Homo Erraticus – The New Studio Album from Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson

To be released in April 2014

After the last two TAAB shows (for all time?) in the Czech Republic, sniffle sniffle, we head home to celebrate two years of great concerts around the world. Thanks to you, dear reader and devoted punter, it has been a rewarding, if challenging time for us all.

JT-tourposter

To be able to perform so much new and conceptual old work together is a gift not many bands would have bestowed upon them. Old lags like me are supposed to fade away with the occasional revival or best-of tour in comfortable, familiar places. But out with a bang, I say. No comfort zone repetition and cozy ride into the final sunset. Turn up the wick. Burn a little brighter. Take on the impossible and take a trip. A wild river raft ride down the canyons of the Far Side.

And so to a new album and new tours scheduled for next year. Homo Erraticus – for that is the title of the next epic voyage into the Progressive Rock pantheon of strangeness – will begin rehearsals and recording next week. After, that is, Monday’s rush or three to the lavvy-loo following the ingestion of that foul liquid feast which is the prep for the colonoscopy I must endure every couple of years. Clean out the passages. Leave all in a state of pink and spotless readiness to welcome the investigative foray of the curious one-eyed burrowing camera-worm. And you thought the on-stage prostate exam was bad enough? I really must try to get the recorded video this time as the camera snakes its way into the far recesses of my……mind.

But, if I can cope with it, so can you chaps, made of your equally stern stuff. Over the age of 40? Got any family history of Colon Cancer? Give it serious thought.

But back to Homo Erraticus. Written earlier this year, commencing 09.00 hours on January first, it chronicles the weird imaginings of one Ernest T Parritt, as recaptured by the now middle-aged Gerald Bostock after a trip to Mathew Bunter’s Old Library Bookshop in Linwell village. Bostock and Bunter (sounds like a firm of dodgy solicitors) came across this dusty, unpublished manuscript, written by local amateur historian Ernest T. Parritt, (1873 -1928), and entitled “Homo Britanicus Erraticus”.

The illustrated document summarises key historical elements of early civilisation in Britain and seems to prophesy future scenarios too. Two years before his death, Parritt had a traumatic fall from his horse while out hunting with the Vale Of Clutterbury Hounds and awoke with the overwhelming conviction of having enjoyed past lives as historical characters: a pre-history nomadic neolithic settler, an Iron Age blacksmith, a Saxon invader, a Christian monk, a Seventeenth Century grammar school boy, turnpike innkeeper, one of Brunel’s railroad engineers, and even Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. This befuddled, delusional obsession extends to his prophecy of future events and his fantasy imaginings of lives yet to come….

Bostock has returned once again to lyric writing, basing his new effort on the Parritt papers and I have had the fun and frolics of setting all to music of Folk-Rock-Metal stylings.

But you can call it Prog.

The concerts next year kick off with the 22-date UK tour (details in the Tours pages of this website) and move on to various concerts in Europe through the Summer before we embark on the two scheduled US tours in September/October/November. After that – maybe Australia, New Zealand, who knows. And then on into 2015 with a bunch more, perhaps Latin America, India and beyond?

The new album will be played in its entirety in the first half of the show and after the intermission, we launch into a collection of Tull classics from my personal favourite songs. All illustrated and complemented by video and on-stage embellishments from my increasingly theatrically-motivated troupe of musical thespians. OK – that’s exaggerating a little but they will bring a tear to the eye, a tightening to the heart and a queue for the loo as they utter brave soliloquies, bathed in the spotlight of the gods. I gave them the lines from the emerging “Show Bible” last week and they haven’t spoken to me since. Obviously too busy trying them out in the shower and seeking the approval of the family dog. (Yes – I know it’s odd that they shower with the dog but they are all quite pet-friendly, as musicians go.)

The “Show Bible” is my name for the lengthy document which has the timeline and detailed description of all stage choreography, lighting cues, sound and effects cues and video links. This is only in its early stages, of course, as we haven’t rehearsed anything quite yet, but the whole point of doing it is to build the rehearsal and recording process together with the live stage show as a coherent whole.

While Bostock enjoys a well-earned vacation out of the country, we can feel free, during the next three weeks, to edit, change and otherwise abuse his lyrical efforts as necessary. Things have to “sing” well. They might look pretty on the page but they have to work as sung, performed lyrics. Not merely to read well as paltry poetry. Album to be released around the second week of April.

So – off to work we go in the studio. Wish us luck, dear readers and may the bringers of good fate and fortune smile on you too. But first – how about a quick Lamb Vindaloo after the Great Emptying to come on Monday? Thought not….