Jethro Tull legend Ian Anderson presents charity concert at St Albans Cathedral

Ian Anderson.(Jethro Tull)

Ian Anderson.(Jethro Tull) - Credit: Archant

A rock legend will be taking to the Cathedral this Friday (11) for a charity concert where all proceeds will be donated to the iconic St Albans landmark.

Ian Anderson, front man of Jethro Tull, will perform at the Abbey with his band and special guests Marc Almond and the Abbey Singers for a now sold-out show.

The musicians will perform a line-up of festive numbers alongside songs, old and new, from the Jethro Tull catalogue.

The performance is part of an annual tradition for the musician, who performs a Christmas concert each year at a different cathedral with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the venue of choice.

But the vocalist and guitar player maintains that his motivation for the performance is not a religious one.

Ian said: “I’m not a Christian but I have a Christian ethic. It’s a place where the community come together, particularly at this time of year, to think of friends, family and those less fortunate.”

Ian added that cathedrals were a central part of community life, not just for religious people.

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He continued: “I went through 40 years of my life where I didn’t find it comforting to be in a church. As a schoolboy I was in and out but it wasn’t something I felt comfortable with.

“I thought it was just a building of worship but it’s much more than that.

“They won’t be making any more of them, it will not come again, It’s not a case of just sticking up some bricks and mortar so it’s so important that we preserve these amazing buildings. It’s comforting to have them in a world where we are often moved more by the material things in life. It’s grounding.”

The event is funded by Ian himself. who donates his time alongside his co-performers, and the evening is expected to raise about £15,000.

The money raised will go towards the cathedral’s £7 million Alban development project, which aims to raise the profile of the Abbey and Britain’s first Saint, Alban.