The Scotsman- -Princess Street Gardens - Sat 1st Jun

Bryan Ferry Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh THE annual civilised summer bash in Princes Street Gardens is usually the picnic on the lawn to the Edinburgh Castle concert's rammy on the ramparts. But this year, the wine carryouts and additional alcoholic incentives provided by sponsors Glenkinchie had taken effect early on, so that as soon as the maestro hit the stage, looking illegally handsome as usual, there was a dash for the footlights. Refreshingly for such a big event, there was no killjoy policy of herding the excitable masses back to their seats, meaning the likes of actor Kevin McKidd and singer/broadcaster Richard Jobson were permitted to goon about along with the glamorous grannies attempting to touch the hem of their idol's garments. Even with a new album to promote, Ferry leaned more heavily on Roxy Music material than his solo successes. The set was the better for the bias, as recent single Goddess of Love was exposed as a pastiche of Avalon-era Roxy, while the snoozy feel-the-1980s Slave To Love was shown up by comparison with the smooth, superior Dance Away. Although the dreary Oh Yeah (On The Radio) was as mystifyingly popular as ever, Jealous Guy turned into quite a powerhouse, for such a whiny, lachrymose song. Ferry's fellow hosts at the nostalgia party included Chris Spedding on guitar, Roxy Music's Paul Thompson on drums and backing singers/dancers who looked like they could have stepped off an early Roxy album sleeve. Both Ends Burning was the cue for the latter to try out some fervid cheerleading moves and, in a reheat of the Roxy reunion tour, they donned fuchsia feathered creations for Virginia Plain and Do the Strand, two songs which could pep up any occasion with their singular verve. Coupled with the free whisky and fireworks, they were positively dynamite.

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