In life, there are certain iconic artists that need to be seen. Ones that transcend ages and generations. Names like Bowie, Jagger, Daltrey, Sting, John, Morrison and Weller readily spring to mind. Ferry must be added to that list, for the man is a musical legend too, even if he often appears slightly under the radar.
Yet that’s his style, despite his eye shadow glam art rock days of the 1970’s, he is essentially more of a reserved performer. He says little on stage, yet lets his music doing the talking. Some talking it is too, as his music has moved with the times yet somehow has an ageless feel about it.
He formed Roxy Music in 1970 and here we are, 48 years later, and he is still performing and still at the top of his game. That really takes some doing. His voice has lost little from his youthful Roxy days, his dancing may not be quite as wild as in the past, but he still exudes a glamorous sophistication and style, with the trademark black suit and white shirt remaining his ‘go to’ outfit.
At the Eventim Apollo, still known as the Hammersmith Odeon to the majority of the mature audience in the house, this was quite a performance – perfectly planned, put together and powerful. The venue had long since sold out as he rolled back the years, treating his followers to a highly polished and smooth show that, by the end, had them dancing in the aisles to the ever popular classic 70’s hits Virginia Plain and Let’s Stick Together.
This was a gig without unnecessary razzamatazz, a dazzling light show excepted. No video footage, no cameramen or film, no pointless videos, just good old fashioned music, the way he began back in the early 70’s. The audience were of similar disposition, they were there for the music too. A refreshing change from the constant ‘up and down toilet and drinks break’ culture which characterises so many events in this modern day.
As with so many of his like, Ferry has a huge back catalogue, which for him draws from both his Roxy Music and solo career. Indeed it is a wonder how he chooses a set list, yet here he got it pretty much spot on with a mix of both. Classic hits such as Slave to Love, Love is the Drug, Jealous Guy, Oh Yeah and Avalon sounded as good as ever yet there was so much More Than This.
For this gig was not just about him. He was accompanied on stage by a nine piece band, including violin, clarinet and a most beautiful and haunting saxophone, often taking centre stage and deservedly so. Collectively they produced a concert that surely surpassed expectations of all those who had the pleasure of attending.
When you have the ability to play and perform like this, to packed out sell out audiences, why stop. Keep going Bryan Ferry and ‘Don’t Stop The Dance’.