Living with the past

Going to concerts is a strange game. I’ve been listening to music seriously now for thirty years and more and taking in live shows for more than twenty five. My problem is that I never seem to outgrow the music I once enjoyed and I never tire of finding new bands and sounds to enjoy. It makes for a wide-ranging taste and a smorgasbord of shows to choose from. Having said that last week (this was before the dreaded ‘flu) saw more grey hair on a stage than I’m used to. Ian Anderson and Martin Barre have had this little band called Jethro Tull going now for a few years and occasionally I’ll stop to see them and consider whether they can still cut the mustard. May 2008 in Lancashire suggest they still can though Ian’s voice is not what it once was and he has to over-rely on that flute just a little too much. They played for well over two hours and interestingly drew material mostly from their first three album although for me the highlights (Thick as a Brick, Heavy Horses, Aqualung, New Day Yesterday) were mostly drawn from a little later in their career. Tull, these days, are mainly a live band and seem to have little time devoted to developing new material. It would seem sensible to reverse that trend – rest Ian’s voice, see what this current bunch of musicians can develop in the twenty-first century – before they inevitably call it a day.

Set list (I think this is right but I’m older than I used to be):

My Sunday Feeling,
Living In The Past,
One For John Gee,
So Much Trouble,
A Song For Jeffrey,
Griminelli’s Lament,
Sossity: You’re A Woman/Reasons For Waiting,
Fat Man,
Serenade To A Cuckoo,
A New Day Yesterday

For A Thousand Mothers,
We Used To Know/With You There To Help Me,
Dharma For One
Heavy Horses,
Farm On The Freeway,
Thick As A Brick,
Locomotive Breath

Jethro Tull, Live May 2008


……. and a pair of Ian Andersons

If there was a downside to this concert, it was the drum solo. Why do must rock drummers persist in believing that there is any rhythm or motif to their efforts in hitting as many parts of their kit as often as they can. Please leave it to your infinitely more capable jazz brethren.

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