2012 UK Secret Weapon Tour Band
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 has six well received, self-produce solo CDs on the Stir Music label, with number seven “Looking Out Looking In” to be released in Feb 2012. In 2005 Simon joined Bruce Foxton (The Jam/Stiff Little Fingers) and Mark Brzezicki (Big Country) in forming The Casbah Club, releasing the CD Venustraphobia (2006).
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. His credits include 15 years as guitarist and vocalist in The Who, playing sold out tours of Europe, Asia and North America. 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 will again be a part of Roger Daltrey’s Tommy in 2012.
Simon Townshend hits the road during February and March in support of his new 2012 album “Looking Out Looking In”, but he won’t be going it alone*. Joining him will be two seasoned Simon band mates, and one newbie!
*except for the acoustic Truro gig at The Old Grammar School Mar 4th
TONY LOWE – Guitar and Keyboards
Tony worked with Simon on “Looking Out Looking In”, but their musical collaboration goes way back! He can be found on nearly every one of Simon’s STIR releases, as well as many a project in between!
Tony comes from a musical family in North West London. Self taught Piano at five years old and Guitar at ten. Since 1985 Tony has produced, arranged, and or played on over 170 albums spanning a wide range of genres, artists, producers and labels. He has worked as a touring musician, an in-house session player at Trident studios in London and has written music for TV, Film and Theatre. Production credits include Yumi Hara Cawkwell – Gari Glaysher – John Foxx – Simon Townshend – Toyah Willcox – Pat Orchard – Poppy Gonzalez – Jose Charles – VVV and Flying Colours. And he has played with Julian Lennon – Pet Shop Boys – Simon Townshend – David Cross – Modern English – Zoh and Nazia Hassan – B Movie – Phil Ramone – BBC Children in Need – Pat Orchard – Visage – Pooka – Nicola Hitchcock – Belouis Some – Julien Clerc – Toyah Willcox – Ben Chapman – Soulseekerz – Poppy Gonzalez – and many more.
Tony is passionate about human rights, the peace campaign and the environment; these issues are often reflected in his heartfelt lyrics and evocative music. He believes music can be a force for positive change.
Phil Spalding – Bass
Phil Spalding is another band mate of Simon that goes way back – including the Animal Soup album.
Phil Spalding has been at the top of the bass playing game for many years. In that time he has helped to make some truly iconic and internationally successful recordings with the likes of Elton John, Robbie Williams, Mike Oldfield, Seal, Mick Jagger, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Right Said Fred, Chris de Burgh, Roger Daltrey, Simon Townshend and many more. Known for his ‘one takes’, Phil says, ‘I don’t have much patience for agonising over a bass part for a record… I always see a musical performance as a journey through the song, ebbing and flowing with the rest of the instruments and the vocals. For me, that’s the way to record something that’s going to have the dynamics and feel required to achieve truly great recordings – an awesome combination of rock and soul … hardcore in yer face bass!!!”
It hasn’t been the smoothest of rides for Phil, but with the help of Gloucester House he’s got his life back. He performs charity concerts around the country to raise money for the Gloucester House Buy a Bed – Save a Life campaign. Read more about Phil and how Gloucester House helped him get back to his music in this Brentwood Weekly article.
Greg Pringle – Drums
Greg is the newcomer to the Simon Townshend fold – Welcome!
Greg’s life as a drummer began in earnest when he became a specialist musician at Wells Cathedral School at the age of 13. He later studied at the Royal College of Music. His studies at Drumtech were interrupted by accepting the offer to drum for the UK Theatre Tour of ‘Quadrophenia’!
Other theatre credits include ‘The Human Comedy’ and ‘My Dad’s a Birdman’ – both at the Young Vic. Greg currently plays in and around London performing and recording in a range of styles with various bands/artists such as: Last of the Blue Flamingos, London Ska Orchestra, Payroll, Ashleigh Ashley and Bridgette Amofah.