COMIC genius John Otway has made a career of being rock's greatest failure. Now - gawd 'elp us - he's made a film about it.
To the proverbial alien visitor, the appeal of Otway - terrible singer, awful guitarist, clumsy songwriter, two-hit wonder - would be inexplicable but then again no alien visitor has ever seen him at the Running Horse in Alfreton Road. I've seen scores of performers who were obviously better, but few that were such fun.
The film picks through the haphazard course of a truly bizarre life, from Otway and Wild Willy Barrett's Pounds 250,000 signing by Polydor, who signed The Jam for Pounds 6,000 the same year, through an enormous string of flops to his failed attempt to charge fans Pounds 3,000 each for an Ot Air jumbo jet world tour. Along the way, he books the Royal Albert Hall, hypes himself into the top ten and finishes one place below The Beatles in a BBC poll of Britain's favourite song lyric.
And it's a joy. You'll have as much fun as his fabulously hardcore fanbase, 1,400 of whom backed the film and are listed as producers.
John Otway will be at the Broadway on Thursday for a Q&A session after the 8.30pm screening of the film. Call 0115 9526 611 or see www.broadway.org.uk for details.
Sean Hewitt Verdict .... Insane rock'n'roll adventures of a genuine one-off Director Steve Barker Starring John Otway Certificate 12A Contains One use of moderate language Duration 95 minutes
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