Like music's answer to Monty Python's Black Knight, Roger Daltrey is battling on regardless despite being parted from his "limbs". Without Keith Moon and John Entwistle (and tinnitus-suffering Pete Townshend, for the time being at least) here he is, a sprightly 67, fronting a marathon performance of the band's 1969 rock opera, Tommy. "This isn't the Who," he begins, mug of tea in hand. "But I just love our music. It's really original and deserves to be heard."
It's difficult to argue. Townshend's pioneering opus â€“ the story of the "deaf, dumb and blind" Pinball Wizard â€“ has its flaws, but remains an absorbing rollercoaster of theatre and heavy rock. With his brother Simon replicating his parts (and nose) perfectly, the ambitious production sounds exactly like the record, but louder. Stunning visuals make it a surprisingly psychedelic experience, and of course, Pinball Wizard, I'm Free and the rest threaten to separate the roof from the building.
Daltrey may forget the occasional lyric â€“ "Senior moment! I'm allowed" â€“ but, after Tommy, works like a curator, dusting off gems the Who haven't played in 30 years (Pictures of Lily, the sublime Tattoo) or (Going Mobile, Blue, Red and Grey, on ukelele) never played at all.
Young Man Blues â€“ about how the old should make way for the young â€“ has an obvious irony, but Daltrey explains that he has to keep performing, "or else my voice will go, and I love singing", and his chops haven't sounded this powerful in years. With the clock approaching the three-hour mark, you fear he will have to be wrestled from the stage. He's certainly a trouper.