Jethro Tull, Enmore - Review
Some people never got Jethro Tull. They didn't like Ian Anderson's singing, or the music was too eclectic and mannered.
Yet the recordings gave little indication of the live band: so much more taut; a beast of a completely different order of potency, theatricality and humour. Few who witnessed their performances, especially in the early days, were not converted.
Tull's biggest crime was to release about the most vilified album in rock history - A Passion Play - at the peak of their popularity. Once the derision began, the band swiftly became a scapegoat for all the excesses of '70s rock, a rage further amplified by the punk onslaught.
Yet Anderson, the flute-tooting, prancing singer, leader and songwriter, was not easily deterred, and he and Martin Barre, the ever-faithful electric guitarist, danced on down their off-beat path, albeit with many shifts in personnel.
This time - for the first time - a few cracks were showing in the not-so-heavy-metal armour. Anderson's voice was always a modest device: good at mockery, tenderness and flashes of other emotions, but never big on volume, range or holding a note. Now, unless he was flu-affected, it is only a ghost of its former self, and some of the songs seemed to be crying out for key changes to give him a leg up.