Chris Maume on pop

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Indy Lifestyle Online
A friend of mine had always thought EM Forster was dead until the great man knocked on his door in college and asked him to turn his record player down. Similarly, news that Jethro Tull are playing a benefit gig for Friends of the Earth at The Grand in Clapham next Thursday may induce one or two double-takes. The truth is that they've never really been away since the late Sixties, without ever reproducing the epic qualities of albums like Aqualung and Thick as a Brick. The Pan-like presence of Ian Anderson (right) has been the only constant in a band that's had more more starting line-ups than Graham Taylor's England, but at The Grand he will be joined by such former colleagues as Mick Abrahams and Martin Barre.

If you find the prospect remotely appealing, you would do jail to get hold of Journey to the Edge: Progressive Rock Classics, which, apart from Tull's 'Living in the Past' (how fitting), includes such fondly-remembered gems as Curved Air's 'Back Street Luv' and Humble Pie's 'Natural Born Boogie'. There's the spiky majesty of 'Burlesque' by Family, whose grizzly-voiced singer, Roger Chapman, was stumbled upon by another friend of mine last year playing in a pub in south Wales. Those with their heads buried in the more recent past may choose to stumble along to Madstock at Finsbury Park tomorrow.

Jethro Tull: The Grand, Clapham, tickets pounds 15, Thursday 11 Aug. Madstock, Finsbury Park, tomorrow, tickets pounds 22.20; 'Journey to the Edge: Progressive Rock Classics', MUSCD 018

(Photograph omitted)

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