Roxy Music 2001Roxy Music Tour 2001

Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Saturday, 11th August

Noel Mengel, The Courier Mail

The Ferry still Rox

HE art of the comeback tour is a fine line. Try it too often and it looks like you're just in it for the money.  Leave it too late and a band can ruin a lot of precious memories.  But there were no such dramas for Roxy Music on this opening night of their first Australian tour in 20 years.

Roxy fans tend to divide into two camps with an uneasy alliance . those in awe of their early incarnation as art-rock innovators, and those who favour the more airbrushed sound of the later albums.

This show probably pleased the former more than the latter, and even versions of chart fodder like Oh Yeah and Dance Away had considerably more spark than when captured in the studio.

But the statement of intent was obvious from the opening trio of Remake- Remodel, Streetlife and Ladytron, with original members Ferry, sax man Andy Mackay, guitarist Phil Manzanera and drummer Paul Thompson recapturing the adventurous spirit of their early work.

Happily, for a band that always understood the importance of the visual effect in rock'n'roll, Roxy Music still looked the part, with Mackay's trademark quiff and Ferry still cutting a dashing figure in (a) black leather, (b) white dinner jacket and (c) sparkling silver suit.

Augmented by a band including English guitar legend Chris Spedding, Roxy delivered a standard that many younger bands fail to match: with Thompon's powerhouse drumming as the foundation and crystal-clear sound delivered at high but not uncomfortable volume.

Highlights were many, from Mackay's sax tour de force on A Song For Europe to Virginia Plain, with what appeared to be Brian Eno's old synthesiser still firing on all cylinders, and Manzanera's dazzling array of textures shining in an era when so much rock guitar just sounds cliched.

Everyone in the house knew that Roxy were a great rock'n'roll band: the thrill of a night like this was discovering, against the odds, that they still are.

Noel Mengel, The Courier Mail

Back to the Roxy Music Tour Main Page