Pete Townshend’s Deep End Band - Face The Face DVD review

Who guitarist’s short-lived project, live at Rockpalast in Germany in 1986.

Pete Townshend’s Deep End Band Face The Face DVD cover

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It’s chastening to think that Pete Townshend was only 41 at the time of this concert yet he was considered one of rock’s old geezers, his major achievements decades behind him. In Face The Face, in a band that also includes Peter Hope Evans on harmonica and David Gilmour, of all people, on guitar, he shows he still has a bit of vigour in his legs, throwing the shapes of old on opener Won’t Get Fooled Again and later on Pinball Wizard.

Much of this set, however, sees the guitarist seeking to attune with 1980s mores, in which multicultural nods were mandatory; soul backing vocalists, a brass section and even an extended, Latino percussion interlude are all present and correct, while Townshend also pays tribute to Steve Biko and the still-incarcerated Nelson Mandela. There’s also plenty of solo-Townshend material, including Face The Face, indicating that, as ever, Townshend’s principle concern was exorcising his various bugbears and demons through the medium of rock guitar.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.