Information on early performances is very limited, but the recollections and diaries of past members, plus people close to the band, allow a tentative tour history to be compiled. Divider bars in the listing denote missing information, not necessarily periods of inactivity!
The earliest real precursor of Tull, 'The Blades' was formed in 1963, comprising Ian Anderson, John Evans, Jeffrey Hammond & Michael Stephens, performing R&B (Beatles, Stones, etc.) covers, moving into original blues.
|?/?/64||Holy Family Church Hall||Blackpool, UK|
First gig, commemorated by a heritage plaque on the building, unveiled by Ian in 2010.
|13/2/65||Bispham Tennis Club||Blackpool, UK|
The Blades performing at St. Valentines Eve Dance. Booked as an established local band - this wasn't one of their very first shows (though it may have been the first with proper tickets stating the band's name).
John switched from drums to organ in 1965, and Barrie Barlow (aged 14) joined.
By late 1965, Michael had been replaced by Ernie Robinson and a brass section (Jim Doolin & Martin Skyrme) had been acquired, enabling them to play as a jazz-blues, even soul, band, now called 'The John Evan Band'. Chris Riley replaced Ernie.
|??/?/65||Rugby Club||Thornton, UK|
|20/12/65||Boys Grammar School||Blackpool, UK|
Ian, John, and Jeffrey had been pupils here.
Playing as 'The John Evan Blues Band'.
An audience member (and fellow ex-pupil) recalls Ian wearing a bright red jumpsuit and playing the saxophone in addition to guitar & harmonica.
Set included: Chain Gang, Respect, Mr. Pitiful, Summertime, Watermelon Man, and Papa's Got A Brand New Bag
Jeffrey left in early 1966, to be replaced by Derek Ward.
|??/??/66?||St Pauls Church||Blackpool, UK|
Date uncertain - late 1965 or early 1966.
Performing at a Saturday 'hop'.
|12/2/66||The Queens||Cleveleys, UK|
|17/2/66||The Queens||Cleveleys, UK|
|19/2/66||Elizabethan Club||Kirkham, UK|
|25/2/66||Planet Room, Blackpool Tower||Blackpool, UK|
Art School Ball.
|26/2/66||Rugby Club||Lytham St. Annes, UK|
|5/3/66||Elizabethan Club||Kirkham, UK|
May have been at the Rugby Club in Fleetwood, instead.
|6/3/66||Elizabethan Club||Kirkham, UK|
|16/3/66||Waterloo Social Club||Blackpool, UK|
May have been 'Waterloo Hotel' in 1966.
|17/3/66||Elizabethan Club||Kirkham, UK|
|18/3/66||Elizabethan Club||Kirkham, UK|
|19/3/66||Golden Torch||Tunstall (Stoke-On-Trent), UK|
|20/3/66||Top Twenty||Oldham, UK|
|21/3/66||Mr. Smith's||Winsford, UK|
Venue unconfirmed; the band did play here in August, so may have visited before.
|23/3/66||Technical College||Blackpool, UK|
|24/3/66||Youth Club||Cabus, UK|
|26/3/66||Top Twenty||Oldham, UK|
A birthday party, this may have been on 25/3.
|28/3/66||Marlborough Hotel||Marlborough, UK|
|30/3/66||'99' Club||Barrow-In-Furness, UK|
|1/4/66||British Legion||Pilling, UK|
|2/4/66||Twisted Wheel||Manchester, UK|
The birthplace of Northern Soul.
|3/4/66||Twisted Wheel||Manchester, UK|
|4/4/66||Boys Grammar School||Blackpool, UK|
|9/4/66||King's Own||Fleetwood, UK|
|17/4/66||Room At The Top||Wigan, UK|
|21/4/66||Talbot Conservative Club||Blackpool, UK|
|22/4/66||Youth Club||Cabus, UK|
|30/4/66||Peppermint Lounge||Liverpool, UK|
|1/5/66||Golden Torch||Tunstall (Stoke-On-Trent), UK|
|6/5/66||Wally's Disc Club||Preston, UK|
|7/5/66||'99' Club||Barrow-In-Furness, UK|
|8/5/66||'99' Club||Barrow-In-Furness, UK|
|13/5/66||Jigsaw Club||Manchester, UK|
|15/5/66||Miners' Home||Burnley, UK|
|19/5/66||Savoy Bowl||Blackpool, UK|
|20/5/66||Palatine Hotel||Blackpool, UK|
|21/5/66||Room At The Top||Wigan, UK|
|22/5/66||British Legion||Barrow-In-Furness, UK|
|26/5/66||Leyton Institute||Blackpool, UK|
|29/5/66||Top Twenty||Oldham, UK|
|4/6/66||British Cellophane||Barrow-In-Furness, UK|
|10/6/66||Top Twenty||Oldham, UK|
|11/6/66||Room At The Top||Wigan, UK|
|12/6/66||Twisted Wheel||Blackpool, UK|
Not the Manchester venue.
|13/6/66||'99' Club||Barrow-In-Furness, UK|
|25/6/66||Top Twenty||Oldham, UK|
|27/6/66||Palatine Hotel||Blackpool, UK|
|29/6/66||Red Robin||Manchester, UK|
|1/7/66||Room At The Top||Wigan, UK|
|2/7/66||King's Own||Fleetwood, UK|
|3/7/66||Gretna Hall||Carlisle, UK|
|7/7/66||Palatine Hotel||Blackpool, UK|
|8/7/66||Rialto Rooms||Derby, UK|
|10/7/66||Dungeon Club||Nottingham, UK|
|14/7/66||Savoy Bowl||Blackpool, UK|
|15/7/66||Assembly Rooms||Garstang, UK|
|16/7/66||Top Twenty||Oldham, UK|
May have been in Manchester.
|17/7/66||Twisted Wheel||Blackpool, UK|
|20/7/66||Beachcomber Club||Bolton, UK|
|21/7/66||Manor Lounge||Stockport, UK|
|24/7/66||Britannia Rowing Club||Nottingham, UK|
|29/7/66||Southbank Jazz Club||Grimsby, UK|
|30/7/66||The Place||Hanley (Stoke On-Trent), UK|
|31/7/66||Belle Vue||Manchester, UK|
|2/8/66||Peppermint Lounge||Liverpool, UK|
|4/8/66||BRC Club||Stafford, UK|
|6/8/66||Cavern Club||Liverpool, UK|
One source alleges Tull supported John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, but local papers have no record of a Mayall concert.
|7/8/66||Britannia Rowing Club||Nottingham, UK|
Supporting John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
|8/8/66||Mr. Smith's||Winsford, UK|
One source puts this venue in Manchester, 22 miles/36km away.
|10/8/66||Twisted Wheel||Blackpool, UK|
Ian's 19th birthday
|11/8/66||Twisted Wheel||Blackpool, UK|
|12/8/66||Twisted Wheel||Blackpool, UK|
|13/8/66||Aztec Club||Sunderland, UK|
Supporting John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
|14/8/66||'45' Club||Whitley Bay, UK|
|15/8/66||Casino Theatre Club||Blackpool, UK|
|22/8/66||Beachcomber Club||Preston, UK|
|25/8/66||Manor Lounge||Stockport, UK|
|26/8/66||Top Of The Town||Manchester, UK|
|27/8/66||Cavern Club||Liverpool, UK|
|28/8/66||Victoria Ballroom||Chesterfield, UK|
|29/8/66||Royal Lido||Prestatyn, UK|
|30/8/66||Peppermint Lounge||Liverpool, UK|
|2/9/66||Raven's All Ranks Club||RAF Waddington (Lincoln), UK|
|5/9/66||Casino Theatre Ballroom||Blackpool, UK|
|10/9/66||Aztec Club||Sunderland, UK|
|16/9/66||Top Of The Town||Manchester, UK|
|18/9/66||Boat Club||Nottingham, UK|
|?/9/66||?||Casterton (Kirkby Lonsdale), UK|
| ||The John Evan Band - Live '66
Recorded by new guitarist Neil Smith as a rehearsal aid.
Twine Time, Hold On I'm Coming, Let The Good Times Roll, Don't Fight It, Respect, Water, Everything's Gonna Be Alright, Mr. Pitiful, Boot-Leg, Stupidity, Pink Champagne, I Want You, Wade In The Water, Work Song, Shake, Twine Time, Last Night
|22/10/66||Stax Club||Manchester, UK|
According to a press report
, Neil 'Chick Murray' Smith seems to have replaced Chris Riley in November.
|?/11/66||Banqueting Rooms, Tower Ballroom||Blackpool, UK|
A major Blackpool landmark, later mentioned in 1976's 'Big Dipper'.
|?/11/66||Union Rowing Club||Sunderland, UK|
|?/11/66||Boat Club||Nottingham, UK|
|19/11/66||Technical College||Canterbury, UK|
|28/11/66||Stax Club||Manchester, UK|
|11/12/66||Boat Club||Nottingham, UK|
|16/12/66||Boat Club||Nottingham, UK|
|23/12/66||Clouds Club||Derby, UK|
The John Evan Soul Band, supporting The Canadians.
During this period, the line up changed considerably: Jim & Martin left, to be replaced by, amongst others, Tony Wilkinson (saxophone) & Neil Valentine. By mid/late 1966, the line up was Ian, John, Neil Smith, Neil Valentine, Tony Wilkinson and Derek, himself replaced by Glenn Barnard (Cornick) in March '67. Barrie left, being replaced by Ritchie Dharma, but returned by March '67.
|4/2/67||Union Rowing Club||Sunderland, UK|
Glenn Cornick's first concert with the John Evan Band
|5/4/67||Regent Sound Studios (Denmark St.)||London, UK|
Recording three songs, including Ian's 'Take The Easy Way'.
|3/5/67||Granada TV Studios||Manchester, UK|
Recording 'Take The Easy Way' for an appearence on 'Firstimers', b.cast 24/5/67.
From this point, the John Evan Band sometimes played as the 'John Evan Smash'.
|19/6/67||Marquee Club||London, UK|
Their Marquee debut, supporting The Herd.
|?/6/67||Twisted Wheel||Manchester, UK|
|30/6/67||Boat Club||Nottingham, UK|
|4/7/67||Didsbury College Hall||Manchester, UK|
|4/8/67||Marquee Club||London, UK|
Booked, but not played (the van broke down)
|12/9/67||CBS Studios||London, UK|
Recording, mainly cover versions, in a small facility above a fashion store in New Bond St.
This and subsequent sessions were produced by Derek Lawrence.
|14/9/67||CBS Studios||London, UK|
|?/10/67||Caesar's Palace||Luton, UK|
|?/10/67||Civic Hall||Dunstable, UK|
|5/10/67||CBS Studios||London, UK|
|19/10/67||EMI Studios, Abbey Road||London, UK|
|21/10/67||Beachcomber Club||Luton, UK|
Glenn recalls the Beachcomber was in Dunstable; Dunstable and Luton are virtually contiguous. The Beachcomber and Caesar's Palace were in the same building.
The band may have met Mick Abrahams at this show.
The band he was in at the time, McGregor's Engine, supported the John Evan Smash at a show. After their set, the McGregor's Engine bassist announced he was leaving, so that band folded. Then and there, Mick was invited to join the John Evan Smash. However, the timing of other events strongly suggests that that happened at a different show, a couple of weeks after this one, which was probably just a less eventful first meeting.
|22/10/67||EMI Studios, Abbey Road||London, UK|
Recording. Included 'Aeroplane', perhaps also 'Blues For The 18th'.
|24/10/67||EMI Studios, Abbey Road||London, UK|
The band had met Mick Abrahams at a show in Southern England, and invited him to join. Mick didn't want to move North, but the band did want to be closer to London, so moved to Luton on 26/11/67, apart from Neil Smith. Earnings couldn't support a large band; money ran out within a week, so the brass section, Barrie and John left. Ian & Glenn stayed, forming a new band with Mick Abrahams & Clive Bunker, which performed under a number of names, including 'Ian Henderson's Bag O'Blues' and possibly 'Candy-Coloured Rain' (that was a proposed name, but mightn't have been used). 'Jethro Tull' may have been one of these temporary names.
|14/12/67||Marquee Club||London, UK|
The Marquee debut of the Tull line-up, playing as 'Bag O'Blues', supporting The Remo Four.
This may have been at Henry's Blues House, The Station Hotel, and the band may have performed as 'Jethro Tull'.
However, this is unconfirmed, and is from the period before they were using that name permanently.