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October (?) 1991

Catfish Rising


Not original Tull (folksy bits, long songs and slightly weird), and not the reconstituted Tull (metallised, Grammy Award winning and normal), Catfish Rising is Ian Anderson's sitting on the fence exercise.

Well, that's how it starts anyway, the Anderson bottom firmly perched on a sharp wooden spike. For those interested, 'Catfish' takes the guitar sound that Martin Barre finally discovered after twenty years on Crest Of A Knave, cobbles it together with a weird folk/blues generally roots kinda thing, and ends up falling flat on its arse.

This is Tull in headless chicken mode, the occasional embryonic good idea sacrificed to the gods of market forces and the odd radio play list. Little works. The upbeat rocky stuff could be any American band with a middle-aged vocalist singing through his nose, and the sound-scapes of the rest are a meandering ramble through the shadows of their former career.

Oh yeah, there's some good flute playing, but in the end Anderson's still sitting on the same spike with the rest of the band balancing on his shoulders. Most of this album's KY jelly.