Archive for the ‘Roxy Music’ Category

Roxy Music Newcastle Arena 12th June 2001

Roxy Music Newcastle Arena 12th June 2001
roxytix2001Roxy Music reformed after a lengthy absence and in 2001 they were touring across the UK again, calling at Newcastle Arena on 12th June. Marie and I went along to see them again; it was 22 years since we last saw the band perform. The tour reunited four original members Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson. The core members were augmented by Colin Good (piano and musical director), Zev Katz (bass), Julia Thornton (percussion and keyboards), Lucy Wilkins (violin), Sarah Brown (backing vocals) and Chris Spedding (second guitar; remember seeing Chris play Newcastle Mayfair around the time of his hit “Motorbikin'”). Support was singer Rosalie Deighton. We were a bit unsure how the old songs would sound and whether they could withstand the test of time (and the acoustics of a cavernous arena) but we needn’t have worried. They were just great. roxyprog2001
It was good to see Roxy Music live again, and the concert (and indeed the tour) was a massive success with critics and fans. The set included many of the old favorites, along with some new tracks. Setlist: Re-make/Re-model, Street Life, Ladytron, While My Heart Is Still Beating, Out Of The Blue, A Song For Europe, My Only Love, Oh Yeah, Both Ends Burning, Tara, Avalon, If There Is Something, More Than This, Mother Of Pearl, Jealous Guy, Editions Of You, Virginia Plain. Encores: Love Is The Drug, Do The Strand, For Your Pleasure.
That brings we to the end of my reflections on Roxy Music in concert. I saw Roxy Music once more, in 2011, and blogged about that concert at the time.

Roxy Music Newcastle City Hall 10th May 1979

Roxy Music Newcastle City Hall 10th May 1979
roxytix79Roxy Music took a break from recording and touring and went their separate ways in 1976 after the release of their fifth album “Siren”, with several of the band members going on to follow solo projects. However, in 1979 they decided to regroup with the core members Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay, Phil Manzanera, and Paul Thompson being augmented by Paul Carrack (from Ace) on keyboards, and Gary Tibbs (ex Vibrators and late of Adam and the Ants) on bass. Eddie Jobson was recording and touring with his own band UK at the time, and did not join the reformed Roxy. They released a new album “Manifesto” and went out on tour, calling at Newcastle City Hall on 10th and 11th May 1979. Dave Skinner played keyboards on the tour, rather than Paul Carrack who played on the album. I went to the first night at Newcastle.roxyprog79 Setlist: Manifesto; Trash; Out of the Blue; Angel Eyes; A Song for Europe; Still Falls the Rain; Mother of Pearl; Ain’t That So; Stronger Through the Years; Ladytron; In Every Dream Home a Heartache; Love Is the Drug; Editions of You; Do the Strand; Re-Make/Re-Model. Virginia Plain was played some nights, but according to the setlist I found, it wasn’t played at the first Newcastle show, which will no doubt have been a disappointment for me. Support came from The Tourists who featured local lad Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox. My memories of the 1979 show are scant. I recall it being a good gig, but not quite at the level of craziness of the 1974 and 1975 shows. I also remember being unfamiliar with the new material from “Manifesto” and missing some of the older songs. Roxy Music soon disbanded once more, and it was another 22 years before I saw them in concert again. I’ll complete my Roxy ramblings by writing about that gig tomorrow.

Roxy Music Newcastle City Hall 13th October 1975

Roxy Music Newcastle City Hall 13th October 1975roxytix75
“….Boy meets girl where the beat goes on
Stitched up tight, can’t shake free
Love is the drug, got a hook on me
Oh oh catch that buzz
Love is the drug I’m thinking of
Oh oh can’t you see
Love is the drug for me…” (Love is the Drug, Roxy Music, 1975)
Everyone I knew was either going along to this gig, or wanted to go and was trying to score a ticket. This was largely as a result of the massive singalong power of “Love is the Drug” which was played everywhere I went, and always resulted in a massive scrum of dancing on the ballroom floor. Roxy were on tour again, and stopped off for two sold out nights at Newcastle City Hall. I attended the second night.
Support came from the Sadistic Mika Band, a Japanese rock group who received quite a bit of publicity at the time and appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test. roxyprog75This was another great performance by Roxy Music. The band were augmented by a couple of female backing singers who danced along with Bryan Ferry just as we had all seen in the video for “Love is the Drug”. Bryan, Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera were all recording solo material at the time and some of this was featured in the concert.
Setlist: Sentimental Fool; The Thrill of It All; Love Is the Drug; Mother of Pearl; Bitter-Sweet; Nightingale; She Sells; Street Life; Out of the Blue; Whirlwind; Sea Breezes; Both Ends Burning; For Your Pleasure; Diamond Head (Phil Manzanera solo song); Wild Weekend (Andy Mackay solo song); The ‘In’ Crowd; Virginia Plain; Re-Make/Re-Model; Do the Strand; Editions of You; A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (Bryan Ferry solo cover of the Dylan classic).
Roxy line-up: Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay (oboe and sax), Phil Manzanera (guitar), Paul Thompson (drums), Eddie Jobson (keyboards, synth and violin), John Gustafson (bass).

Roxy Music Newcastle City Hall 27th & 28th October 1974

Roxy Music Newcastle City Hall 27th & 28th October 1974
roxytix74It was 1974 and Roxy Music were on a roll. Things were very different from the last time I saw the fledgling band perform at the Lincoln pop festival jamboree in 1972. In the two years that had passed Brian Eno had left the band, they had hit the singles charts with “Virginia Plain”, “Pyjamarama” (wonderful and one of my favourites) and “Street Life”, and were just about to release their fourth album. Eno had been replaced by local hero Eddie Jobson, whose violin virtuosity I had marvelled at when Fat Grapple stormed out local Locarno ballroom, and John Wetton was the new guy on bass, fresh from prog super maestros King Crimson. So all was good in the Roxy camp, and the band were truly at the height of their powers. There is a view that Roxy were never really Roxy again after the genius that is Eno left the fold, but it doesn’t hold water in my book. Yes Eno was a vital part of the early band, but the 1974 line-up was strong enough to stand on its own, and although Eddie Jobson may not have seemed as enigmatic as his predecessor, his musical skills are without question. I’d missed a couple of Roxy tours, and realised how foolish I had been, so made sure that I went along this time. They played two sold out nights at Newcastle City Hall. roxyprog74I went along with a group of mates to the first night, and we were so knocked out by Roxy’s performance that a couple of us decided to go along the following night and try and buy tickets outside. We succeeded, and this is one of the few occasions where I went to see a band two nights in a row (and enjoyed both concerts). Amazingly, I was in the same row of the stalls both nights. Bryan Ferry was at his best, stylish and cool, although sometimes looking a little nervous and uncomfortable on stage. And Eddie Jobson was simply brilliant. Oh and the songs: “Mother of Pearl” a beautiful classic, the dark brooding menace of “In Every Dream Home” which we thought to be curious, funny and shocking all at the same time, and the hits “Street Life” and “Virginia Plain”; the crowd went completely bonkers. By the last encore of “Do the Strand” the entire City Hall was going absolutely nuts, singing and dancing along. Great memories. Can I go back and relive this one please? 🙂
Setlist: Prairie Rose; Beauty Queen; Mother of Pearl; Out of the Blue; A Song for Europe; Three and Nine; If It Takes All Night; In Every Dream Home a Heartache; If There Is Something; All I Want Is You; The Bogus Man; Street Life; Virginia Plain; Editions of You. Encore: Re-Make/Re-Model; Do the Strand.
Roxy line-up: Bryan Ferry (vocals and ultra cool suaveness) Andy Mackay (oboe and sax), Phil Manzanera (guitar), Paul Thompson (drums), Eddie Jobson (keyboards, synth and violin), John Wetton (bass).
Support came from the excellent, under-rated and almost never mentioned these days Jess Roden, who was a great soul / R&B singer.

Roxy Music the Lincoln Festival 27th May 1972

Roxy Music the Lincoln Festival 27th May 1972
RoxylpI will spend the next few days trying to recall as much as I can about the seven or so occasions on which I have seen Roxy Music live. I first saw a new and relatively unknown Roxy Music at the Lincoln Festival on 27th May 1972. This was their first major performance and only the seventh time the band had played together. They appeared early on the Saturday afternoon, sandwiched between sets by Locomotive GT (a Hungarian rock band who were pretty big during the ’70s) and Heads, Hands and Feet. The Roxy line-up at the time was Bryan Ferry (vocals and keyboards), Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay (sax and oboe), Paul Thompson (drums), Eno (synths) and Graham Simpson (bass). I recall that there was quite a buzz about the band at the time, largely as a result of their connections with King Crimson. Bryan Ferry had auditioned as lead singer for King Crimson, and impressed Robert Fripp and Pete Sinfield, although they felt that his voice was not suitable for Crimson. They went on to help Roxy Music obtain a record contract, and Sinfield produced their first, wonderful, album. roxysoundsThe sound at the festival wasn’t great; it was windy and the mix was poor. But it was obvious even at this early stage in their career that there was something new, different and unique about this band. The guys all dressed outrageously and looking at pictures of Roxy taken at the festival you would think they had come from another planet, and they all look so young! The image here is from a Sounds poster of the time and was taken at the festival. And the music sounded very different to anything else around at the time. Eno’s use of synths, Ferry’s vocals, and Mackay’s oboe all gave Roxy their own distinctive sound. Roxy Music were recording tracks for their first album at the time of this appearance, and it was well before the release of their first single “Virginia Plain”. Their short set is likely to have consisted of the following songs: 2HB; Would You Believe?; Sea Breezes, Ladytron, If There Is Something!, Re-Make/Re-Model, The Bob (Medley), Virginia Plain. Roxy provided a short interlude of majestic bright glam/art rock in what was an excellent line-up, but a very wet windy and cold weekend. Looking back, and although I didn’t realise it at the time, there were glimpses of the greatness and richness of musical texture which would follow. Foolishly, I saw Roxy Music simply as a quirky weird new band, and because of this I left it a couple of years before I saw them again, which I now regret. The next time I saw Roxy Music was on their 1974 tour, and I’ll reflect on that tomorrow.

Bryan Ferry Sage Gateshead Nov 10th 2013

Bryan Ferry Sage Gateshead Nov 10th 2013. jbryanf Laura and I went to see Bryan Ferry at the Sage last night. Laura has recently become a big fan of Bryan’s version of “These Foolish Things” and has also been listening to early Roxy. Bryan sold out two nights at the Gateshead venue, and we attended the second concert. This tour seems Bryan performing with his own jazz orchestra and band, drawing songs from throughout his career. The show started with the Bryan Ferry Orchestra playing jazz interpretations of Roxy classics, before they were joined by the man himself, resplendent in a period-style floral smoking jacket. The show is based in 20s jazz; think Great Gatzby, art deco; and lounge suits.
Set 1: The Bryan Ferry Orchestra: Do the Strand; Slave to Love; The Bogus Man; Avalon; Just Like You; Young and Beautiful; The Way You Look Tonight. The band is joined by Bryan Ferry. The Only Face; Reason or Rhyme; Same Old Blues; Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues; Don’t Stop the Dance; Oh Yeah; Carrickfergus; New York City; Take a Chance with Me; Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door; A Song for Europe.
bryanprog After a short interval Bryan and band rolled out the classics. I’ve sometimes felt that Bryan looked awkward on stage, trying to be too cool, and not quite making it. Not the case last night. He looked completely at home, just as the songs sounded right, and fitted well with their new interpretation. Bryan has managed to blend all aspects of his music into a career-spanning show that, at just short of three hours including interval, sent everyone home pleased and satisfied.
Set 2: The Bryan Ferry Orchestra: I Thought; This Island Earth. Bryan returns. Out of the Blue; When She Walks in the Room; Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes; Jealous Guy; Casanova; Street Life; Love Is the Drug; Let’s Stick Together; Hold On I’m Coming; Shame, Shame, Shame; Editions of You; Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.
On the way out we heard someone say: “the coolest guy on the planet”. And last night I might have just about agreed with that.

Bryan Ferry As Time Goes By Newcastle City Hall 1999

Bryan Ferry As Time Goes By Newcastle City Hall 1999
bryan2 Over 20 years since I last saw Bryan Ferry solo in concert, Marie and I went along to the City Hall to see him on his “As Time Goes By” tour. He had just released the album of the same name, which featured Bryan singing old standards. The middle of the road nature of the album made me think twice about attending this gig, but Marie quite fancied it so we bought a couple of tickets. Bryan, as usual, performed well, and I quite enjoyed the concert which mixed the standards with a few Roxy Music favourites. ferryprog2 Bryan had no support act for the tour, and performed the show accompanied by a band and string quartet. The show opened with a harp solo followd by the string quartet and the band playing a song before Bryan joined them on stage. There was an interval where the band played Sweet Georgia Brown, while Bryan had a short breather. Quite interesting, and different, and very well done. I always find Bryan an interesting and intriguing performer. He carries the image of the cool sophisticated guy, but onstage he often strikes me as being slightly awkward and uncomfortable, and comes over as quite a shy person. His vocal performance is always impeccable, and I have to admit his choice of songs is excellent, even if some of them are middle of the road. Setlist would be something like: The Way You Look Tonight; Love Me or Leave Me; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes; Chance Meeting; Carrickfergus; Where or When; Bitter Sweet; Out of the Blue; The Only Face; As Time Goes By; Sunset; September Song; Falling in Love Again; Just One of Those Things; Avalon; Jealous Guy; Let’s Stick Together; Love Is the Drug; Do the Strand

Bryan Ferry Newcastle City Hall 1977

Bryan Ferry Newcastle City Hall 1977
bryan1 Things were busy for Bryan Ferry in the mid-70s. He released a series of solo albums, by 1976 Roxy Music had officially disbanded, and in 1977 he embarked upon his first solo tour. The UK leg of the tour was originally set to take place in late 1976, but was put back to early 1977. Bryan assembled a very impressive band for the tour consisting of former fellow Roxy members Paul Thompson on drums, Phil Manzanera on guitar, and John Wetton on bass. Ace guitarist Chris Spedding was also in the band, alongside Ann O’Dell on keyboards, a brass section of Mel Collins, Martin Drover and Chris Mercer and the trio of Dyan Birch, Frank Collins and Paddie McHugh, who came via Arrival and Kokomo. The set was drawn from Bryan’s solo albums and also included a couple of Roxy Music songs. This covered a mix of pop, rock, soul and more traditional middle of the road songs. ferryprog1 I remember that the middle of the road nature of some of Bryan’s solo outings put me off a little, but I remember this as a very enjoyable concert. Bryan’s excellent versions of The ‘In’ Crowd and Dylan’s A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall would be worth the price of admission on their own. A typical setlist for the tour was: Let’s Stick Together; Shame, Shame, Shame; Roadrunner; All Night Operator; Party Doll; You Go To My Head; Could It Happen To Me; In Your Mind; Casanova; Love Me Madly Again; Love Is The Drug; Tokyo Joe; This Is Tomorrow; The ‘In’ Crowd; A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall; The Price Of Love; It’s My Party; Tracks Of My Tears

Joe Cocker and many others Great Western Festival Lincoln 1972

Joe Cocker and many others Great Western Express Festival Lincoln May Bank holiday weekend 1972
I was 15 at the time and so excited about going to a real pop festival. My dad drove me and a couple of mates down on the Friday night, after we’d been to the local Mecca ballroom. We arrived in the early hours of Saturday morning, having missed the Friday night bands, and slept in a big crash tent for a few hours. We soon ran into a group of other lads who had also come down from Sunderland, and between us we built a cabin out of bails of hay and planks of wood which were lying around in the fields. I swear there were around 20 of us sleeping in there. We were quite close to the stage, and I pretty much stayed in that cabin all weekend. We could also stand on the roof and watch the bands. There was a massive (and very empty) press enclosure which divided the crowd from the stage, so no-one could get that close, which was bad planning. The weather was wet, with rain for most of the weekend. But I didn’t care; this was a real pop festival, and I was determined to enjoy every minute. The line-up for the remaining three days of the event was really strong. I’ll try and recall as much as I can.
Saturday. Nazareth opened the day around noon. I remember them playing Morning Dew, and thinking that they were ok. They were followed by Locomotive GT, Roxy Music who were playing their first major gig and Heads, Hands and Feet, featuring the great Albert Lee, who I remember playing “Warming up the band”. The first band I have strong memories of was Wishbone Ash. They hd just released “Argus” and their set consisted of all the classic Ash songs: Time Was, Blowin’ Free, Jailbait, The King Will Come, Phoenix etc. They were just wonderful at that time. Helen Reddy did not perform, and was replaced by Rory Gallagher, who had stayed on from the Friday to play again, as I understand his Friday set was cut short because of the weather. The Strawbs featured the classic Cousins/Hudson/Ford line-up at the time. This was before any of the hits. Pretty sure they played “The Hangman and the Papist” and “The Man who called himself Jesus”. Stone The Crows were next up. This was their first performance after Les Harvey’s death, and Steve Howe from Yes stood in on guitar. Maggie Bell’s performance was highly emotional and the crowd gave her the strongest reception of the day, sensing how real the blues was to her that night, coming only a few weeks after she had lost her boyfriend. Rod Stewart and The Faces closed Saturday night. I remember Rod wearing a silver lame jacket and that they were pretty ramshackle, but good.
Sunday. The Natural Acoustic Band started the day, followed by Focus who warmed the crowd up with Sylvia, and Brewers Droop who were a raunchy boogie band who popped up at a few festivals in those days. Spencer Davis played with his new band, which was heavy on steel guitar and country oriented, followed by The Incredible String Band. Lindisfarne were the first band to get the crowd going and were a big hit of the weekend. We were all on the roof of our cabin, singing along to Fog on the Tyne. Average White Band were followed by The Persuasions who were an a cappella soul band, and were impressive. The next big hit of the day were Slade, who just tore the place apart. They started this performance with a lot to prove to a “Hippy” crowd, who viewed slade as a pop act. By the end of the performance everyone was singing along and converted. They were just great. Monty Python’s Flying Circus, with the entire cast, did all their great sketches: Dead Parrot, Lumberjack Song, Argument; great fun. The Beach Boys closed the evening and were wonderful singing all the hits. Great end to a great day.
Monday. The morning featured some folk acts, who had been moved to the main stage because the folk tent had been damaged by the weather. I remember Jonathan Kelly performing and singing “Ballad of Cursed Anna” which is a favourite of mine to this day. Jackson Heights, featuring Lee Jackson from the Nice started the main part of the day off, followed by Atomic Rooster, Vincent Crane collapsing (as he normally did) during Gershatzer. Vinegar Joe with Elkie Brooks and Robert Palmer were next up, followed by the Sutherland Brothers. The next two bands were both up and coming at the time: Genesis and Status Quo. They were both festival favourites, Peter Gabriel with his shaved forehead, telling those great stories to introduce beautiful songs such as Musical Box, and Quo were still trying to establish themselves as a proper rock band and shake off the pop image, which they were doing very well with tracks such as Someones Learning and Is It Really Me? Don McLean sang American Pie and the rain stopped for him. Humble Pie were something else. Steve Marriott was at the top of his game and was fully into his “My skin is white but my soul is black” routine. I Don’t Need No Doctor!! Just great. Sha Na Na, still featuring in all our minds from the Woodstock movie, had us all singing along. Joe Cocker closed the festival. He came on very late as I recall. There was a long wait and he took to the stage in the early hours of the morning. I remember him singing The Letter and Cry Me a River. He was good, but I was tired and cold by that time. All my mates had gone to sleep.
Other memories of the weekend. A large black and white screen above the stage, which worked some of the time. They showed movies on it throughout the night. I watched Marlon Brando in The Wild One, which was banned in the UK (!) at the time. Lots of chants of Wally. People openly selling dope with price lists on their tents. Hari Krishna’s giving out free food. A straw fight during (I think) Lindisfarne’s set. Everyone around me had also been to the Bickershaw festival a couple of weeks before, and were taking about how great The Grateful Dead and Captain Beefheart were. I was dead jealous.
I caught the train back on Tuesday. My mates variously hitched and scored lifts. I arrived home tired, unwashed, and determined to go to as many festivals as I could in the future, which I sort of stuck to for the remainder of the 70s.

Roxy Music Newcastle Metro Arena 25 Jan 2011

Roxy Music Newcastle Metro Arena 25 Jan 2011
Great to see Roxy Music back in Newcastle. Last night’s setlist was a good mix of well known tracks and lesser known songs taken from their wonderful back catalogue. For me it was a much better performance than their last reunion show at Newcastle around 10 years ago. All of the four original members seemed genuinely glad to be back on stage together. Brian Ferry’s voice was strong and he seemed to be well up for the occasion, although he spent a lot more time at the piano than in the past. The visuals were very impressive, presenting images from their album covers alongside other stylish pictures. Two dancing girls graced the back of the stage in true Roxy fashion. I thought Phil Manzanera and Andy MacKay were particularly impressive. Not reaching the heights of the great 1970s shows that we saw at the City Hall, but a good start to the tour. Yes they could have played more hits, and an encore would have been nice; but hey ho still a good showing. I’d forgot how great a song Pyjamarama is. Will this be the last time? And if it isn’t can you please play In Every Dream Home for me next time?
Setlist: The Main Thing – Street Life – Pyjamarama – If There Is Something – Same Old Scene – Just Like You – Amazona – 2HB – Like A Hurricane – Tara – Bitter Sweet – Sentimental Fool – Prairie Rose – My Only Love – Avalon – Virginia Plain – Love Is The Drug – Editions Of You – Do The Strand – Jealous Guy – For Your Pleasure.

I hate printed tickets