2017 is certainly a special year for Wilko Johnson.  Not only does it mark the 30th anniversary of the Wilko Johnson Band, but this year sees the guitarist celebrating his 70th birthday.

Given the events of recent years, this celebration at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 26th September is all the more meaningful: here is the death-defying Wilko Johnson leading his own party with partners in crime Norman Watt-Roy (bass), Dylan Howe (drums), family, friends and special guests.

Wilko’s special guest at the Royal Albert Hall show is Dr John Cooper Clarke – poet, movie star, rock star, TV & radio presenter, comedian, and social & cultural commentator.

Wilko Johnson ahead of his 'Don't You Leave Me Here' book launch: Rough Trade East 2nd June 2016 (Simon Reed Musical Pictures 2016)

Wilko Johnson ahead of his ‘Don’t You Leave Me Here’ book launch: Rough Trade East 2nd June 2016 (Simon Reed)

‘I’m supposed to be dead!’ So says Wilko in a recent interview, having been diagnosed in late 2012 with terminal pancreatic cancer. Despite the doctors’ predictions he continued to perform and present himself with vigour and a new zest for life. In 2013, Wilko announced that, thanks to a second opinion and subsequent life-saving surgery, he was cancer-free.

Wilko Johnson live at Koko, London. 6th March 2013.Johnson's own band includes Blockheads members - Norman Watt-Roy (bass guitar) and Dylan Howe (drums) (Photographer: Simon Jay Price)

Wilko Johnson live at Koko, London. 6th March 2013. Johnson’s own band includes Blockheads members – Norman Watt-Roy (bass guitar) and Dylan Howe (drums) (Photographer: Simon Jay Price)

The original Dr Feelgood guitarist, known for his distinctive chopping guitar style, recently found further fame on TV in Game Of Thrones, and also rose up the charts once more after teaming up with Who frontman Roger Daltrey on hit 2014 album Going Back Home, which features re-workings of songs from Wilko’s Dr Feelgood days including All Through The City and Going Back Home.

Wilko Johnson performing at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire London on 26 April 2015 (Simon Reed)

Wilko Johnson performing at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire London on 26 April 2015 (Simon Reed)

The Wilko Johnson Band consists of Wilko on guitar and vocals, plus Blockheads Norman Watt-Roy and Dylan Howe; a rhythm ’n’ blues power trio widely acknowledged as one of the most exciting live acts in the world today.

Keep It To Myself – The Best Of Wilko Johnson was released in February 2017 via Chess /Universal. Wilko’s bestselling memoir Don’t You Leave Me Here (Little, Brown) has recently been published in paperback edition.

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