Wonderful venue , superb centre front row seats
I really enjoyed the concert , but it was sad
to witness so many things which surely indicate that
the end of Tull is not far away.
On this showing the Ian Anderson band were
better than Tullís 2004 incarnation. They were not
complacent as Tull had been on the UK 2004 tour.
The mistakes which marred Tulls February tour were
not apparent. The Ian Anderson band improvised and
played with a freedom rarely seen in Tull's playing
these days. Both My God and Budapest featured new
arrangements and extensive improvised sections by
Ian and Florian Opahle. The 21 yr old guitar player
Florian Opahle was magnificient. His acoustic guitar
work was exemplary and his limited opportunities on
electric guitar were spine tingling. Simply
outstanding. I would love to see him play in a truly
electric Tull setting guesting and swapping guitar
leads with Martin Barre.
Keyboardplayer John Oí Hara was excellent and would
be a great replacement for A. Giddings if Ian wanted
to shake things up.
The musical highlight was an extended Aqualung
which began with Aquadiddley and then segued into
the orchestral arrangement which was played
extensively durinhg the 1995 Divinities and Roots To Branches tours. It was superb. Ians flute playing
throughout the night was flawless. One minute melodic
and subtle in tracks such as Griminelli's Lament from
Rupis Dance, the next, rasping and viscious as in
an extended solo in My God.
However, the negatives outweighed the good
performance of the band . Half empty venue. The set
list was disappointing and hardly reflected the gigs
billing as an Ian Anderson solo concert. Many fans
had travelled specifically to see songs from Rupis
dance and SLOB being performed. What we got was
neither Tull nor something new, rather a watered down Tull gig . In
fact almost a rehash of the disappointing Edinburgh concert some 5 months ago.
Many in the audience had attended that gig and
speaking to some it was clear they were suitably
unimpressed by hearing more or less the same gig
It was undeniable that all the players performed
well and the music was magnificient, but a check of
previous concerts played by this band indicates
their range of songs played is limited. More rehearsal and more songs at their
disposal and this band could become a effective
vehicle for any new Ian Anderson material and a
worthy alternative to Tull.
Ians voice was reasonable throughout the night but was
in tatters during Budapest and
Locomotive Breath. I donít have a problem with that,
Ianís music is more than a voice.
A number of songs including slipstream and up to me
had been dropped from the setlist with Ian apparently
suffering from flu. This explains the high proportion
of instrumentals played.
A further negative, I donít expect to hear the same
stage patter as on the 2004 tour. It was laboured and
the audience of die hards appeared muted and bored.
Similarly where once Ianís hernia movements were
funny, to do it twice in one night during Bouree and
My God is somewhat stretching it.
However , it is easy to be critical. I for one am
just glad that Ian continues to perform and
entertain on a regular basis.