If music could be bottled – Bryan Ferry and his band would be the proper vintage …
Ferry and his band of merry men and women were at Theatre St. Denis last night and it was a lesson in musicality. Wisdom of notes, melodies and spaces were relayed through the sold out venue like candy on a well lit street on Halloween.
‘Slave to Love’ off of the 1985 album ‘Boys and Girls’ set the tone of intricacy. Perfection obtained early on. A ‘live’ studio version of the song was carried out in all it’s haunting and dark glory. Ferry’s voice – frozen in time along with the romantic visions the song conjures up.
It was obvious the night would be special …
The difference between the players in a Bryan Ferry band and the local up-and-coming group at the corner is the ability to grow on stage. Mistakes are non existent yet status quo is not accepted. Pushing to the limit and reaching to ‘get it right ‘. ‘Get it better’. That is what separates professionals from the rest.
Ferry’s orchestra astonishing in their craft. Brilliant in the light. Magical in the darkness of Ferry’s songwriting.
In Montreal last evening, a tag team mentality took place. Keyboards to guitar. Violin to saxophone. Drums to harmonica. The silvery baton called music was relayed through a race of ballads, funk and rock. At the finish line lay an appreciation from the punters . Those in attendance, awed from the display of creativity within a formula.
Bryan Ferry has visions. The former front man of Roxy Music lives on a planet similar to that of the late David Bowie. Earthlings cannot perform or write the songs that dance in the moonlight. ‘Humans’ simply do not walk the paths divided by red waters and blue trees. Ferry’s landscape is uniquely his own. Covered by skies of emotion that evoke thoughts.
‘Avonmore‘ to the pensive ‘Tara’. The story of Ferry’s life narrated by so many authors. The vitriolic Jacob Quistgaard on guitar. His soloing and ability to convey fills at the right moment – second to none. Melodic, brutal and feathery. ‘Quist’, the ultimate conveyor for truth and a perfect ‘sideman’ to Ferry’s keyboard with blistering solos and soothing ebbs.
As in the Dave Mathews Band, a Bryan Ferry show is set apart by violins and saxophone. Enter Australia’s Lucy Wilkins (violin) and the talented Jorja Chalmers on sax. The pair placing emphasis on feelings. Their emotions and wistfulness are parlayed like clouds over a hot summer sunset. Their instruments – the bookmarks in a Ferry catalog ripe for dreams.
Just as melancholia is about to set the tone and sleep attempts to invade the perimeter through billowy lyrics and grounded melodies – Michel Pelo and Jimmy Sims (drum, bass) say ‘funk you’ !
Rock bands from today could grab a drum stick and write down lessons learned from Ferry’s men. The difference between Rock 2017 and Rock pre 2000 is the swing. The roll. The motion of serendipity. The ‘movement ‘in Rock n Roll.
‘Take a Chance with Me’, ‘Avalon’, ‘Do the Strand’ and Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy‘ – parts of a machine. A well – oiled display of genres within genres. A roller coaster of extreme heights and abyss’ covered in shadowy graves. David Bowie’s influence omnipresent within Ferry’s vocals and delivery. ‘Do the Strand’ a perfect example of the Bowie / Glam rock period from whence it came. Rocky Horror Picture Show kinda stuff glued into the upholstery of popular music.
Bryan Ferry cannot be bottled. That’s what makes him so vintage.
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