It is with great pleasure I can write a glowing review of a new release from the Tull after the half hearted Christmas Album and Live with an Orchestra. I have bad memories of this particular tour nevertheless the album starts spritely enough, although With You There To Help Me will never match the orignal from Benefit. We are taken for an amble nicely enough though Pavane, Empty Cafe, Eurology and why on earth include God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen?
Things start to get really tasty on disc 2. Beside Myself is worth the price alone a masterpiece stunningly played. Some minutes later the brooding drone of the intro to Budapest promises classic live Tull. Indeed brilliant it is and then at about 8 minutes 30 seconds Ian and boys kick the carpet slippers off and right out of the window. This is Tull absolutely flying, reminding us why they the are the best rock band in the world by a hard track mile, bar none. I was listening to this driving to Glasgow left hand cleched fist punching towards the sky (fortunately the sun roof was open)the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end!
New Jig works an absolute treat and on to the standard show closers of Aqualung and Locomotive Breath. Both of these songs are delivered with fresh energy, loads of power and subtle as a Hummer, cracking stuff.
Bursting Out was the benchmark for Tull live albums this matches it and there are moments when it is way out in front. This is nearly as good as the legendary bootleg A Sackful of Trousersnakes and that really is saying something.
Great news for Tull fans makes you think Ian must have at least one more blistering rock album in him.