Bryan Ferry @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Sunday 29th April 2018


Suave, slick, sophisticated…


With the Roxy Music name now seemingly retired for good, Bryan Ferry delved deep into his vast back catalogue for a show that was two-thirds Roxy, one-third solo material and ran the gamut from deep cuts to global chart-toppers. Accompanied by a backing band that was more than up to the task, the now 72 years old Ferry delighted another packed out Symphony Hall crowd who were even moved to make a rush for the front for the final half hour or so. Not that Ferry was the only septuagenarian on stage as he was joined by Chris Spedding on guitars, a man who surely boats the most diverse CV in Rock having taken in The Wombles, The Sex Pistols and Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. At times, however, both veterans were outshone by the incredible saxaphone of Jorja Chalmers who embodied both the spirit and essence of Roxy’s 70’s heyday.

The production for the first hour or so saw the stage basked in dark shades of purple and red with the band performing in front of a velvet curtain, perfectly complementing the mood for some of Ferry’s more dark and mysterious material that included ‘Out of the Blue’, ‘Windswept’ and ‘Slave to Love’. There was very little between song chatter and Ferry spent long periods sat behind his keyboard content to let the music speak for itself. The show shifted gears, both musically and visually with ‘Re-make/Re-model’ from Roxy’s recently reissued 1972 debut album as the curtain was pulled back and the stage came alive with bright light. Only on ‘More Than This’ did Ferry’s voice seem lacklustre but for the home run that included the sparkling trio of ‘Love is the Drug’, ‘Virginia Plain’ and ‘Let’s Stick Together’ he was in terrific form and, joined by Chalmers front and centre, proved he still had the moves to match the younger generation.

Set List:-

The Main Thing / Don’t Stop the Dance / Ladytron / Out Of The Blue / Oh Yeah / A Wasteland / Windswept / Bete Noire / Zamba / Stronger Through The Years / Slave To Love / Bitter Sweet / Mamouna / Re-make/Re-model / In Every Dream Home A Heartache / If There Is Something / More Than This / Avalon / Love Is The Drug / Virginia Plain / Let’s Stick Together / Jealous Guy / Editions of You