Bryan Ferry – Live @ Spark Arena, Auckland 2019

Bryan Ferry – Live @ Spark Arena, Auckland 2019

Ferry is a man of few words but physically and vocally is match fit. The sartorially cool Mr. Ferry always struck me as possessing that swarthy ‘playboy’; you could just imagine him at home in front of the fireplace with brandy in hand surrounded by greyhounds. His sporadic greeting the crowd was about his dash, but that was no biggie for his partisan followers, all whom I think were just glad that their septuagenarian Pop Legend, was still with us.

WORDS BY WAL RIED – PHOTOS BY DAVID WATSON

Agree or disagree, ‘style icon’ Bryan Ferry’s Jealous Guy and Roxy Music’s Avalon for me, are two of the most iconic songs of the 80’s. I’ve always thought Ferry did a better job of the latter than John Lennon. The song, lyrically epitomises all the feelings one could’ve mustered up in a break-up song. Seems a good song really is timeless. After all, Ferry has had some experience being involved with some of the world’s most beautiful women, including model Jerry Hall, who also appeared on the cover of Roxy Music’s Siren album.

Ruminating on Avalon is sentimental gold. Its haunting musical stanza and Ferry’s unique nonchalant vocal style a veritable echo from the eighties. The R.M. fans were out in full force tonight at Auckland’s Spark Arena, always cracks me up when an artist or band from the 70’s or 80’s has seating in the downstairs area, can’t help myself thinking whenever the crowd stands up, it reminds me of an over 40’s line dancing flash mob.

Setting the scene with Roxy Music’s The Main Thing, he shifted up a gear with his first single Slave To Love, the 1985 release from the album Boys and Girls proving to be one of Ferry’s most popular solo hits. Wading through the vast catalogue of Roxy Music and solo hits was no mean feat indeed. With eight studio albums to his name, including multiple Platinum, Gold and Silver certifications across the globe, Ferry and band primed the audience with a smorgasbord of hit tunes, including More Than This and Love Is The Drug, while longtime collaborator Chris Speeding providing much needed pentatonic Blues edge on guitar.

The lighting effects were just outstanding adding an extra dimension to the show, as did sax player Australian Jorja Chalmers. Her solos held in high esteem as original saxophonist Andy Mackay, was for me one of the highlights. As she strode the stage in black she gave off an almost eerie Catwoman silhouette, while hitting those soaring notes on Tokyo Joe and Let’s Stick Together. With her feline-esque movements on stage, she really did look the part. A fun night that really tantalised the musical taste buds, an unforgettable musical event. His eight-piece band a stand out, imposing, silhouetted against the colourfully dim lit background.

Where others from his generation have dared to tread or have vanished into obscurity, the ‘purveyor of style’, Bryan Ferry still has a few tricks up his sleeve to keep the young’uns in tow. To me, he really is star on stage, entwined by his myriad of musicians. As somebody said in the crowd after the show had finished, “He’s incredible”. Couldn’t agree more. Although word count-wise I’d probably struggle to use that as a concert review.

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