| 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
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
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