The Spectator

Who we are

Who we are
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Where better to spend the last night of the Blair era than in the company of ageing rockers? These days, The Who smash their tambourines rather than their guitars. But, other than that, they are still as sharp as the sharpest Carnaby Street winkle pickers and as taut as the tires on a brand new Vespa. At the Wembley Arena last night the band that hoped that they would die before they got old showed that you're only as old as the venue you fill. My Generation? Yes, and their children, and, in some cases, God help us, grandchildren. Pop long ago broke its promise to define generation gaps and became something completely different: part of our island folklore, our national glue. With Roger and Pete still standing, The Who remain quorate (just) and they show no sign of bowing out: quite the opposite in fact. Daltrey won't drop that mike as it soars in the air and Townshend (62) still gyrates his strumming arm with a venom that puts all those Kaisers, Arctics and Killers to shame.  Watch and learn, chaps. And the songs? All your favourites - Who Are You, I Can't Explain, Won't Get Fooled Again, Baba O'Riley, a medley from 'Quadrophenia', and many more - plus a six song taste of their latest album, Endless Wire. For the encore, The Kids Are All Right and Pinball Wizard: in nearly 30 years of concert going, I have found few experiences as thrilling as watching Townshend playing the opening flamenco riff of that song. But most of all, I hope this magnificent duo continue to defy the actuaries and carry on taking their vitamins so I can take my sons to see them in a few years time. Who's Next? Yet another generation, of course.