Gig review: Bryan Ferry, Edinburgh

Bryan Ferry: Still the crowd pleaser at 69 years young. Picture: Getty

Bryan Ferry: Still the crowd pleaser at 69 years young. Picture: Getty

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Bryan Ferry is now 69 years old. His current band is made up of musicians who appear to be around half his age or younger, but so healthy and spry does the former Roxy Music singer appear in the flesh that it takes a while for this to register.

Bryan Ferry - Usher Hall, Edinburgh

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Dressed in a blue suit jacket, a minor contrast to his black-clad backers, he walked the stage with a sense of casual control. He’s the boss, but he didn’t appear out of place next to these lively young players.

An enduringly hard worker who delivered his fifth album since the millennium with last year’s Avonmore, Ferry made the canny decision not to overpower his audience with less familiar tracks which show what he’s been up to lately. The disco-tinged title song of the last record and the smooth metropolitan groove of its track One Night Strand were among the half dozen more recent songs played, while a version of Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright echoed the theme of his 2007 covers record Dylanesque.

Elsewhere, the majority of his set – and the entire last third, making for a crowd-pleasing home straight to say the least – consisted of familiar hits and enduring classics from the Roxy Music era, each of them played with verve and precision by the band. Ferry’s still-smooth croon lent itself to More Than This, Avalon and a finale of Jealous Guy, his familiar John Lennon cover, while the bluesman’s influence coursed through Love is the Drug, Let’s Stick Together and powering versions of less ubiquitous Roxy Music classics Do the Strand and Editions of You.

Seen on 24 .05.15

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