Just witnessed your
best live gig?..send us a review!
Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool 13 May 2008
Pete Whalley commented in a previous review that there was the distinct aroma of
involuntary gases during the Tull encore. More than one observer tonight noted a
pungent smell of barbeque in the intermission. Just where did that come from?
A by-product of Tull’s target demographic maybe, but gaseous emissions aside
this 40th Anniversary bash was somewhat lack-lustre. Where was the giant balloon
and the party poppers? Only GRTR! blogger and special guest Anna Phoebe (looking
like she’d just fallen off a lucky man’s Christmas tree) added a frisson to
proceedings. Anna only appeared on two Tull tunes (Bouree and the encore, Locomotive Breath)
and her solo showcases seemed somewhat out of place.
Photo: Lee Millward/GRTR!
We were promised some special guests on this tour but there was no sign tonight
of some of Ian Anderson’s former henchmen: Messrs Abrahams, Bunker and Cornick,
even John Evan. Instead they were recalled through an impressive movie-ola
backdrop, the flowing beards and hair contrasting starkly with what we saw on
The band showcased their newly reissued debut album ‘This Was’ and this really
set the tone for the evening with a distinct emphasis on Tull pre-1973. This
focus on the band’s early period is hard to fathom: wasn’t this supposed to be a
celebration of the band’s 40 years, rather than their first half decade? Only
'Heavy Horses' and 'Farm On The Freeway' pushed the set nearer the twenty-first
There is nothing wrong with the early Tull catalogue – here played as ever with
reverence, gusto and occasionally slightly rearranged or extended (for example,
'We Used To Know', ‘Dharma For One’) – but a lot of it does sound a little
dated. And, in truth, there is not a lot to interest a younger generation save
perhaps for Anderson's tireless showmanship and Martin Barre's classy guitar
It is inevitable that, in a 40 year career, albums will get overlooked, great
songs missed out, but – sorry to be the party pooper – this concert just didn’t
do justice to the band’s legacy. Here’s to the big 5-0 perhaps? Anderson joked
about the Horlicks mugs on the merchandise stall and, next time, the
incontinence pads. Some own-brand air-freshener, for the set-list if not the
audience, might be a better bet.
Review by David Randall
|Print this page in printer-friendly format
|Tell a friend about this page