Home News Review: BRYAN FERRY at ICC Sydney – 1 March 2019

Review: BRYAN FERRY at ICC Sydney – 1 March 2019

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What a night of brilliant music!  It’s so difficult to remember which Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music song I ever heard first when a young thing. Was it the covers I used to hear at various functions in the 80’s? Or the ‘Let’s Stick Together‘ music clip after MTV hit our TV screens? Or was it on the radio? Ferry and Roxy Music were staples, and they still are. Smooth and multilayered, nothing screams ‘sophisticated’ and ‘grown up’ more than some Ferry and Roxy Music, and especially now that we have gotten older and can actually understand the meaning of some of the lyrics. To be able to conjure up that many memories in one concert is a feat in itself, and the overly appreciative and hyper Sydney crowd were more than showing their love on this warm and sensual night. Bryan Ferry has still got it, and we were spoiled with so many songs, it really was like diving into a sea of melted musical pleasure.

The venue was heaving in anticipation, and after being limbered up by the lovely support act, Olympia, it was time for the man himself to make it on stage. The too cool ‘The Main Thing’ starts our massive setlist for the evening. Slinky and sexy, this feeling just takes over and doesn’t stop all night as we move into ‘Slave To Love’… goose bumps have already kicked in. Gliding across the stage, with that natural suave, swagger and charisma, Ferry looks and sings like a million bucks. Sex on a stick as ‘Don’t Stop The Dance’ is up next and I’m starting to wonder how many ladies, and possibly gents, are squirming in their seats. Only 3 songs in and it’s already a lesson on love, sex and class. How lucky are we that artists like this still tour and show us how it’s all really meant to be? This is musical heaven with a whole lot of unadulterated sauciness thrown in.

‘Ladytron’ and ‘Out Of The Blue’ continue this fest of indulgence until ‘Oh Yeah’  just brings the audience to a loud sigh ‘ahhhhhhh’….. Whether he’s at the piano or just vocalising, it’s all luscious. Those Roxy Music and solo songs we are gifted all night, are so unique in themselves, you know straight away who is involved in their composing and song writing.  You hear those first few bars and you start to float, it’s quite an incredible legacy to have and a big lesson for us all, that talent will always win. Being my first Ferry gig, I was in such awe before even arriving at the ICC Centre on Friday night, but when you see him in the flesh, Ferry is dashing and so talented, you can’t help but go weak. I hear quite a few male voices yell out during the performance ‘We love you Brryyann’ and I remember a comment I saw somewhere once, where a female fan wrote ‘He is my perfect dream’ … We hear you and understand your sentiment… take notes fellas…

A cracking ‘Tokyo Joe’, a sultry ‘Casanova’, and then it’s the atmospheric ‘Windswept’. You could be taken anywhere in the world listening to Ferry’s music, and right now I’m transported to a dark lounge, when smoking was still permitted indoors (even though I quit many years ago), enjoying a port. ‘Bete Noire’ and ‘Zamba’ have that same effect until ‘Stronger Through The Years’ brings it up a notch in intensity. A Dylan cover of ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’ is up next and then it’s some more Roxy magic with ‘My Only Love’ and I loved the live version of ‘In Every Dream Home A Heartache’. A real showcase of slow and fast paced songs, such a selection to choose from it must have been difficult for Ferry to leave so many other classics off the setlist. The Sydney crowd is so happy and enthralled, you can feel the affection and adoration permeating off every audience member.

‘If There Is Something’ lifts us up again and we are loving our female saxophonist throughout the night, bravo! Every band member was perfection but I must admit, it was really lovely seeing a lady belt out that brass. And then it’s more classics as ‘More Than This’ begins, so emotive and haunting but not remotely difficult to listen to, quite the opposite, soothing and relaxing. ‘Avalon’, absolutely gorgeous live, we are all lapping this up, these timeless pieces of music that actually have heart, soul and spirit. What has happened this century? After much swooning, it was apt that Ferry gets us all off our feet once again when iconic 70’s song ‘Love Is The Drug’ makes the cut. There are too many favourites tonight but I have a big soft spot for this song, that killer bassline and 70’s strut, yes Love is The Drug, indeed.

Early Roxy tracks and mod sounding ‘Re-Make/Re-Model’ and ‘Editions Of You’ keep the crowd dancing and buzzing until Ferry gives us a gorgeous live version of John Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’. This is one of those covers that’s so good, I feel it’s always eclipsed the original, as amazing as Lennon’s version was in itself. A homage to Lennon after his senseless death, the Roxy version is something else, Ferry’s tone and the depth within the song is just breathtaking. We even get Ferry’s whistling at the end, which just leaves the crowd ecstatic, wanting more and cheering with abandon as Ferry strolls off stage.

No one is moving, and a rousing encore from the rowdy devotees brings Ferry back for another classic, ‘Let’s Stick Together’… The venue gets their groove on once again and it’s on for young and old. What a mix of music, love and dance we have had tonight. This is what it’s all about. I’m more than overjoyed and this joy carries on as I notice the looks on everyone’s faces as we make our way out of the venue. The Ferry fans are in a state of happiness, chatting away and comparing notes on songs and the debonair Ferry himself. How else to spend a warm night in Sydney than to be at a Ferry gig? I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be, a legendary man with his iconic music on yet another successful world tour. Thank God Australia made that list!

© MARINA KNEZEVIC 2019.  All rights reserved.

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