I know… Roxy Music… Bryan Ferry… always blogging about my musical obsessions as if you did not get it yet… I swear I did not want to do any review on Bryan Ferry’s last show ! He was opening the excellent current “Jazz à la Villette” festival and I was even relieved to hear strict announcements from the logistics staff not to take any picture of any sort, thinking I would enjoy the show in the old-fashioned way, without any need to tell the world if it was great, ok or bad.
The thing is that there was such an atmosphere throughout the show and the theatre that a huge part of the crowd left their seats, went on dancing in front of the stage, taking pictures and all so I could not resist!
The show started weirdly with ten old (or even very old) jazz musicians revisiting Roxy Music classics, as described by the leader of the band. Interesting way of hearing with fresh ears amazing songs such as “Do the Strand” or “The Bogus Man” played in a 20’s jazz style by the Betty Boop Orch…no sorry, they were called the Bryan Ferry Orchestra. I am not saying I did not enjoy it as the songs were really arranged with taste and subtlety but it started to get thin after 20 minutes, which was exactly the moment Bryan Ferry got on stage with two great chorus singers for a splendid version of “Love is the Drug”. But for me, the show really got full ignition when arrived two fantastic musicians on stage : Cherisse Osei on drums and moreover Olivier Thompson on guitar (the guy is 25-year old but has been playing with Bryan Ferry since 2006!). I have read afterwards a few reviews criticising their arrival on stage but for me they allowed the show to keep on going forward.
The great man himself was as elegant as ever and nobody in the audience really felt watching a 67-year old man on stage such his voice and his skills are as good as ever. The setlist was fantastic with many songs from his solo career, a lot of covers (Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Sam & Dave) but the real star songs of the show were as very often the Roxy Music ones. The set ended with a beautiful performance of “Editions of You” from the 1973 LP “For Your Pleasure“. A great evening !