoke to one lady who told me it had been a wake up to the reality of her own inevitable life cycle. None of us know what tomorrow brings?

The memorable occasion that I was photographing was the farewell gig by Wilko Johnson. We all knew that Wilko has recently had to face the knowledge that he is terminally ill. Thankfully few of us have been in this position and we cannot possibly imagine how we would handle such a situation. Of course everyone would react in their own personal way.

But perhaps we can all take a little strength and even inspiration from the way Wilko has chosen to look to the future. Wilko has decided that his time should be used to enjoy and share what has been a huge part of his life... the gift of making music.

So the sell-out of two nights at the Fermain Tavern in Guernsey was no surprise. Wilko has been a regular visitor on the stage at 'the Tav' over several decades and he was surrounded by old friends who gave him a send-off that will be remembered and talked about until it takes its place in musical folk-law.

Maybe it is difficult, given the circumstances, to make an unaffected critic of the gig but I will argue that the two nights were a couple of the greatest live performances I have shared.

Hopefully Wilko Johnson left Guernsey knowing that he had touched people with his energetic performance and song writing. He stimulated many of us to look to our own futures and how we should make the very best of our own time. It reminded me that the medium of music has so much to give. It can be the focus to bring people together. It can touch all sides of our emotions and, lets face it, it makes the world a better place!

Thanks for the memories Wilko.

A Wilko Johnson performance, for photographers, is one of the hardest to capture. He just won't stand still! It is a challenge to represent the essence of his show in 'still' images. But I tried, and have added a few pics to the Wilko Johnson Band picture gallery: