Ian Anderson - vocals, flute, guitar; Martin Barre - guitar, mandolin; Gerry Conway - drums; Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin, vocals; Peter-John Vettese - keyboards, vocals
Recorded on their The Broadsword and the Beast album tour for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, Anderson and company provide an even-paced evening that bridges their new material and the commercial breakthrough hits that made Jethro Tull one of the biggest bands of the 1970s, although many of the biggest hits (such as "Teacher," "My God," "Hymn 43," and "Thick as a Brick") are notably absent. Anderson and crew rely heavily on the Broadsword material to fill out the show, playing only three of the big, classic hits at the end of the set.
The material is good, although not especially memorable from a "classic" standpoint, but things do heat up when bassist Dave Pegg and drummer Gerry Conway (both formally of Fairport Convention) launch into "The Swirling Pit," a traditional Celtic drinking jig. The show ends with a powerhouse triple punch: "Aqualung," "Minstrel in the Gallery," and the crowd-pleaser "Locomotive Breath."
Nearly 20 years after Jethro Tull's inception, only Ian Anderson remained from the original lineup of bassist Glen Cornick, guitarist Mick Abrahams, and drummer Clive Bunker. This recording, done for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, was captured long after the band stopped manufacturing their original FM radio hits, and Ian Anderson himself appears onstage as a living caricature of the vile man who appears on the cover of Aqualung. Tull had lost none of their ability to make great music, even if the live show is considerably more subdued.
It was in the late 1970s that Anderson became involved with traditional Celtic music and began his distinct blend of this minstrel music and contemporary hard rock. He would often blend Celtic and Middle Eastern percussion elements, a style he developed initially with "Fat Man," an early hit for the band.
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