Review: Ian Anderson, Southampton Guildhall

Lily Garland

Lily Garland’s moving her career to The Next Chapter

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This was a show of two halves in every sense. For the first half, former Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson played his new album, Homo Erraticus, in full.

This ‘prog-folk-metal’ concept album comes with a detailed back story encompassing 8,000 years. And seeing as the album was only released three weeks ago, it’s perhaps not surprising that the seated audience’s response was at times a little muted.

But the presentation was impeccable – at times verging on musical theatre. And with additional vocalist Ryan O’Donnell acting out some of the passages and making numerous costume changes, it frees Anderson up to concentrate on his flute.

It’s an impressive piece, but after a 20-minute break, the band come back with Living In The Past, as the start of a Tull greatest hits set, the crowd is suddenly much more animated.

Playing before a screen showing footage of the band back in the day, synced to the band on stage, it’s a curious experience seeing the wild-eyed hirsute Anderson of yore behind the elder statesman figure he’s become.

Unsurprisingly though, the set’s climax leans on Tull’s biggest album, Aqualung – closing the mainset with the doomy epic My God and the title track, before the finale Locomotive Breath.