INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
New Musical Express MARCH 24, 1973 - by Steve Clarke
Of all the bands to emerge in the last year Roxy Music have received more instant approval from rock critics than any other band. Let's be honest - Messrs. Ferry and Co didn't really have to work at getting themselves known by endless months of gigging before finally breaking through. The rock press made sure these glitzy cats called Roxy Music were going to make it scarcely before they played their first gig.
And can you blame the critics, jaded by the post-Cream epidemic of heavy three chord wonder bands all of them lacking any kind of stage presentation. Not only were Roxy doing something new, there was also thrown in a slice of '50s-type nostalgia (not that many of today's kids would care about that). Was all this praise justified or were Roxy Music just another hype? Whatever it was, the public swallowed the words and music and Roxy made a hit album and single.
Now on the eve of their second album release - already widely acclaimed - Roxy are currently touring the land. And, believe you me, they're going down a storm if Sunday's Birmingham Town Hall gig was anything to go by.
It was the first time I'd ever seen the band - and I was hoping to really dig them. But somehow they left me cold - that is apart from the few times the band forgot about the show and the electronic wizardry and got on with the rock and roll. I mean, they looked every bit right with Bryan Ferry and Andy Mackay resembling refugees from Star Trek, while Eno looked like a redundant peacock as he fiddled with his knobs and gadgets.
Musically, drummer Paul Thompson and guitarist Phil Manzanera came over best. But there were too many instances when the sounds became confused and just a mess, though things did improve towards the end when the band played several short tighter numbers which just about worked. I've nearer liked Ferry's voice but he looks just like a rock 'n' roll singer. I just wish he'd sound more like one.
I'm willing to accept that the entire concept of Roxy is beyond me 'cos the Birmingham kids really got off on them. But then Roxy Music couldn't remain a critic's band all the time.