To the main lobby john evan band tour history archive of Tull live sets 1965-2023 concert setlists
Tull setlist database UK tour and special gigs early tour history
classic soul/jazz rock and blues
1965-7  1968
1969    1970
1971    1972
1973    1974
1975    1976
1977    1978
1979    1980
  1981  1982-3
  1984  1985-6
1987    1988
1989    1990
1991    1992
1993    1994
1995    1996
1997    1998
1999    2000
2001    2002
2003    2004
2005    2006
2007    2008
2009    2010
2011    2012
2013    2014
2015    2016
2017    2018
2019    2020
2021    2022
2023    2024
Tull tour history
john evan smash Pre-Jethro Tull 1965-7 tour history navy blue, ian henderson's bag 'o blues, candy coloured rain
  songs played on tour


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.

?/?/64Holy Family Church HallBlackpool, UK
First gig, commemorated by a heritage plaque on the building, unveiled by Ian in 2010.
13/2/65Bispham Tennis ClubBlackpool, 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By late 1965, Michael had been replaced by Ernie Robinson and a brass section (Jim Doolin & Martin Skyrme) had been acquired, enabling them to play as a jazz-blues, even soul, band, now called 'The John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.

??/?/65Rugby ClubThornton, UK
20/12/65Boys Grammar SchoolBlackpool, 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 ChurchBlackpool, UK
Date uncertain - late 1965 or early 1966.
Performing at a Saturday 'hop'.
12/2/66The QueensCleveleys, UK
17/2/66The QueensCleveleys, UK
19/2/66Elizabethan ClubKirkham, UK
25/2/66Planet Room, Blackpool TowerBlackpool, UK
Art School Ball.
26/2/66Rugby ClubLytham St. Annes, UK
5/3/66Elizabethan ClubKirkham, UK
May have been at the Rugby Club in Fleetwood, instead.
6/3/66Elizabethan ClubKirkham, UK
16/3/66Waterloo Social ClubBlackpool, UK
May have been 'Waterloo Hotel' in 1966.
17/3/66Elizabethan ClubKirkham, UK
18/3/66Elizabethan ClubKirkham, UK
19/3/66Golden TorchTunstall (Stoke-On-Trent), UK
20/3/66Top TwentyOldham, UK
21/3/66Mr. Smith'sWinsford, UK
Venue unconfirmed; the band did play here in August, so may have visited before.
22/3/66MeccaBlackpool, UK
23/3/66Technical CollegeBlackpool, UK
24/3/66Youth ClubCabus, UK
26/3/66Top TwentyOldham, UK
A birthday party, this may have been on 25/3.
28/3/66Marlborough HotelMarlborough, UK
30/3/66'99' ClubBarrow-In-Furness, UK
1/4/66British LegionPilling, UK
2/4/66Twisted WheelManchester, UK
The birthplace of Northern Soul.
3/4/66Twisted WheelManchester, UK
4/4/66Boys Grammar SchoolBlackpool, UK
9/4/66King's OwnFleetwood, UK
11/4/66OasisManchester, UK
17/4/66Room At The TopWigan, UK
21/4/66Talbot Conservative ClubBlackpool, UK
22/4/66Youth ClubCabus, UK
23/4/66Co-OpWarrington, UK
24/4/66PalaisBolton, UK
30/4/66Peppermint LoungeLiverpool, UK
1/5/66Golden TorchTunstall (Stoke-On-Trent), UK
3/5/66MeccaBlackpool, UK
6/5/66Wally's Disc ClubPreston, UK
7/5/66'99' ClubBarrow-In-Furness, UK
8/5/66'99' ClubBarrow-In-Furness, UK
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13/5/66Jigsaw ClubManchester, UK
15/5/66Miners' HomeBurnley, UK
19/5/66Savoy BowlBlackpool, UK
20/5/66Palatine HotelBlackpool, UK
21/5/66Room At The TopWigan, UK
22/5/66British LegionBarrow-In-Furness, UK
26/5/66Leyton InstituteBlackpool, UK
28/5/66Co-OpWarrington, UK
29/5/66Top TwentyOldham, UK
31/5/66OasisManchester, UK
4/6/66British CellophaneBarrow-In-Furness, UK
10/6/66Top TwentyOldham, UK
11/6/66Room At The TopWigan, UK
12/6/66Twisted WheelBlackpool, UK
Not the Manchester venue.
13/6/66'99' ClubBarrow-In-Furness, UK
24/6/66OasisManchester, UK
25/6/66Top TwentyOldham, UK
27/6/66Palatine HotelBlackpool, UK
29/6/66Red RobinManchester, UK
1/7/66Room At The TopWigan, UK
2/7/66King's OwnFleetwood, UK
3/7/66Gretna HallCarlisle, UK
7/7/66Palatine HotelBlackpool, UK
8/7/66Rialto RoomsDerby, UK
9/7/66Co-OpWarrington, UK
10/7/66Dungeon ClubNottingham, UK
14/7/66Savoy BowlBlackpool, UK
15/7/66Assembly RoomsGarstang, UK
16/7/66Top TwentyOldham, UK
May have been in Manchester.
17/7/66Twisted WheelBlackpool, UK
20/7/66Beachcomber ClubBolton, UK
21/7/66Manor LoungeStockport, UK
23/7/66OasisManchester, UK
24/7/66Britannia Rowing ClubNottingham, UK
29/7/66Southbank Jazz ClubGrimsby, UK
30/7/66The PlaceHanley (Stoke On-Trent), UK
31/7/66Belle VueManchester, UK
2/8/66Peppermint LoungeLiverpool, UK
4/8/66BRC ClubStafford, UK
6/8/66Cavern ClubLiverpool, UK
One source alleges Tull supported John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, but local papers have no record of a Mayall concert.
7/8/66Britannia Rowing ClubNottingham, UK
Supporting John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
8/8/66Mr. Smith'sWinsford, UK
One source puts this venue in Manchester, 22 miles/36km away.
10/8/66Twisted WheelBlackpool, UK
Ian's 19th birthday
11/8/66Twisted WheelBlackpool, UK
12/8/66Twisted WheelBlackpool, UK
13/8/66Aztec ClubSunderland, UK
Supporting John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
14/8/66'45' ClubWhitley Bay, UK
15/8/66Casino Theatre ClubBlackpool, UK
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22/8/66Beachcomber ClubPreston, UK
25/8/66Manor LoungeStockport, UK
26/8/66Top Of The TownManchester, UK
27/8/66Cavern ClubLiverpool, UK
28/8/66Victoria BallroomChesterfield, UK
29/8/66Royal LidoPrestatyn, UK
30/8/66Peppermint LoungeLiverpool, UK
1/9/66LocarnoSheffield, UK
2/9/66Raven's All Ranks ClubRAF Waddington (Lincoln), UK
5/9/66Casino Theatre BallroomBlackpool, UK
10/9/66Aztec ClubSunderland, UK
12/9/66QuaintwaysChester, UK
16/9/66Top Of The TownManchester, UK
17/9/66A-Go-GoNewcastle, UK
18/9/66Boat ClubNottingham, 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

22/10/66Stax ClubManchester, UK

According to a press report, Neil 'Chick Murray' Smith seems to have replaced Chris Riley in November.

?/11/66Banqueting Rooms, Tower BallroomBlackpool, UK
A major Blackpool landmark, later mentioned in 1976's 'Big Dipper'.
?/11/66PavilionMatlock, UK
Venue unconfirmed.
?/11/66Union Rowing ClubSunderland, UK
?/11/66Boat ClubNottingham, UK
19/11/66Technical CollegeCanterbury, UK
28/11/66Stax ClubManchester, UK
11/12/66Boat ClubNottingham, UK
16/12/66Boat ClubNottingham, UK
23/12/66Clouds ClubDerby, 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.

4/2/67Union Rowing ClubSunderland, UK
?/2/67?Blackpool, UK
25/3/67??, UK
Glenn Cornick's first concert with the John Evan Band
5/4/67Regent Sound Studios (Denmark St.)London, UK
Recording three songs, including Ian's 'Take The Easy Way'.

3/5/67Granada TV StudiosManchester, 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'.

?/6/67?Swanage, UK
19/6/67Marquee ClubLondon, UK
Their Marquee debut, supporting The Herd.
?/6/67A-Go-GoNewcastle, UK
?/6/67Twisted WheelManchester, UK
30/6/67Boat ClubNottingham, UK
4/7/67Didsbury College HallManchester, UK

28/7/67?Grimsby, UK
29/7/67?Bournemouth, UK
30/7/67?Oldham, UK
4/8/67Marquee ClubLondon, UK
Booked, but not played (the van broke down)
9/8/67?Swansea, UK
19/8/67?Matlock, UK

12/9/67CBS StudiosLondon, 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.
14/9/67CBS StudiosLondon, UK
?/10/67Caesar's PalaceLuton, UK
?/10/67Civic HallDunstable, UK
Venue unconfirmed.
5/10/67CBS StudiosLondon, UK
19/10/67EMI Studios, Abbey RoadLondon, UK
21/10/67Beachcomber ClubLuton, 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.
22/10/67EMI Studios, Abbey RoadLondon, UK
Recording. Included 'Aeroplane', perhaps also 'Blues For The 18th'.
24/10/67EMI Studios, Abbey RoadLondon, 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.
14/12/67Marquee ClubLondon, UK
The Marquee debut of the Tull line-up, playing as 'Bag O'Blues', supporting The Remo Four.
17/12/67?Birmingham, UK
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.
22/12/67?Doncaster, UK

Michael Stephens, Chris Riley, Neil 'Chick Murray' Smith, Derek Ward

On to 1968

© NRT, 2005 (all rights reserved).         All dates are in the form: day/month/year.

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