Bryan Ferry – Still got that sax appeal
By Patrick Cameron
The ever cool Bryan Ferry serenaded a sold out den Atelier on Friday night with more than his fair share of Roxy Music classics.
From the minute Bryan Ferry announced himself to the public with the pioneering Roxy Music he was one step ahead of the curve. Whilst at the forefront of the glam rock days they still pushed the boundaries of the experimental and electronic sound helping shape the face of pop music for decades to come. Although it didn’t hurt that he had the pop star looks and rock star cool that not only had the teens screaming but their parents too.
First up was Sandra Van Nieuwland who gained notoriety competing in the third season of The Voice of Holland. As you might expect for someone who picked up most of the hype from that season’s show her vocals were impressive but as far as the rest of the set went, it was all a bit safe. Maybe preconceived expectations of a Bryan Ferry’s support didn’t help.
Someone who has never been accused of being safe is Ferry and as the lights dimmed and the band took to the stage and one after another you realised he isn’t for scaling back the band these days as the 10-piece outfit all looked around to find their spot on the crowded Atelier stage.
Then Ferry walked on as dapper as expected in a suit with the top couple of buttons on his shirt undone, keeping it suave as always.
Opening the set with the title track of his latest album “Avonmore”, which came across as sleek as anything that succeeded it with the driving funk bass and soaring sax, it had all the hallmarks of Bryan Ferry.
Considering this is still the Avonmore tour there were only a couple of solo Ferry songs with “Driving Me Wild” and super smooth croon of “Slave To Love”.
After the short burst of his solo work at the start of the night it was almost all Roxy Music from then on, with “Oh Yeah” taking on the effortlessly suave and charming sound before “Take A Chance With Me” had Ferry grinning from ear to ear.
Ferry said little to crowd all night but instead let the music do all the work as well as his exceptionally talented band who drifted in and out of solos all evening, taking the songs on abstract directions we’ve come to expect from the Roxy Music sound.
Along with the glam and funk there was the melancholic and atmospheric sleaze of “In Every Dream Home A Heartache”, which slowly built before unleashing its prog-rock throttle for the crescendo.
Apart from the ever emotional cover of “Jealous Guy” it was Roxy Music to the end with “Love is the Drug” and “Virginia Plane” before finishing to rapturous applause on “Both Ends Burning”.
Having left the stage with no encore Ferry still keeps it cool, none of the ego chanting required here, just hip shaking hits spanning 40 years will do.