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Simon Townshend

Air Date: 05-12-15

Simon Townshend returns to Martyrs' on the 12th - the night before he hits the stage with The Who at the Allstate Arena!  A familiar name with an original sound, Simon Townshend is straight from the lineage of one of British music’s most famous families. The son of England’s top big-band reed man and baby brother of Who legend Pete Townshend, Simon has been recording and performing since the age of nine, when he was brought in to add vocals to The Who classic Tommy. He went on to successfully self-produce six well received solo CDs on the Stir Music label, including Among Us (1997), Animal Soup (1999), Bare Bodies Bare Assets (live acoustic)(2000), Ages (2000) and simontownshendis (2002). In 2002 Simon added to his musical arsenal by creating a stylistic alternative to his distinctive rock sound with an alter ego, .bom, for live performances in New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

In 2005 Simon joined Bruce Foxton (The Jam/Stiff Little Fingers) and Mark Brzezicki (Big Country) in forming The Casbah Club, releasing Venustraphobia (2006). The 2011 EP entitled Something New. The 4 track sampler is a preview of material from what may be his best and most impactful solo recording to date, the forthcoming 2012 release, Looking Out Looking In.In addition to his own music, Simon has produced artists both in London and New York. He has performed with numerous established acts ranging from Jeff Beck to Pearl Jam, and including elder brother Pete Townshend, with notable song writing and vocal contributions to Iron Man and Psychoderelict. Other credits include 15 years as guitarist and vocalist in The Who, playing sold out tours of Europe, Asia and North America, and a monumental performance at the 2010 Super Bowl. He was referred to by one U.S. newspaper as The Who’s “secret weapon.” In 2004 Simon served as producer for The Who’s first new, original studio recordings in more than 20 years and in 2006 contributed his talents to their highly anticipated album, Endless Wire.

Since 2009, Simon has accompanied Roger Daltrey on tours of the United Kingdom and North America, including a stint with Eric Clapton. A highpoint of these shows features Simon’s electrifying performance of The Who classic, Goin’ Mobile, which consistently brings the cheering crowd to their feet.Simon Townshend’s own music is his priority and it has made a significant impact. As brother Pete Townshend told London’s Daily Mail, “he’s brilliant.” British and American papers have variously described his songs and performances as …“supercharged…Mr. Townshend pushes the band to climax upon climax” (The New York Times)“buoyant melodies…soaring vocal harmonies,… irresistible chorus hooks pushed and pulled by the refreshing optimism of Simon’s voice” (The Washington Post)“impressive” (Billboard)“really pushes the envelope and is highly recommended” (Amplifier)“wonderful melodic punch…truly enjoyable listening” (Goldmine)a “catharsis” (The Los Angeles Times)In short, as London’s Gig Guide said, “you would be a fool to miss him.”

About Simon Townshend

In April 2014, Simon Townshend’s album DENIAL, his most personal and affecting work to date, was released on his own STIR Music label. Many of the tracks on DENIAL were inspired by events surrounding his family: some joyful, some difficult, some tragic. “I couldn’t help writing. It was inspirational and, for me, the best medicine is writing because it heals me.”

Simon is again on the road with The Who for their “Who Hits 50” world tour. He is receiving rave reviews for his work as guitarist and vocalist just as he did during the 2012/2013 “Quadrophenia and More Tour”. When not performing with The Who, he’s committed to an extensive solo touring schedule, highlighted by his successful 2014 spring US solo tour promoting DENIAL, multiple sellout shows at Joe’s Pub in New York City and attaining the opening spot on Heart’s 2013 Canadian “Fanatic” tour and Big Country’s 2013 UK “The Journey Tour”. At the invitation of both Jimmy and The Roots, Simon had a blast sitting in with the band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Sept 11, 2013.

Simon will again be supporting DENIAL when he brings his engaging solo performance to key US cities on his “days off” in between The Who tour dates this spring and fall. “This is me. This is what I do. Music is my life, and it’s the only thing that I fully understand and love outside of my family. Music has always fed and clothed me, paid the rent. It’s in the blood.” As London’s Gig Guide said, “you would be a fool to miss him.”

A prolific artist and performer, Simon Townshend continues to write, create and perform his unique and charismatic work as well as provide support to some of rock music’s ultimate legends. He can regularly be found interacting on his web site, www.SimonTownshend.com, Facebook and Twitter.

Some Background:

Simon Townshend is straight from the lineage of one of British music’s most famous families, a familiar name but with an original sound. The son of England’s top big-band reed man and baby brother of Who legend Pete Townshend, Simon has been recording and performing since the age of nine, when he was recruited to add vocals to The Who classic Tommy. On his own Stir Music Label, Simon has released 8 well received solo CD’s and one with the band Casbah Club (featuring Bruce Foxton/The Jam & Mark Brzezicki/Big Country). In April 2014, STIR Music released his 8th album DENIAL, containing some of his most personal and inspirational work to date.

In addition to his own music, Simon has been guitarist and vocalist in The Who since 1996, playing sold out tours around the world, including monumental performances at the 2010 Super Bowl and the closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics. He was referred to by one U.S. newspaper as The Who’s “secret weapon.” Simon is currently on the road with them for “The Who Hits 50” world tour 2014-2016, playing guitar and supplying backing vocals. He was an integral part of the 2012/13 Who’s “Quadrophenia and More Tour”, where he was also taking the lead on “Dirty Jobs” every night. In 2004 Simon served as producer for The Who’s first new, original studio recordings in more than 20 years and contributed his talents to their 2006 album Endless Wire. Simon has also performed with numerous other established acts ranging from Jeff Beck to Pearl Jam, Dave Grohl, and including elder brother Pete Townshend, with notable song writing and vocal contributions to Iron Man and Psychoderelict. Since 2009, Simon has accompanied Roger Daltrey on tours of the United Kingdom and North America, including stints with Eric Clapton and numerous Teenage Cancer Trust fundraisers.

Simon Townshend’s own music is his priority and it has made a significant impact. As brother Pete Townshend told London’s Daily Mail, “he’s brilliant.” Various British and American papers have described his songs and performances as:

“a cut above…melodic, edgy and creative, Looking Out Looking In is worth spending some coin on…perfectly executed…the real deal.” (Guitar Magazine)
… a fresh, compact sound and style all of its own… there is a restless energy about these songs which is utterly compelling… a genuinely original talent. 5/5” (London Sunday Express)
“Unusual for a warm-up act, … the theater was filled nearly to capacity for Simon Townshend … he delivered a stirring, intimate solo set. … and his stripped down renditions of such tracks as “Forever and a Day” and “Bed of Roses”, as well as “I’m the Answer” alternated from tender to visceral, and were greeted with enthusiastic responses from the crowd.” (PopMatters)
“buoyant melodies…soaring vocal harmonies,… irresistible chorus hooks pushed and pulled by the refreshing optimism of Simon’s voice” (The Washington Post)
“So when I saw a smiling Simon Townshend step out alone onto the stage of Massey Hall in front of a packed house of two thousand, armed with only a guitar, I knew that things were going to be all right… What I didn’t know is how utterly enthralled he’d have the audience after only one song.” (Media Blackout)
“The strong, supple voice wrapped itself around emotion-filled lyrics, and was bolstered by a deft hand, especially on the 12-string guitar.” (Ottawa Citizen)
“… an excellent acoustic warm-up set from the immensely talented Simon Townshend, whose song writing talent and singing equals, and at times, surpasses that of his more famous brother…” (Music Express CA)
“Wonderfully crafted songs performed with the confidence and maturity that only comes from possessing considerable talent and exercising it in public for years and years. Brilliant opening set. “ (iePentincton)
“Much like his debut, and all of his albums, Townshend’s 2013 effort Looking Out Looking In is a superb mix of heartfelt singer/songwriter pop and anthemic guitar rock all centering around powerful, evocative lead vocals.”
(AllMusic)
“By the end of the show, we had all been treated to 90 minutes of some of the most energetic performing I have seen.” (LiveGigShots)
“We learned about Townshend because of his brother’s band, but we stayed to listen because the songs are great and the performance is engaging.” (No Depression)
“I enjoyed the intimacy of his performance and was captivated by his truly amazing compositions. …His vocals were superb, wide-ranged, passionate, and packed a punch.” (Apt613)