Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson is assuring fans that safety will be a top priority at the band’s upcoming shows.
The prog veterans are at Perth Concert Hall on September 27 for the only Scottish date on their pandemic-delayed European tour, with the UK leg kicking off in Bath tonight.
In a video message recorded on Tull’s website, Dunfermline-born Anderson – who last year revealed he has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – asks his followers to turn up early at venues for distancing reasons as Covid infections continue to spike.
Do the right thing
“Do the right thing by yourself and everybody else, and just be sure that not only are you being safe with each other, but we are too,” the flute-playing rocker declares.
“All the band and crew will be regularly taking a rapid antigen test every two days and we’ll be making sure we’re safe in each other’s company.
“We want you to feel safe at the concert so don’t be embarrassed if you want to wear a face mask.
“I will certainly be wearing my face mask at all times when I’m not actually on the stage because I’m one of those vulnerable people with a lung disease, so I really, really don’t want to catch Covid.
‘You’ve been very, very patient’
“We hope that you have a great time, and many of you have been very, very patient because you bought your tickets way back before the pandemic hit.
“Finally we’re getting the show back on the road.”
The Prog Years tour is expected to draw heavily on early 70s material from Jethro Tull’s big-selling LPs Stand Up, Benefit, Aqualung, Thick As A Brick and Passion Play, plus work from 2012’s Thick As A Brick 2.
In the online video, Living In The Past hit-maker Anderson, 74, says he’s looking forward to presenting “a few things we haven’t played before or for a long time”, and can be seen briefly brandishing a “setlist”.
It mischievously names a host of classic songs by some of Tull’s greatest contemporaries, including Stairway To Heaven, Smoke On The Water, Brown Sugar, Eleanor Rigby, My Generation, Another Brick In The Wall and Born In The USA.
The list also mentions Tull touchstones Bourée and Locomotive Breath, plus a reference to a “TAAB Medley” – highlights from the band’s 1972 fifth album Thick As A Brick – with tracks from prog peers King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Emerson, Lake And Palmer, Yes and Frank Zappa cheekily earmarked for inclusion.
The Zealot Game
It was announced in the summer that Tull have signed to German indie Inside Out Music, with the band’s 22nd studio album The Zealot Gene – due for release early next year – already in the can.
Anderson’s being joined in Perth by regular cohorts David Goodier (bass), John O’Hara (keyboards), Joe Parrish (guitar) and Scott Hammond (drums), with video backing.
The Wildhearts in Stirling
Separately, Stirling’s live scene kicks back into gear on Tuesday when The Wildhearts hit the Albert Halls for a gig moved from the town’s Tolbooth.
The Newcastle rockers released their 10th studio album 21st Century Love Songs earlier this month – it made the top 10 – to continue a successful revival started with their 2019 LP Renaissance Men, which was their first in a decade.
Originally formed in 1989 by guitar-toting frontman Ginger, The Wildhearts first seized attention on a riotous tour in early 1992 supporting Manic Street Preachers, with their debut LP Earth Vs The Wildhearts appearing later that year.
They enjoyed commercial success in the mid-90s with their PHUQ and Fishing For Luckies albums, with their memorable pop-metal bangers Caffeine Bomb, I Wanna Go Where The People Go and Sick Of Drugs also denting the charts.
After parting in 1998 to pursue side projects, Ginger reunited with right-hand man CJ Wildheart for 2003’s The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed, which spawned a clutch of hits.
The duo are joined in the current line-up by drummer Ritch Battersby and bassist Danny McCormack, who returned to the fold in 2018 after a 15-year absence.
Elsewhere, it’s Ballingry noiseniks Paris Street Rebels at Beat Generator on Wednesday, with tribute ELO Beatles Beyond in at Kinross’s Green Hotel next Friday.