MUCH of Bryan Ferry’s solo output is redolent of the classy club, of natural sophistication, of unflashy opulence and of quiet but agonised heartache. None of which really translated to an audience in plastic ponchos who wanted to dance away at a drizzly Bandstand – even with the option of pink gin cocktails.
Bryan Ferry, Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow ***
Fortunately, Ferry is pretty generous with the hits, including regular rummages around the Roxy Music back catalogue, so the smoochy likes of Slave to Love and Don’t Stop the Dance rubbed shoulder pads with weirdly seductive Roxy ballad Ladytron and the elegant ache of fan favourite Oh Yeah.
There was a brief decorous party interlude involving Tokyo Joe and a polite rendition of Do the Strand featuring the constrained saxophone playing of Jorja Chalmers before Ferry and band hit a defiantly downbeat stretch of material from his moody mid-80s albums.
Windswept was a model of soulful understatement, with sultry sax and burnished guitar from respected sessioneer Chris Spedding, while the soaring viola on Bete Noire added a hint of Latin fire to spice up an overlong tasteful supper club interlude in the middle of the set.
The wonderfully overwrought In Every Dream Home A Heartache and the snake-charmer saxophone of If There Is Something ushered in a more dynamic closing streak. More Than This suffered from a not particularly sumptuous arrangement and Virginia Plain has lost its demented edge in Ferry’s distinguished older age but the dreamy caress of Avalon, the smoothly funky and feline Love is the Drug and vulnerable confessional of Jealous Guy were in good shape (even if Ferry’s whistling was not), while a closing Editions of You mustered some of that old freak-out power with Ferry conjuring on his keyboard like some kind of sonic wizard.