Simon Townshend Stands Well On His Own
Some friends of mine who are huge fans (and whose opinions I trust) turned me on to Simon Townshend a couple of years ago.
Simon is Pete’s younger brother and he plays with The Who when he’s not touring on his own. I love The Who but I would rather see Simon on his own; his deeply personal songs shine in the small venues where I have seen him perform.
Simon appeared at Johnny D’s, one of my favorite small venues, last weekend and a group of us bought tickets the moment they went on sale. He could probably fill larger venues but he chooses to play in intimate settings in which his lyrics can take center stage.
Simon is currently touring in support of his new album, ‘Denial’ and it’s a good one. Even though there is a full band on the album Simon is performing solo.
‘Denial’ is dedicated to “addicts in and out of recovery” and the songs speak to his personal struggle. They also speak to the joy of family. Take a good listen to his lyrics and you’ll get a look at Simon’s soul.
His style is quite emotional; it is obvious that he puts his heart into every song and the audience appreciated it. His energy is infectious.
The set list included songs from his entire career but focused on the last two albums. I am more familiar with these recent albums so I thoroughly appreciated that.
His style is rock as you would expect. He is a guitarist mostly, although he plays the mandolin as well.
Simon is becoming more popular in the US; he is playing larger venues than he played last time he toured. It seems to me that he is also playing more gigs here than he did last year.
He should be better known that he is; there are a number of people I told about this show who said, ‘I’m not familiar with him.’ As soon as I mention his brother, recognition sets in to some extent.
Do yourselves a favor and give Simon a listen. If you live anywhere near a city where he will be appearing during the remainder of this tour, go see him. His shows are not expensive and you will be glad you did. You’ll also get to meet him after the show; Simon is great about mingling with his fans, signing whatever you put in front of him and taking photos with his fans.