I've been in absentia from the Group for a couple of days. I journeyed up to the Shropshire/Welsh borders to visit Dee Palmer to listen to and talk with her about her new album, "Through darkened glass" and to interview her about her career and life in general as well as her long time involvement and commitment to the music of the band that means so much to us.
Dee's generosity meant that my request for an interview was greeted with an enthusiasm that has only ever been matched by Martin. Her reply was yes, but come up and stay over, you can hear my new work, I'll collect you from the station, what are your dietary needs? Dee is a completist. Nothing seems to faze her and she is a welcoming and generous host.
We talked for the best part of two days, all of it being a frank and very honest account of Dee's view of her life; pre, during and post Tull. It was fascinating, humorous and often eye-opening. Which means I have to now set about transcribing it and writing it up.
Luckily, I can do this in two parts, one for our book relating to Dee's life associated with the band both as a contributor/composer/arranger and as a full time band member recording and touring. That will follow later.
The other part will be more immediate and that's relating to Dee's new work.
"Through Darkened Glass" is a collection of songs that, in most instances involve personal recollections of life, family and friendships with band members. Music and lyrics are all by Dee with musical and production collaboration from Stephen Carter who added guitar and drums. Martin Barre guests on three of the tracks.
Dee takes her music seriously and this work underscores that. The album encompasses a wide range of styles and a rich textural overlay of sounds that makes the 53 minute of music fly by. On first listening I have to say I really, really enjoyed it; you get to pick out many musical references from classical and popular musical history as well as the style and distinctive orchestrations that Dee brought to Tull.
I hope to add more of a review and other related media later, but as a teaser it was great to hear Urban Apocalypse as Dee intended it to sound with choral input from members of the distinguished Monteverdi Choir as well as Dee's full rendition of Forever Albion (Coronach as she originally intended it to sound). Add to that Martin Barre on three tracks along with some wonderful work by Stephen Carter and you'll find there's another essential album you will want to add to your collection.
Dee is finalising the release date and we'll let you know more details as soon as it is planned to be released.
They made me realise that a lot of detritus as well as water had flowed under the bridges between various sites and forums and that maybe, just maybe, a few of those bridges were in need of repair or rebuilding.
That was made even more evident when I came over to see you and Martin in the U.S. earlier this year. A lot of folk, fan's I didn't know personally, asked why there were so many fan groups and what caused the rifts between them. I couldn't do anything but reply as honestly, but as politely as I could, not flaming anyone person or group, explaining that the issues go back a long way. Some I spoke with openly said they'd hoped for a reconciliation, again I honestly replied that I didn't think that would happen as the forums had all gone off along different paths with their own agendas, but that I personally, and I know you agree with me, would welcome a little less intolerance and would hope that the owners of other sites would feel the same way.
I know you're trying to genuinely assist Martin as a friend [as well as Ian] in anyway you can, but I was pretty appalled to hear that your attempts to share information and access to Martin's music met with you being banned by one of the other forums for no other apparent reason.
I can only say that we've moved on, if others want to go on fanning the same old flames, let them. You, I and we, including Erin, as a group have done our best to try, we remain as inclusive as we can be and I'm good to let people know that along with the circumstances as to why other fans may not get to hear about accessing Martin's music as readily as those in our group.
I should have mentioned the excellent piece written by Dave Rees in the latest edition of 'A New Day'.
I think it perfectly sums up the issues in running any discussion based group on any social media platform, particularly a forum, and that's how you go about handling the trolls and so called fans who are only out to cause trouble, disrupt or bad mouth you and/or your members Many "fans" have been using legitimate issues, such as Martin's departure, Ian's vocals, the use of the band name etc, etc, to inflame arguments amongst other fans, or against other fan sites, God knows how many we've had to deal with over the years. The level of vitriol and shear nastiness some of these people carry around with them seems to know no bounds.
I think Dave did a huge service highlighting the problem to those of us who run real fan sites and I think it's becoming increasingly evident to the scale of the problem caused by troublemakers and keyboard warriors.
No-one running a site that is catering for real fans should want to piss any person off. We've all made mistakes and caused or got embroiled in arguments. Maybe we should all be a bit more tolerant of other fan sites, maybe some can't go that far, but if we really support the wider notion of an 'entity' called Jethro Tull then we are not one another's enemy, or at least we shouldn't be. No-one runs a group like this for competition, the quality and content may vary from site to site but that's about personal standards or simply it might be the amount of time you have to devote to it, the bottom line is it's not as if we make any money doing this and I know for us here at The Jethro Tull Group given the amount of personal time and personal money we put into it, it really is nothing more than a labour of love.
Maybe we should all focus on trying to deal with the real trolls and so called trouble making 'fans' we all have to deal with, and maybe filter them out, and from here on I'll be doing it in a less tolerant way in future, no three strikes and out, act the arse and you're gone.
Treat these places like they are someone's home, crap on the doorstep and the door will hit you hard and squarely on the arse as you leave.
it's horses for courses, Facebook serves a gap in the social media world but unregulated it leads to too many problems, I know we possibly take some stick for being a regulated and managed page, but as a wise man once said it means filtering out the xxxxxxxxx trolls and those looking to just spam pages up. It's a sad but true consequence of everyone having a voice. Luckily we do post our guidelines and we work hard to manage them albeit fairly and honestly.
There is scope to use these chat boards for longer, possibly more meaningful, less tangential chats.
There's no rules to say they have to be filled up everyday, or even accessed by hundreds, as long as it's like minded fans who discuss around the broad topic that is Tull, music and a bit of fun then I'm good with that.
That show kicked off a series of three gigs for me on consecutive nights, during a week over on the U.S.east coast. here's a personal log of that trip, just follow the link to the blog posted over at our WordPress site.
It's always difficult keeping secrets, but we try, don't want to spoil anyone's fun. Yep. we're looking forward to the SftW set, it should be of interest to those who crave something more than just a badly copied rendition of sight and sound in mock HD on someone's YouTube channel.
The WOR stuff is interesting to say the least, and its reasonably good quality, no doubt it'll get bootlegged as soon as we let it see the light of day, you try to do something free for the fans and someone always wants to make a quick buck out of it. And, there'll be more stuff to follow, something quite nice is being worked on as we speak.
We thought about padding the forum out, but decided against it, other than places like the Hoffmann forums, they're all pretty much dead in the water now, with the admins and moderators clinging on for dear life talking with one another about 'padding' [sort of incontinence pads for verbal waste].
We still drop by here, keep an eye on things, make sure the tumbleweeds don't drift over from other forums, dust it down now and then and redirect people to our party house. Plus, we've got some new media stuff opening soon, and all our attention is focussed on that and our page over at Facebook. Drop by, we've just passed 5000 members over there and we'd really love you to be part of the active gang of posters and contributors. We don't let anyone in, we run a tight ship, no bullshit stuff and we avoid the padding and filler posters, bu we've sort of got a collective DNA thing going on between us on the SW sets so you'd always be welcomed with open arms and minds!
So do we, the love is still there for the band and our members.
Sadly it seems the days of forums are diminishing in a world of immidiacy and social media chat; unless of course its just half a dozen of you talking the same old, same old, day in and day out, posting the same old stuff to fill your day and pad out your forum.
well, we'd love to keep it goimng here, our members are important to us, we have nearly 5000 now over at our facebook page and we're planning a few new things to improve access to our back pages so to speak. Why not join us over there, if you're not already there, we'd be happy to see you and any of the old crowd.
Just a reminder to our members here and to anyone dropping by, you can access The Jethro Tull Group more readily over at our Facebook page. it can be found by visiting the links on our hub page at www.jethrotullgroup.com or link directly to it from here:
Totally gobsmacked by this mornings news. I thought Bowie would be around forever, forever changing styles and pushing new boundaries. Only last night I ordered Blackstar.
Back at school when we were 14 years old and getting into serious music we all had our favourites, but whether it was Tamla, Rock, Prog, Soul, Blues, American bands, Singers, or Guitarists, but the one artist who seemed to transcend it all and appeal to all, was Bowie.
I wouldn't be surprised if pretty much everyone in my year at school, boys and girls and anyone inbetween, had copies of 'The man who sold the world' or 'Hunky Dory' and they most definitely had 'Ziggy'. I remember avidly buying Bowie's work from The Man Who Sold The World' onwards only lapsing at Tin Machine.
My big Bowie regret was giving up the opportunity to see the last 'Ziggy' show at Hammersmith. I got to see him live a few times though including Live Aid and the Serious Moonlight tour and that was pretty special.
I will always remember seeing him for the first time as Ziggy on TotP and my dad's reaction.
Hard to pick a favourite, but for me 'Queen Bitch' from The Old Grey Whistle Test show sticks in mind for me.
But he had a Tull connection and this is it - Steeleye Span with Bowie on 'To know him is to love him' from 'Now we are six' produced by Ian Anderson
RIP Bowie, you gave us a lot, including a few cool haircuts!
A bit of a holiday medical emergency over here, but nevertheless, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, may it let you meet the challenges it throws at you and allow you to win, with best wishes to ALL friends old and new!
I mostly disagree, but as you say each to their own and we are more than happy to have reviews that add to the debate rather than detracting and putting all comments into the same old 'X' can do no wrong/'Y' can do no right' camps.
I think this album shows Martin at his most inventive for quite a while. But it's late and I need some sleep, and so I'll try to add a bit more later.
In the meantime, go to your room and write out a hundread times 'Martin is a rock god who should not be questioned'
I'm gutted not to have managed to come over to see these shows. The reviews I have seen from a lot of very discerning fans have whetted my appetitte to see Martin again as soon as possible. The shows sound amazing and the reviews equally so. Some nice professional reviews but I'd set greater store by the majority of fans who have always rated Martin but who have been even more impressed by him on this outing.
I was lucky enough to be at this gig. we had seats downstairs that had been obstructed by the sound desk and were offered some at the back with a restricted view. We complained and managed, after a bit of heated exchange, to get moved to the circle, front row, about half a dozen seats from the Royal Box with no-one between us and them.
The show was performed in the presence of The Prince and Princess of Wales. The Prince looked bored with most of the acts but did appear to take an interest in Tull. Diana, seemed to enjoy the entire show, and did look amazingly stunning.
This is jack in the Green, I'll add Pussy Willow soon.
Jethro Tull Group Member Alex Pattie recently did a short interview with Unnur Birna Björnsdóttir for us. Unnur Birna is appearing on-screen as part of Ian Anderson’s current “Jethro Tull – The Rock Opera” tour.
Our thanks to Alex for arranging and conducting the interview. Over to Alex!
Alex Pattie - I had the pleasure of interviewing the beautiful and extremely talented Unnur Birna, the new revelation of Ian’s latest project, The Rock Opera. Unnur Birna is a Reykjavik-based violinist and singer. She has performed as a session musician with countless Icelandic and international artists while recording and appearing as a solo artist as well.
The Jethro Tull Group - Let’s talk a bit about your history.How did you discover your love for music? We know you’re a very good violin player.How did it all start?
Unnur Birna Björnsdóttir - Well, my parents are musicians so music was my destiny. I played my first gig with my parents in my mother's belly. Then I suck all her energy away, she had to stop gigging, but she started again when I came out and then I slept in the case of my father's keyboard on tours and rehearsals. I recently found a sound recording of one-week old me making baby sounds! I was 2 when I started singing in a choir and playing piano, - and 4 when I first touched violin. When I was 3 we moved to a little village in the north (our apartment was inside the music school, surprisingly) and my uncle came by with his violin and let me hold it and play it. My parents had a video camera and of course, they recorded it. So, my crib was a keyboard case and my milk came from a singer, my lullabies were made by my parents... Just like the grass is green, snow is white and wheels are round – I love music.
TJTG - Tell us about your musical influences. Who inspired you the most on composing your own music?
UBB - I listened most to the music I found on my parent's vinyls. My mom showed me her Carpenters albums when I was 6, and Karen's story took a hold of my mind and still got me. I also found some Carole King cassettes, I discovered The Mahavishnu Orchestra when I was 13, and of course my father's rock band played Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin amongst their own music. I went with my father to jazz concerts every Thursday when I was a teenager (I was a really unusual teenager) and there I got to know my best friends. I also met Robin Nolan and other gypsy jazz players and took master classes in the summer. I studied classical violin also, so I think my music is some fusion of old school rock, prog, pop and jazz with a bit of romantic classic on top. I think I'll never choose just one way to go.
TJTG - Which type of music suits you the most?
UBB - I love listening to jazz fusion, I love playing swing and rock, I like singing classical jazz and pop – and I love pretending to be a ballerina with classical music. But the jazz is floating in my veins, so if I had to choose one, I'd say jazz.
TJTG - Any plans for the future? We’re waiting for an album, eh …
UBB - Yes, my “prog-pop” album is almost ready. It has been for 2 years now. I'm just building up courage to release it! My jazz album is in my fingers and head. My electro-duo is releasing it's first song soon. My swing band, Swing Kompaníið is touring in Iceland, my other band, a men's choir with a 5 piece rock band, just released a CD, – we will be playing a lot in 2016. I think I'm standing in the shadow of myself...
TJTG - The Rock Opera - Have you seen the show? What do you think?
UBB - I've only seen clips from youtube but I really like it! Ian is great onstage and I think this virtual show is something new, fresh and theatrical. I would really like to watch it live!
TJTG - How did you get to meet Ian Anderson?
UBB - In 2009 I first played with him in Háskólabíó, Reykjavík. I met him when I lived in Italy 2012 and played again with him in Iceland 2013. He is fantastic and one of my dearest friends.
TJTG - How did you take the approach to participate in the show?
UBB - I'm really honored and thankful when someone wants me somewhere. I was really glad when Ian offered me this job and I did as well as I could.
TJTG - Did you come to the UK to film your parts or did you do them in Iceland?
UBB - I flew to London to do my parts. Two days for the singing and playing and one day in front of the camera.
TJTG - Are you a big fan of Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull?
UBB - Oh yes. I managed through my classical lessons by playing along with the Tull albums between the Sonatas and Concertos.
TJTG - Which was your favourite Tull tune to play? Why?
UBB - I loved singing Witch's Promise and Living in the Past. I think because they were my favorites before...
TJTG - Would you like to perform this show live with the band?
UBB - Of course!
Alex Pattie - A huge THANK YOU to the lovely Unnur, for taking the time to answer my questions. She’s one of a kind! P.S: I must confess, I’m also a musician and one of my biggest dreams is to share the stage with my mighty Ian, the man who has watched over my childhood and whose music has become a huge part of my life. So, what can I say is that…Unnur, you’re the luckiest! But you deserve the best! Good luck and best wishes to you in your career! With love,
TJTG – Thanks Alex for taking the time to get the interview and conduct it. Your time and Unnur’s time in doing this is greatly appreciated.
AIR Studios began its long and prestigious history in 1969 when Sir George Martin left EMI to establish an independent recording complex in the heart of central London. It became one of the most successful studio operations in the world. It is currently under threat due to a neighbouring planning application for residential uses which could impact on the operation of the studios.
One of our chat board members and Dutch Progressive Rock Page's contributor Owen Davies asked if we could publicise an upcoming 'DPRP' special on instrumental flute prog rock band SOLARIS, which we are happy to do. It is going to be published on Thursday 3rd December at:
Quizz Kid: Well, we tried to spread the love and the word, build bridges, but when you get booted and blocked by twats for no reason it's a bit like the trash taking itself out for collection, good riddance to bad rubbish.
Jul 12, 2017 23:36:42 GMT
Gerrald Bostock: 'well ....to "their" own pressing problems and the hate they must unwind.....Leaves me with "Nothing to Say"
Jul 14, 2017 11:55:58 GMT