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JETHRO TULL – Around The World Live 4DVD set

| 22 August 2013 | Reply

Shock Entertainment
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8/10

Jethro Tull - Around The World Live DVD

Culled mostly from concerts filmed for TV broadcasts, plus a few bootlegs along the way, Around The World Live skips Jethro Tull’s early Aqualung tramp days but features many of singer Ian Anderson & Co’s concert setups from the 70’s through to 2005.

The progression is an astonishing one as Anderson visibly ages from scene to scene, his theatricality lessening with each passing block of years. The band, of course, change dramatically as well, with Martin Barre remaining the only constant since 1969, and as faces change so the costumes become more sedate and – in some cases – dull (I’m looking at you, bass player Jonathan Noyce).

The band members and stage antics may have changed radically through the decades, but Jethro Tull’s music has always remained the same – which is to say, rampantly diverse and eclectic, though always grounded in a sliding scale of blues based rock on the one end of the spectrum through to pastoral folk on the other.

You certainly wouldn’t imagine a wild eyed, flute playing tramp – or, more appropriately, given this collection, medieval dandy – perched on one leg in front of a band all hair and riffs would have much longevity in the music business now or then, but Tull’s record speaks for itself.

Highlights abound across these four DVDs, despite the film and audio quality betraying their often low-fi bootleg origins. Don’t let that put you off though – the magic here is hearing the different bands, the different arrangements, and seeing Tull and Anderson mature before our very eyes.

1976’s Tampa, Florida set features Thick As A Brick classily entwined through several other tracks of the day; a 1999 show from Hilversum, Holland features a more acoustic Tull, and includes the title track from Anderson’s solo album The Secret Life Of Birds; and DVD 4 is an entire 2005 show from Switzerland which features a bit of everything that a Jethro Tull fan could ask for.

After so long plying his timeless yet anachronistic trade, Ian Anderson is pretty much an acquired taste these days – though one acquired through the decades by many discerning people worldwide, and if this collection doesn’t entice new listeners to the fold, then it goes one better by giving those in the know something a bit special to indulge themselves in at their leisure.

 

Shane

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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