Review: Bryan Ferry, Opera House, Blackpool

Bryan Ferry on stage at Blackpool Opera House'Picture by: Matthew Becker (www.liverockjournal.com)
Bryan Ferry on stage at Blackpool Opera House'Picture by: Matthew Becker (www.liverockjournal.com)
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He may have another recent solo album to promote, but as far as his fans are concerned Bryan Ferry’s back catalogue with Roxy Music remains the one they have come to hear, and see.

So just as well someone finally turned the lights up, and Bryan Ferry turned the stage charm on, for a medley of 70s and 80s hits that eventually turned this into a rock concert, complete with a stage rush – though maybe more of a stroll given the age of his fan base.

Until then it was all a touch dark, even anonymous.

When you’re nearing 70 no-one actually craves spotlights but shedding a little light on his song choices might have been helpful.

Avonmore, title track from that new album and opening number here, was swallowed up as the sound crew sorted the balance.

After which it was all a bit pick and mix, although the nod to his Dylanesque album, Don’t Think Twice, stood out for its stripped-down simplicity. Likewise the appropriation of the Jim Reeves’ standard He’ll Have To Go, accompanied by sessions legend Waddy Wachtel on guitar, was another highpoint.

But after a little mid-set moodling from members of the nine-piece band – that started to border on indulgence, but gave the singer a break and a change of jacket – came the main event.

Six of the best from a front man who then seemed to feel the affection in the room, and responded with relish as the years fell away and the Roxy nostalgia ripped in.

Love Is The Drug after all . . .

DAVID UPTON