Jammin Java, Vienna, Virginia
Let’s get the easy stuff out the way:
The support act, Get Right (I think), were perfectly…OK. bunch of gimmicks in search of a settled theme, but competent enough.
Then the main act. The Martin Barre band, featuring the lead singer who looks a bit like a younger anemic Art Malik, some guy on bass, another guy on drums. And Martin Barre. The good stuff: technically very very good. And the material was good as well; some Tull, some original Barre material, and some covers, all played with that distinctive Barre guitar. Fairly good interaction with the crowd.
The ‘room for improvement’ bit: the singer was a credible representation of Ian Anderson, and good in his own right. But the sound mixing (which is a euphemism for ‘make Martin’s guitar 2X louder than everything else combined) made it difficult to hear him clearly. If you know Tull material, you could follow on; if you didn’t, good luck. Mr Barre was also at great pains to explain two things to us: the first that he had been in a “little” band called Jethro Tull; the second that he loves – LOVES – the blues. In case you didn’t get that the first few times, he was generous enough to remind you so that you couldn’t forget how BLUES he is.
By and large, all good. DearlyBeloved and I were at the low end of the age range, and there were a lot of tie dye t shirts and long grey beards. The table behind us, however, were a shower of bastards. Talking during the track, talking when the act was talking to us. In fairness, it wasn’t the whole table. It was one gobshite who was the Self Ordained Oracle On All Things Barre/Tull, and had no shame telling anyone anything, at volume.
It made me think..
The food was genuinely excellent – that was some damn fine pork chilli.
And we got to see the best Tull covers/blues band in the world. More seriously – it’s clearly the Martin Barre show, and he controls everything. I wonder what would happen if he relaxed a bit and just let everyone be a bit more spontaneous.