Guitar icon bowing out at Bingley Music Live

Wilko Johnson, far right, and his band.
Wilko Johnson, far right, and his band.

Cancer battling former Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson will bow out with his last scheduled concert in the region this weekend.

After a series of post-retirement performances the music icon will perform at Bingley Music Live on Saturday, August 31.

Wilko was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the start of the year but has remained healthy enough to undertake a series of recent performances, say organisers.

He explained; “What’s been pretty good is we did the Farewell Tour earlier in the year and then I retired, but I didn’t like that much! “Then summer came along and the festivals started coming in and I thought, well, I’m not too ill and if I can’t make it then the show will still go on.”

Since the 1970s the singer, guitarist and songwriter has been credited for his enormous contribution to the British rhythm and blues scene and is widely hailed as one of the founding influences of the punk movement, firstly in Dr Feelgood and later as a member of Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

The rock’n’roll hero, a national music treasure, explains the continuing thrill of playing British festivals. He said: “This year’s been pretty unusual. It’s been marvellous, being out in the sun; as the sun has chosen to shine this year.

“It’s all about the friendly atmosphere. So I guess you could say my favourite thing is fun in the sun.”

British R&B legend and proto-punk pioneer Johnson has made an indelible mark on the Rhythm and Blues scene. From founding Dr. Feelgood in the 1970s in the unlikely confines of Canvey Island Wilko has been an ever present on the R&B touring circuit. Credited with inventing the punky-machine gun stuttering style of guitar playing later adopted by the New Wave movement of The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones and Blondie. His unique stare - perfected in his brief spell as a school teacher, and jerky movements have gripped audiences the world over. He can look like an intimidating character and was picked to play the part of a mute executioner in HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones.

Bingley can revel in Wilko’s awesome stage presence one final time, where he’ll be joined by the likes of Primal Scream, CHIC feat. Nile Rodgers, The Human League,The Cribs, The Fratellis, The Neville Staple Band,Tinchy Stryder and Katy B during the much loved Yorkshire festival - just north of Bradford - taking place between Friday and Sunday, August 30 to September 1.

Tickets are still available but fans are beeingt asked to hurry if they want to see Wilko.

A standard three-day weekend ticket is £45, with advance day tickets for Friday costing £17.50 and advance day tickets for Saturday or Sunday, priced at £30, all prices subject to booking fees.

Buy online at www.bingleymusiclive.com/tickets or call the ticket hotline 0871 220 0260.

There will be a limited number of tickets available at the box office on the weekend of the show. On the door prices are weekend £55; Friday, £25; Saturday or Sunday, £40.