INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Age MARCH 3, 2011 - by Michael Dwyer
A WILD FERRY RIDE
On the last night of their Australian tour it took a good few songs for all possible Roxy Musics to coalesce. For openers, the haughty funk of The Main Thing bristled against the glam rock of Street Life.
If There Is Something came over like a three-phase accident so unlikely as to defy reconstruction. The bizarre cowboy burbling of Prairie Rose giggled behind the stiff back of More Than This and Jealous Guy. Those acquainted only with the latter may well have thought Bryan Ferry had lost his marbles.
The stunning art-cinematic projections behind him were key to his band's absurdly broad vision and the glue holding their wild ride together. It all clicked, perversely enough, during Neil Young's Like A Hurricane, when guitarist Phil Manzanera was superimposed shredding a breathtaking solo over the stormy skies of a Turner painting.
Ferry often disappeared in to his morphing canvas of art history, playing keys behind the sprawling ensemble as Grace Kelly held court over a vintage Manhattan skyline during To Turn You On, or a Humphrey Bogart montage enhanced the nostalgic ache of 2 H.B..
The song list took risks as extreme as the core band's divergent personalities: Manzanera, saxophonist Andy Mackay and drummer Paul Thompson are all king-hitters who gleefully blasted through Bitter Sweet and Same Old Scene but collided over Love Is The Drug and Ferry's surprise solo hit, Let's Stick Together.
But the edge of hysteria is where the most remarkable Roxy Music lives: the early '70s barnstormers Virginia Plain, Editions Of You and Do The Strand swaggered through a home stretch that brought the crowd to its feet at last.