Gig review: Bryan Ferry, Glasgow

Bryan Ferry was every bit the suave crooner. Picture: Jayne Wright
Bryan Ferry was every bit the suave crooner. Picture: Jayne Wright
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Bryan Ferry has deepened his lifelong love affair with jazz on latest album The Jazz Age, which has in turn spawned this monster of a live show featuring songs from across his solo and Roxy Music catalogue arranged for a big band – a novel exercise and one which invited a fresh perspective on old favourites.

Bryan Ferry - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

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The host was deliberately and fashionably tardy for his own soirée, all the better to allow the motley Bryan Ferry Orchestra, led by pianist/arranger Colin Good, to introduce themselves with an opening instrumental set of some of his best-loved works. Where is there to go after characterful, nay, cheeky 1920s-style jazz renditions of Do The Strand, Avalon and The Bogus Man?

Into loud rock terrain, it transpired. Ferry was every bit the suave crooner in his floral smoking jacket but he rode Reason Or Rhyme’s thrilling, almost shocking transition from tea dance to stormy rock workout with finesse.

From here, the Orchestra players were somewhat relegated to featured cameos while the drummer and guitarist attacked the melodramatic likes of A Song For Europe and Out Of The Blue with brute force.

This collision of competing instruments never entirely resolved itself although, of the torrent of Roxy gems in the second half, Jealous Guy struck a beautiful balance between soulful solos and overall feel. The added brass muscle gave Street Life an extra kick, but no matter how the aural assault presented itself, it was always the tunes which won out in this stimulating battle.