Ian Anderson
January 23rd 2005
Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Scotland

By E.O. Davis


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 again.

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.

Setlist:

Life Is A Long Song
Skating Away...
Eurology
Up The 'Pool
Greensleeved
Jack In The Green
Boris Dancing
Pavane
Griminelli's Lament
Cheap Day Return
Mother Goose
Bouree
Weathercock
Living In The Past
In The Grip Of Stronger Stuff
Aqualung
My God
Budapest

Locomotive Breath

 

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