INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Disc JUNE 10, 1972 - by Michael Wale
ROXY - THE BAND BEHIND THE IMAGE
Roxy made a fairly unremarkable impact on the muddy thousands at Lincoln. Despite their outward flamboyance it was a quietish and reasonably self-conscious set. Yet there was something lurking behind it all that suggests we might do well to keep tabs on this band.
Their music is a strange combination of 1950s, '60s and '70s funk and electronic spaceship noises.The band is just eight months old but things have moved quickly for them especially since John Peel gave them some air time on Sounds Of The Seventies.
Shortly afterwards E.E. Management signed them up, Pete Sinfield, former King Crimson special effects man, offered to produce their first album and on June 16 Roxy Music will be in the shops followed in July by a single - Virginia Plain.
They're a polished, nicely-spoken bunch, fastidious, more than averagely eloquent and with enough latent drive to develop into something quite powerful.
Stage mannerisms and costume fall somewhere between Rod Stewart and '50s revivalist band and their music also has a blurring effect on the mind - greasy combined with '70s trendy.
Eno, who handles a VCS synthesiser, greases back his long silver-sprayed hair, forcing it behind his ears; and Bryan Ferry, vocalist, pianist and the group's composer and acknowledged leader, does likewise - preferring gold highlights.
The two, along with Andy MacKay on sax and oboe, are Roxy's nucleus and founders. Eno and Andy spent a few years writing and performing experimental electronic music - mostly for a select bunch of friends it turned out.
Says Andy: "There was a distinct lack of satisfaction from this avant-garde scene in that we were only communicating with people who were a long way into what we were doing. It was more or less a small group of friends who were saying great... but that was about it."
Brian adds: "When you do rocking things you're able to get through to a wider audience. Later we'll be able to turn them onto something more sophisticated. First you have to let the people know you can rock. Yet much of the stuff we do is more spacey - music more for the head than the body."
Jazz, they say, are the least of their musical influences. They credit Sinatra, Ethel Merman and The Inkspots as their major musical preceptors.
Pete Sinfield, who used to set the mood so brilliantly for Crimson's performances, sees enormous potential for the band.
"Mainly because there are artists in the band (with an E and without an E). Their breadth of vision is greater than most" he swears.
It's the juxtaposition of straight rock and electronics that fascinates them most. Eno uses two Revoxs, a Ferrograph and an Ampex cassette for his experiments.
Andy adds:"Lennon describes his music as 1970s rock. Ours is '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s. It's inevitable that we're going to be influenced by lots of things, people and ideas. The combinations are endless."