"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
The Scotsman JANUARY 30, 2011 - by Fiona Shepherd
Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow
Does Roxy Music's current For Your Pleasure tour live up to its name? That probably depends on your expectations of a Roxy night out. With a setlist drawn almost exclusively from their first five albums, featuring many audacious album tracks, this was a bold connoisseur's selection - although, at sixty-five pounds a ticket, who could afford to be a casual fan? Still, there would have been disappointment for anyone expecting a wham-bam-glam hit factory from the reformed Roxy line-up, comprising the original members minus Brian Eno - if you could find them among all the ancillary musicians, dancing girls and hardware.
There were other minor gripes. There wasn't always enough clarity in the mix by the time it reached the back of the hall to appreciate the sophistication of the Roxy sound. The visuals were largely of the say-what-you-see variety, complemented by the dancers' literal Pan's People-style interpretative routines.
But there was far more to love: the intoxicating cocktail of Phil Manzanera's guitar and Andy Mackay's saxophone in tandem, Mackay's entrancing oboe on Tara, the beautifully integrated backing vocals from a glamorous trio of divas and the no-concessions determination to reflect this influential band's artistry in the heady cabaret whirl of Bitter Sweet and the hypnotic flow of Sentimental Fool and Same Old Scene.
However, there was no denying the party pop thrill when they revved up a gear with an energetic salvo of Virginia Plain, Love Is The Drug, Editions Of You and Do The Strand, before a bumpy encore of Jealous Guy, a ramshackle pub-rock rendition of Let's Stick Together and the low-key coda of For Your Pleasure. And it really was our pleasure.