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12 July 1972


Leering, sneering, ranting, raving flautist Ian Anderson led his group, Jethro Tull, through a brilliantly sustained and successful rock concert at the Hordern Pavilion last night.

Like a crazy Scottish rake, he conducted a madhouse of superb musical and theatrical performers. Anderson sometimes blew a fiendish flute. At other times he strummed a restful balladist's guitar.

When he was not playing, he danced about the stage, conducting his four assistants with his twirling flute. He never let up, even though the group played continuously for two and a half hours.

His right-hand man, Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, played bass as if he was a cunning French baron. At the sudden increases in volume he would stride and strut, trailing his guitar lead. On odd occasions he turned into a pukka BBC radio announcer.

Storming at intervals about the arena was John Evan, playing the part of a demented English aristocrat. When seated at his organ, or at the piano, he flailed his arms in wild response to Anderson.

The whirlwind drummer, Barriemore Barlowe [sic], kept cool in the garb of a neck-to-knee swimming champion. And the end of his solo, he led the group in a hilarious chorus of crash-cymbals.

The lead guitarist, Martin Barre, sought no greater status amid his peer-group than that of a pink-cheeked yeoman.

Jethro Tull were superb musically. Their numbers were beautifully controlled, despite frenzied spurts of adrenalin. Their riffs were almost classical in origin. But above all, Jethro Tull were superb theatrically. Their decadent dramatics dragged their evil electronics to great heights.

Jethro Tull's performance derived from the theatre of the absurd, with frogmen and apes making unexpected entrances. The group took the foppish drama of The Who and the insane music of the early Pink Floyd to their logical conclusions.

The audience obviously appreciated every delicate note, every sinister beat. They kept a stunned silence throughout the first number — a 70-minute recital of 'Thick as a Brick' — and were knocked out by the collection of older songs.

Jethro Tull can be seen and heard at the Hordern Pavilion again tonight and tomorrow night — if there are any tickets left.



Thanks to Paul Koff for this article.