Although he continued playing the club and festival circuit his profile was never that high. That changed in 2009 when Wilko took part in Julian Temple's remarkable Dr Feelgood documentary 'Oil City Confidential' - if you haven't seen this film then make sure you do! An acting part in Game Of Thrones followed and things seemed to be taking an upward turn for this Essex eccentric. Then just before Christmas in 2012 he was given the news that he had terminal pancreatic cancer.
Wilko Johnson was given ten months to live. He embarked on a 'Farewell tour' and after the last two dates were cancelled due to illness things weren't looking good... However, some other appearances have taken place at festivals in July and August. Wilko played two nights at Koko in Camden as part of his farewell tour earlier this year, but those dates sold out before I could get a ticket and it looked like I had missed my chance to see this unique guitarist one last time. Suddenly two more dates at Koko were announced, and this time I managed to get a ticket. I'm really glad I did.
Obviously there is an element of sadness in the background as I know it's probably the last time I will ever see Wilko Johnson play, but that aside there is nothing sad about this show - it's a celebration of his life. Of course, regardless of his health Wilko is no spring chicken these days so he can't be expected to perform like he did twenty or thirty years ago - but this looks far from being like a man on his last legs! He is still playing great, and it's obvious he is still enjoying himself too - which could be what is keeping him going. You can feel the love for the man in the air tonight, and I'm sure he can too.