Roxy Music legend Bryan Ferry embarked on his epic UK tour this month accompanied by his self titled orchestra. After two dates in Manchester, Ferry headed to Nottingham with a stop at the Royal Concert Hall.
Bryan Ferry, renowned for his impressive stature as a performer was never going to be anything but entertaining. However with the man being 68, I did have my doubts and was worried that his voice may have lost a certain edge, his movements a little lack lustre and that he was playing just simply to impress an over middle age audience who had been listening since childhood.
I’m glad to say my expectations were not met, and he produced a seriously impressive performance, and as a 19 year old student, I can’t help but feel I will be the first below 20 to have reviewed a Bryan Ferry show for a while.
Bryan Ferry, renowned for his impressive stature as a performer was never going to be anything but entertaining.
At the start of the show we were greeted by the Bryan Ferry Orchestra, who consist of some of the most talented musicians at the minute. The orchestra most notably performed in this years Great Gatsby, with much of the score being written by those within it. They came on and kicked off the show with a little set of their own before the main man came on.
They played ‘Do The Strand’, ‘The Bogus Man’, ‘Avalon’, ‘Just Like This’, Lana Del Rey’s ‘Young And Beautiful’ and finally ‘Love Is The Drug’ with Colin Good proudly leading. What I found quite endearing, amongst such a talented group of musicians, was that they kept apologising for not being Bryan Ferry, as if within the grand Royal Concert Hall an incredible orchestral performance was not satisfying enough.
The orchestra most notably performed in this years Great Gatsby, with much of the score being written by those within it.
The apologetic speech continued but if you blanked that out and absorbed what was going on, it was a wonderful performance. What was impressive was the way Ferry effortlessly glided onto the stage, with the notes of the orchestra still ringing there he was, and without a seconds thought they moved instantaneously into the full bands performance.
The highlight of the show came mid way through the epic 32 song set, when the trio of ‘The Way You Look Tonight’, ‘New York City’ and “Knockin’ On Heavens Door’. ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ backed by the full orchestra was spine tingling, it was sensational, a true spectacle. A song that reminds me of my childhood, played how it was recorded it something hard not to appreciate. Moving into ‘New York City’, a song that meant a lot to Ferry, was just a great choice.
It was building a slow crescendo into ‘Knockin’ On Heavens Door’, a song where if you aren’t a Dylan fan, a Ferry fan, everybody has heard the Guns n Roses rendition. The first half of the set was ended with ‘Song For Europe’, a regular in Ferry’s performances, and you could tell, it was perfectly executed and masterfully backed by both orchestra and band.
Also on that note of masterful, Oliver Thompson, lead guitarist, wow.
When Ferry returned for his ‘encore’ I expected 3, maybe 4 songs, however the 14 that followed was most certainly a surprise. Once more the Bryan Ferry Orchestra kicked off the show, warming us back in.
The crowd it has to be said were rather flat, with everyone still on their seats and having no intentions to dance.
Moving on, the crowd it has to be said were rather flat, with everyone still on their seats and having no intentions to dance. This was all except the two ladies behind me who proclaimed they had seen Bryan 30 years ago and just wanted to get up and dance, so there was little surprise that after 8 more songs, they stole my jacket off the back of my seat, and got up and proceeded to ‘boogie’ as they had said.
They were giving a reason to at the end with ‘Love Is The Drug’ getting everyone off their feet, then straight onto ‘Let’s Stick Together’, finishing with ‘Jealous Guy’ and ‘Editions Of You’. By the end everyone was on their feet and the standing ovation when ‘Editions Of You’ summed up the show.
It was a classy performance in the perfect venue, where the appreciation rose and rose as the evening went on.
It was a classy performance in the perfect venue, where the appreciation rose and rose as the evening went on. Although we won’t hear ‘If There Is Something’ again, Bryan has made his music sound fresh once more and he has tactfully chosen songs that his voice can still handle and I would love for someone who is going to the show to guess that Bryan Ferry is 68.
…Daniel is listening to Bryan Ferry – ‘Mother of Pearl’…