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29 July 1974

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Four years ago the leader of English pop group, Jethro Tull, won an award he didn't like — the pop figure most hated by parents. Things have changed and Ian Anderson, whose outrageous stage acts caused many mums to stop their daughters seeing him, claims that half of Jethro Tull audiences are made up of parents.

"Now the mothers are coming with their children," says Anderson pictured at right.

On Saturday he, and the other four members of Jethro Tull, arrived in Melbourne. Their dress was striking. Anderson wore black knee-high boots, tight black pants, and black leather jacket and gloves.

When one young lady asked him if he fancied himself as a bikie, he simply replied:

"I fancy myself anyway."

The theme of much of the group's material revolves around religion, working class struggles, and send-ups of upper class values. On religion the group sings of a God that doesn't have to be wound up on Sundays.

Songwriter Ian Anderson says most of his songs reflect his own beliefs and experiences, but many come from the ideas of people around him.

At Festival Hall last night the group performed a selection of the best songs from their first six albums, plus a few tracks from their latest, War Child.

Although the new songs went down well with the capacity crowd, the best response came from early numbers: 'Aqualung', 'Cross-eyed Mary', and 'Locomotive Breath'.

Solos by Ian Anderson on flute, Martin Barre on guitar and John Evan on piano were all highlights.

Throughout the concert, bass player Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond appeared as an uncoordinated puppet as he half strutted, half danced across the stage.

John Evan, wide eyed as if in a trance, put his face through a series of contortions as they went through heavier instrumental numbers. Drummer Barriemore Barlow, wearing a basketball uniform and tights, was continually on hand during the lighter portions.

Jethro Tull will be playing at Festival Hall again tonight.



Thanks to John Brett for this article.