|Issue 4 - April 1972|
Tuesday March 7 - Jethro Tull and Tir Na Nog at Newcastle City Hall.
Tir Na Nog were first to take the stage and produced a good humorous set of about one hour's length. This acoustic set produced some nice harmonies from this duo. Numbers featured by Tir Na Nog included 'Blue Bottle Stew', the new single 'The Lady I Love' (well worth a listen) and a solo which featured Leonard Cohen's 'Bird on the Wire'.
Enter five guys dressed out in trench coats and flat caps, namely Jethro Tull. Tull's line-up were Ian Anderson, Barriemore Barlow - drums, John Evans - piano and organ, Martin Barre - lead and rhythm, Jeffrey Hammond - bass. After discarding their coats, Ian Anderson announced that they were going to perform 'Thick as a Brick', the new LP. The set started with Ian on acoustic guitar backed by Barriemore Barlow on xylophone, suddenly the lights flashed on and Tull crashed into the number. Ian Anderson dived across the stage mockingly conducting the band as he moved around the individual musicians before going into a solo on flute which produced some real extremes, sometimes gentle and soft and now violent and screaming.
John Evans entered the solo on piano and after a short passage, we were thrown back into some heavy mind shattering rock. The set was then interrupted by a short burst of humour from the band and as the lights came on, it was discovered that a wigwam had been erected in the middle of the stage from which two guys emerged. A flash of colour as lights tabbed on and an explosion of sound as again we hurtled back into 'Thick as a Brick' - powerful, heavy and rich in sound. After this incredible passage, a solo from Ian on acoustic covered by his vocals, and the set ended. Tull received a standing ovation to which they returned at least another 30 minutes of excellent sound. A performance which reminded us that Tull are not a band to be easily forgotten.
The audience gave the captain a great reception but seemed a little quiet and stunned at the end. Beefheart's magic and promise is perhaps a little vulnerable when he's before us in the flesh. People seem to prefer the legend and the myth. This isn't to detract from a really great character who is only too human, even if unpredictable, and who leaves Muther Grumble readers the following message:
Love over gold
PS There will be an interview with Captain Beefheart in the next Muther Grumble.
In MG 3's story about Paul McCartney's group Wings playing at a Newcastle University hall of residence, our source got its facts wrong. £201 was taken at the door, and was all given to McCartney. He gave back £40, because Havelock Hall had already laid out that much for a folk concert which they ran free, since it was packed out for the Wings concert. These are the facts brought to you courtesy of the treasurer of Havelock Hall.
Blues From Your Backyard