Gig Of The Week: Ian Anderson’s Jethro Tull
WHO: Ian Anderson’s Jethro Tull
WHERE: Perth Concert Hall
WHEN: Saturday, April 14
This is a special tour for Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull fans. Not only is Anderson celebrating the 40th anniversary of the iconic Thick As A Brick album by playing this in its entirety, but he’ll also be playing new album Thick As A Brick 2.
“Ever since 1972, people have asked me about doing a follow-up,” says Anderson. “It’s come from fans, the media and record company people. In fact, I’ve been seriously approached twice in the last decade. But my real problem is that I do not want to wallow in the nostalgia of revisiting old albums like this or Aqualung.
“Then at the end of 2010, I met up with Derek Shulman, who was a member of 70s prog band Gentle Giant and has more recently been a very successful music business executive in America. I’m not sure which one of us first mentioned it, but after a few drinks, the question came up about what Gerald Bostock [the ‘star’ of the original album] would be doing today. And that led on to wondered what happened to the St. Cleve Chronicle, the 16-page local newspaper than made up the packaging of Thick As A Brick.”
With this starting point, Anderson very quickly fleshed out the storyline, looking at different timelines that Bostock could have followed.
“He could have been a politician, an astronaut, a priest… where might he have gone? One thing I did do was make him 10 years old in 1972, which was a bit of a cheat. But that meant he could be 50 in 2012 – and I do like round numbers. So, I had him as being the eight-year-old schoolboy when he first entered that poetry competition, which was centerpiece of Thick As A Brick, but by the time he was disqualified he was 10 [if you’re puzzled by these references to the fictitious Gerald Bostock and the infamous poetry contest, then you really do need to check out Thick As A Brick!].
“Setting the new album in 2012 also allowed me to look at the way the world has changed since 1972, and also what’s stayed the same.”
With a band featuring Florian Opahle (guitar), John O’Hara (keyboards), David Goodier (bass/double bass) and Scott Hammond (drums), Ian Anderson will perform the whole of the 1972 album, followed by TAAB2.
“Well, there will be a 20-minute interlude between the two, during which people can go to the toilet, buy drinks… or watch an audio-visual presentation as Lord Cruddock shows us round Cruddock Hall.
“Actually, what I want to achieve with this part of the show is something like a slick village hall effect. So, it will be a little amateurish as we see Lord Archibald Parritt trying to front his own YouTube channel and getting it slightly wrong!
“I don’t want all the razzmatazz and state-of-the art technology you’d get from a Roger Waters show, nor all the dancers and attitude associated with seeing Madonna. No, this works as slightly surreal British humour. With lots of whimsy and satire that you got from Monty Python and the first two series of Little Britain.”
And expect some surprises in the eccentric Ian Anderson style during the show.
The rest of the dates on this tour are:
Sun. 15: Glasgow Theatre Royal
Tue. 17: Newcastle City Hall
Wed. 18: Liverpool Philharmonic
Thu. 19: Sheffield City Hall
Fri. 20: Blackburn St. George’s Hall
Sat. 21: Harrogate Royal Hall
Sun. 22: Manchester Opera House
Tue. 24: Derby Assembly Rooms
Wed. 25: Ipswich Regent Centre
Fri. 27: London Hammersmith Apollo
Sat. 28: Bristol Colston Hall
Sun, 29: High Wycombe Swan Theatre
Mon. 30: Birmingham Symphony Hall
Wed. 2: Oxford Apollo
Thu. 3: Reading Hexagon
Fri. 4: Guildford G Live
Sat. 5: Cardiff St. David’s Hall
Sun. 6: Southampton Guildhall
There’s a major feature on Thick As A Brick 2, as well as an exclusive print copy of the new St.Cleve Chronicle in the current issue of Prog, on sale now.
Find out more at www.j-tull.com