Belfast Castle - Tue 4th Jun

Bryan makes the most of a Ferry-tale setting By Neil McKay ON a drab, damp, chill night, Bryan Ferry was out on his own as the coolest man at Belfast Castle. Magnificent in an open neck white shirt, perfectly tailored black leather jacket and trousers, and deeply impressive tan, Ferry was every inch the sultan of smooth. And after an energetic hour-long set, simultaneously broadcast on BBC Radio 2 as part of their Music Live celebrations, all that was out of place was a fringe that - just occasionally - flopped down over his forehead. The effortless style extended to the three female backing vocalists, immaculate in matching white suits, the very epitome of understated glamour and elegance. If the setting made Ferry's first Belfast show memorable the music wasn't far behind. He's not the most natural of frontmen - he barely spoke, and a strange shuffling half dance and a few handclaps were about the extent of his stage movements - but he delivered exactly what the crowd wanted. These days, energised by last year's successful Roxy Music reunion, a live Ferry show is well drilled and finely honed, with an excellent eight piece band, including ace guitarists Chris Spedding and Mick Green. He dispensed with a few tracks from new album Frantic early on, before racing through a selection of greatest hits, more or less evenly split between his solo career and Roxy Music. He paid homage to Bob Dylan with three covers - set opener It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, an effective piano and harmonica version of Don't Think Twice, It's Alright, and a storming A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall (and, right on cue, it did). The warmest reception was reserved for latter day Roxy hits like Oh Yeah, Dance Away and Jealous Guy, but the biggest surprise was the relish with which he tackled earlier Roxy songs. Out Of The Blue, Both Ends Burning and Love Is The Drug all sounded great, while Virginia Plain and sole encore Do The Strand are two of the most original pop songs to make the charts, as daring and fresh now as they were 30 years ago. Ferry's one concession to age - he's now a very sprightly 56 - seemed to be reading some lyrics from a stand in front of his mic. But, hey, even that was kind of cool. SET LIST: It's All Over Now Baby Blue/Sign Of The Times/Can't Let Go/Fool For Love/Oh Yeah/Out Of The Blue/Don't Think Twice It's All Right/Both Ends Burning/Dance Away/A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall/Love Is The Drug Virginia Plain/Jealous Guy/Let's Stick Together/Do The Strand

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