good morning everyone –
Your hoddler-in-chief walked into Capital One Arena on Friday night in anticipation of a unique concert: Roxy Music featuring special guest St Vincent.
St Vincent as opener? Odd! I thought she’d headline her own tour because I would think she is bigger in the US than Roxy Music are. Either way, your hoddler-in-chief crossed off two artists on his must-see-live list.
Anne Clarke is coming off her 2020 record Daddy’s Home, which was heavily influenced by David Bowie and the glam-rock era. So, musically speaking, there was no better choice to open for Roxy Music than her.
My favourite from that record happened to close our her set: The Melting of the Sun. A sleazy, psychedelic song referencing Pink Floyd, Joan Didion, Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Marilyn Monroe and Nina Simone.
Fitzie’s track of the day, part one: The Melting of the Sun, by St Vincent
But the main draw of the sparsely-populated arena was Roxy Music and its frontman Bryan Ferry.
I must say, it was almost sad to see Ferry not be able to sing like he used to. Few bands are so luscious with their music, and Ferrys’ sultry baritone was the perfect accompaniment to it.
Unfortunately, age has caught up with him. Nowhere is that more obvious than when he sang Avalon, delivering it at an entire register lower than how it was recorded decades ago. It was almost jarring. He also relied on his back-up singers during much of Love is the Drug, only joining the chorus on the final refrain.
It also meant that Virginia Plain, your hoddler-in-chief’s favourite Roxy song, did not make the setlist.
For all that, though, you could tell how much he loved performing. He appeared lively on stage, taking turns on the stand-up mic and sitting down on the piano, and often dancing during Roxy’s instrumentals.
He was a gracious frontman, too, giving plenty of airtime to those supporting him. Phil Manzanera on guitar was a particular highlight.
Would casual Roxy Music fans care for this concert? Probably not. A large chunk of it was spent delivering their slow-jam tunes serenading the crowd with reflections on humanity.
Still, it was an enjoyable concert. The music remained impeccable. Ferry adjusted the songs to his voice quite well. Once I appreciated that, I came to enjoy the concert much more.
For this tour, at least, he is not the performer able to take the short gasps of air during Virginia Plain or A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall. But the band’s music remains as sexy as ever.
Who knows, maybe he will find it again. Ferry did seem to deliver Do The Strand with that same ludicrous, bouncy energy that graced the band’s first album five decades.
After closing the night with a cover of Jealous Guy, Ferry exited the stage with his fist pumping the air in triumph.
Fitzie’s track of the day, part two: Oh Yeah!, by Roxy Music
And now for your links:
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Rob Page signs new four-year deal to coach Welsh national team