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The Who confirm symphonic tour and first studio album in 13 years

The Who's Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend © Getty

The Who will release their first album in 13 years in 2019 and head out on a symphonic tour.

Guitarist Pete Townshend says he has laid down 15 demos for the follow-up to 2006’s ‘Endless Wire’ at five different studios around the UK and will release the album this year once Roger Daltrey has laid down his vocals.

After Daltrey performed ‘Tommy’ with an orchestra last summer, Townshend also revealed to Rolling Stone that The Who will embark on a sprawling 29-date symphonic tour across North America.

The tour dates are yet to be announced, however Townshend says The Who will perform with a different local symphony orchestra on each night of the trek.

“I’ll be 75 years old in March and this feels like a dignified way to go and do music,” he explained. “That’s all we’re really left with. We’re old men now. We’ve lost the looks. We’ve lost the glamour. What we’re left with is the music and we’re going to present it in a way which is as fresh and powerful as ever.”

Although hesitant to call it a swansong tour, Roger Daltrey admits it could be his last, saying:  “I think it is always a mistake to ever say ‘farewell’ but this will possibly be my last tour.

“I’m just being realistic about going through the 75th year of my life. I have to be realistic that this is the age I am and voices start to go after a while. I don’t want to be not as good as I was two years ago.”

For Townshend, he only agreed to the tour with concert giants Live Nation once The Who had new material to perform.

“I said I was not going to sign any contracts unless we have new material,” Townshend said. “This has nothing to do with wanting a hit album. It has nothing to do with the fact that the Who need a new album. It’s purely personal. It’s about my pride, my sense of self-worth and self-dignity as a writer.”

Roger Daltrey released his solo studio album ‘As Long As I Have You’ last summer.

Featuring a mix of new songs and cover versions, the lbum was helmed by esteemed Manic Street Preachers producer Dave Eringa, who also produced Roger and Wilko Johnson’s 2014 album ‘Going Back Home’.

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