Ian A. Anderson – no, not that one! – began his musical career in the mid 1960s, heavily influenced by old country blues players, before taking a left-swerve in the early ’70s into what nowadays gets called ‘psych folk’, with a trio of songwriter/ guitarist albums for Bristol’s pioneering and now highly collectable independent label Village Thing.
50 years ago he appeared at the very first Glastonbury Festival. Much later, the Guardian quoted promoter Michael Eavis as saying that “Marc Bolan was late arriving, and I was quite worried, but Ian Anderson saved the festival. He knew I couldn’t pay him, but he played a great set that got everybody in right mood.”
To mark this big anniversary year, the Fabulous Furry Folk Club features Ian A. Anderson at the Glastonbury Assembly Room on Thursday 27th February, surprisingly the first time he’s been booked back in the area since that long-ago festival triumph. To uphold the town’s honour, they’ve guaranteed him an absolute minimum of the contracted £35 fee that the festival was unable to pay him in 1970!
(a scan of Ian’s contract with the festival, 50 years ago).
Ian eventually settled into a personal – and notably English – style, drawing from traditional folk, blues, old-time and world roots musics, making some dozen albums by the end of the 1980s with groups Hot Vultures (with Maggie Holland), the English Country Blues Band and Tiger Moth. Then after a break from live performances in the 1990s he returned to stages and recording this century with the trio Blue Blokes 3 (with PiL’s Lu Edmonds and 3 Mustaphas 3’s Ben Mandelson), the duo The False Beards (again with Mandelson), and a successful re-union tour by Hot Vultures in 2016. Since early 2017, he’s been enjoying performing and recording solo again, with repertoire and anecdotes drawn from across those 50+ years of experience.
Black Crow Blues: https://youtu.be/OrStPf_FJjY
Lord Allenwater: https://youtu.be/vr9TJr20OD8
Everybody’s Killing Me: https://youtu.be/6qVAFePl3e8