Boston Gazzette - Sun 10th Nov

Ferry delivers a thrill at the Orpheum Ferry starts his `Frantic' tour of U.S. at Orpheum by Bill Brotherton Monday, November 11, 2002 For a guy whose marriage just ended, Bryan Ferry is in a particularly good mood. Ferry, founder pf the influential Brit rock group Roxy Music, is enjoying a rare day off in his hometown of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Even better, his two oldest sons are en route to this industrial town near the Scottish border to visit dear old Dad and watch him work. ``I'm keen on having them feel a link to my roots,'' Ferry said with a laugh. But first, he'll chat with the Herald about his new CD ``Frantic'' and his current tour, which comes to the Orpheum tomorrow. Ferry's received a lot of attention lately, not all of it for his musical accomplishments. The British press is having a field day with news that Ferry and his wife of 20 years, Lucy Helmore, pillars of London society, are divorcing. Since his artistic persona is that of a guy tormented by unrequited love and romances gone wrong, it's particularly ironic. ``Luckily, I was on tour through Europe when all the press activity was going on. My friends would ring me and update me on that day's headlines. I haven't, until now, talked about it because no one has asked me . . . but yes, my wife and I are separated. It's sad after 20 years of marriage, but . . .'' his voice fades off. Ferry, 57 and the father of four sons, also has had to deal with the travails of his oldest boy, 19-year-old Otis (named after soul singer Redding), who was recently arrested on the grounds of Prime Minister Tony Blair's home lugging a rucksack full of pro-fox-hunting stickers. Young Otis left private school and the comforts of home about two years ago, moving to a tiny flat in Yorkshire to become a ``whipper-in,'' working with terriers and horses and improving his riding skills. The move to ban fox hunting throughout England has him up in arms. ``Otis is a willful young lad. I quite admire him,'' Ferry said. ``It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in. He's not afraid of getting himself in trouble. He's a true countryman, leads quite a wonderful life with his horses and dogs up in Yorkshire. I'm very proud of him.'' Ferry is understandably delighted when the conversation switches to the bluesy hook-laden ``Frantic,'' his first album of new material since 1994. Boasting both brave choices of cover songs (two Dylan classics, Leadbelly's ``Goodnight Irene'' and a medieval blast by Richard the Lion-Hearted) and arresting originals, it has been a top-10 smash in every country but America. But then, America was late to pick up on the Roxy phenomenon as well. ``It's an adult record, an age-appropriate piece of music. I didn't want to humiliate myself by making a hip-hop record or dance record,'' Ferry said. ``I'm not remotely trendy, yet people seem genuinely interested in me and in this album. It's gratifying for an artist, especially one who has been around as long as I've been.'' There are only 10 American dates on this tour, which begins in Boston. ``Boston embraced Roxy from day one. . . . (Roxy) really enjoyed playing there last year on the reunion tour. The second show there was one of the tour's best.'' Many of the musicians who backed Ferry on that tour are back, most notably drummer Paul Thompson, pianist Colin Good and guitarist Chris Spedding. Audience members can expect a handful of tunes from ``Frantic,'' selections from Ferry's many solo LPs, a batch of Roxy Music favorites and ``a surprise or two. It's a Bryan Ferry retrospective, covering my 30-odd years in music,'' he said. ``There's plenty of light and shade in this show, a lot of variety. . . . There's an acoustic set, which is nice. I'm used to having the band make a lot of noise around me. I'm a bit deaf by it all.'' Ferry's ``Frantic'' tour began in Denmark last May and won't wind down until Brazil gigs in March. ``I feel like Bob Dylan himself, on the never-ending tour.'' And there will be no rest for the world-weary Ferry when this tour ends. He's due in the studio to put together a live CD ``scrapbook'' of last year's Roxy reunion tour. A remastered version of Roxy's high-water mark, ``Avalon,'' is also due next year. We ask Ferry if he feels America has misunderstood his image - we picture him as an introspective, brooding gentleman, sitting late at night in his mahogany-paneled living room, staring at a roaring fire, sipping absinthe and lamenting a lost love or bemoaning that he's worshiped by anonymous millions but not loved by any one special person. ``That's ridiculous,'' said Ferry, laughing loudly. ``I seldom sip absinthe.''

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