Roxy Music 2001

Roxy Music Tour 2001

Saturday, 16th June 2001

Birmingham Evening Mail


Forever Young

Around the last time Roxy Music played Birmingham, Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, Aston Villa were winning the European Cup and Longbridge had just launched the Metro.

So, for the thousands who made the pilgramage to the NEC on Saturday night,Roxy's return was like renewing contact with an old friend who had dropped out of circulation 20 years or so before.

But, as the cliche goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder- and Bryan Ferry and Co proved that time had neither diminished their popularity nor their talent.

The band and the audience may now be almost two decades older but the most important element of all- the music - has remained remarkably young. From the opener, Re-make Re-Model, through to encores of Love is the Drug, Do the Strand, and For Your Pleasure,Roxy showed that high calibre songs and quality musicianship will always endure. Ferry's vibrato vocals were as distinctive as ever, Phil Manzenera tore into his guitar with venom, saxman Andy Mackay hit all the right notes and underpinning it all- the Great Paul Thompson on drums.

An elongated piano intro ushered in a majestic rendition of A song for Europe, In Every Dream Home a Heartache was as powerful as it was in 1973 and Virginia Plain was, well, Virginia Plain. Earlier, Roxy had turned the clock back even further with Ladytron and If There is Something from the first album, still sounding like nothing else anybody has written before or since. Best of all, the penultimate number, Editions of You - a storming slice of rock and roll memorabilia which threatened to take the roof off the cavernous arena. With no new material to promote, the whole event resembled a stroll through the years into a musical time-warp long considered to history - but with this sort of quality ,who cares?

The big test now for Roxy - and particularly for Mr Ferry - is for the band to come up with a few new numbers in the mould of Editions of You or Virginia Plain. It's asking a lot, but Roxy were never destined to become a Greatest Hits band touring every few years to supplement their rock star pensions. Over to you, Bryan.

Jon Griffin, Birmingham Evening Mail

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