The pop events in Malmö are very frequent this autumn. Yesterday, Klubb Bongo presented their biggest attraction so far: The Who, a hyper-current English pop group with “drive” and “pop-art” as their speciality. The expectations were high, and nobody left disappointed. The boys were in an excellent mood for playing, and, during their half and hour set showed everything from tuneful singing from Roger Daltrey to toppled speakers and drums.
The Who stated off rather careful with a couple of standard songs, “Heatwave”, “Dancing in the Streets” and “Barbara Ann”, and showed, through their personal style and knowledge how not to make it sound ordinary. After the typical Who song “So Sad About Us”, they were highly charged, and continued with some of the songs that have made their rounds on various hit lists, “Kids Are Alright”, “Substitute” and the most recent one, “I’m a Boy”. That all-too rare ability within the pop world of reproducing the sound of their records on stage was much in evidence. One was particularly impressed by the guitar solo in “Substitute”, with the bass far up front and the solo guitar somewhat in the background. During the final number “My Generation”, the lyrics of which have become somewhat of a symbol for the way of life of The Who, the boys showed off the “gimmick” that has provided the group with its profile: “destructive pop-art”. Pete Townshend toppled two speaker stacks, fortunately dummies, which looked as if they had suffered the ravages in the front line of two world wars, while the drummer Keith Moon continued to kick down his kit. In an effects-filled finish, Pete Townshend forcefully threw down his guitar to the floor.
The most impressive thing about The Who is the proficiency exhibited by each of the four members of the group. Keith Moon, for instance, is probably the most dynamic and skilful drummer within the world of pop. Already after a couple of songs, he looked as if he had just got up from the bathtub. The solo guitarist and the “brain” Pete Townshend is really a showman, as is singer Roger Daltrey. The bassist, John Entwistle, is a nice contrast, in that he is content to calmly, almost indifferently, watch the proceedings. The only critical thing that can be said about the group’s performance is that the guitars carry such volume that the vocals couldn’t be heard as much as they should. Without a doubt, The Who belongs at the forefront of pop, and it can be argued if they, only a year after the real breakthrough, are overtaking the Beatles.
The opening acts were some local bands, Fourtones, Troublemakers, Moderations and Gonks. Of the opening acts , Gonks, of course, were the best. A pity that they were only allowed to play three songs. Another criticism is the poor treatment of the press photographers, who weren’t allowed to operate freely as usual. Hopefully, this will improve until the next gala promoted by Club Bongo.