Edinburgh Festival regular John Otway returns for 2014 Free Fringe run
- Henry Northmore
- 2 August 2014
This article is from 2014
’Rock’s greatest failure’ wins audiences over
John Otway is one of British music's great eccentrics. His half talking/half singing style has made him one of the country's most enduring live performers despite a distinct lack of record sales. 'When I was about nine years old I decided I wanted to be a pop star and my mother, quite rightly, thought I was being stupid, as she thought I should pick something that I was good at,' laughs Otway. 'I always wanted it to last my whole career and I've fought really hard to keep it that way.'
His manic performance of 'Really Free' on The Old Grey Whistle Test scored Otway his first hit single. 'It started as punk rock in 1977 and it's evolved from there into places you wouldn't imagine punk evolving into,' adds Otway. His self-deprecating humour and unpredictable live shows won Otway an army of devoted fans who have stuck with him through good times and bad. Career highlights include performing on The Young Ones; headlining at the Albert Hall and scoring a second hit in 2002 with 'Bunsen Burner' all of which has been charted in Rock and Roll's Greatest Failure: Otway the Movie.
He'll be hard to miss trundling around Edinburgh this August. 'I've invested, I bought a Sinclair C5 on eBay. There are always hundreds of people handing out flyers and nobody reads them, but my theory is that if I drive about in my C5 everyone will spot me.'
The Jam House, 226 4380, until 22 Aug (not 5, 9, 12, 16 & 19), 8pm, free.